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September Overview – Robert Sargent

As we end the summer and holidays are behind us, it’s time to reflect on a turbulent season. Wildfires in Greece / California and floods in Germany / New York have shown us the swift and furious impact Climate Change is having on our lives.


On the 8th August the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Sixth Assessment Report. UN Secretary General António Guterres described the report as “a code red for humanity”. The report explains that recent changes in the climate are widespread, rapid and intensifying. It’s caused by humans and is unprecedented in thousands of years. Every region is affected. Some changes are already irreversible. Sobering words after the summer reset.


The UN chief does offer a reprisal, “If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But, as today’s report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses. I count on government leaders and all stakeholders to ensure COP26 is a success.”


The construction industry represents 39% of global carbon emissions (28% from operational and 11% from embodied). Reading the report, we must all make time to act – now. We have two lines of responsibility; to achieve Carbon Neutrality in our own business operations, and; to brief, design, construct and operate zero carbon projects.


Certainly from my own experience here at Stride Treglown we have gone to great lengths to monitor and reduce our own carbon footprint, to the point where we are now carbon neutral. The hardest part to reduce is industry-related travel. Post pandemic we do have to find a balance of virtual meetings and face-to-face interactions. Until travel infrastructure is fully decarbonised through electrification, our only solution is to carbon offset. This is the easy part.


The second part of the decarbonisation journey is delivering zero carbon projects for clients. This takes collaboration, cross business learning, upskilling, and material/process innovation. None of us can do this alone. We need a joint industry effort. This is where Constructing Excellence can play a key role. I urge you to join our Innovation and Sustainability Group, so that we can address our climate emergency in a coordinated way.


At Stride Treglown we have just launched our Climate Action Relay. Please do join in the conversation and get inspired to do your bit for Planet Earth. #ClimateActionRelay

Robert Sargent, Director, Stride Treglown, B Corp certified Architecture Practice

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