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Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction

Transforming infrastructure through smarter information


Carbon Reduction Code for the Built Environment 

Read the Code here


The Carbon Reduction Code for the Built Environment forms part of the Construction Leadership Council’s Construct Zero initiative and is referenced in key documents such as the UK Construction Playbook September 2022, the UKGBC Roadmap, and the UK Government Guidance Note Promoting Net Zero Carbon and Sustainability in Construction September 2022

The Code provides a simple way for organisations to demonstrate their commitment to net zero to their clients or supply chain. The Code brings together and aligns sector wide initiatives and facilitates cross-sector collaboration to reduce carbon emissions (CO2eq) related to design, construction, maintenance, operation, and decommissioning of built assets. A map of how the Code fits with other initiatives is below and can be downloaded here

There are three levels of compliance to the Code - PLEDGER, SIGNATORY, CHAMPION and the Code is made up of three parts:

  1. Core commitments for all organisations
  2. Core commitments for client organisations and further commitments to facilitate the transition to Net Zero
  3. Core commitments for supply chain organisations and further commitments to facilitate the transition to Net Zero.

An introductory presentation to the Code (from Issue 2) is here.

Further information on compliance is here

There is no cost to sign up to the Code.

Carbon Code Ecosystem Map 


Supporting information 

This initiative sits within a wider context of the ICE Carbon Project, the Infrastructure Carbon Review Seven Years On and CLC’s Green Construction Board. On its own it is not sufficient to deliver a Net Zero UK, but it does enable individual organisations to publicise their annual progress, and thereby collaborate and share best practice on their journey to Net Zero with the intention of accelerating progress across the industry.

Additional guidance and structures which may help organisations achieve the commitments of the Code include:

  1. Supply Chain Sustainability School's 'Carbon Reduction Code for the Built Environment: Resource Mapping Table' (Available from the School's Resource Library)
  2. Water UK Net Zero 2030 Routemap
  3. Infrastructure Carbon Review (2013) and the ICR Seven Years On Report  
  4. PAS 2080:2023 (available from BSI) and the accompanying guidance document
  5. ICE Carbon Project
  6. Construction Leadership Council’s CO2nstruct Zero programme and its nine priorities and the related signposting signposting
  7. Construction Playbook September 2022
  8. CIH Procuring for Value framework and toolkit
  9. HMG Green Book
  10. Engineers Declare and related initiatives: Architects Declare; Civil Engineers Declare; Structural Engineers Declare
  11. The Netherlands Carbon Performance Ladder: used in the Netherlands to reward improved carbon performance through procurement.
  12. Built Environment Carbon Database