THE UK Green Building Council has launched a new network in Scotland at COP26.

Supporting and driving the sustainability of Scotland’s built environment sector will be the key aim of a new permanent Scottish presence in the UKGBC.

It was launched at an event in the Blue Zone at the climate summit in Glasgow yesterday. Guest speakers included Zero Carbon Housing Minister Patrick Harvie.

The new Scottish network of UKGBC will develop a programme focused on the progressive Scottish policy environment and industry sectors, with scope to respond to the unique needs and opportunities posed by Scottish Government’s ambitious targets for the transition to a net zero built environment by 2045, five years ahead of the UK-wide target.

Established in London in 2007, UKGBC is a charity and an industry-led network of 600+ members who collectively see the built environment sector as a critical solution to the climate and ecological crises.

Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive at UKGBC said: “Today’s announcement of the launch of UKGBC Scotland fulfils our longstanding ambition to establish a permanent network here, building upon the strong base of sector support which already exists. We’re extremely proud to be able to launch against the backdrop of COP26 and highlight the critical role the built environment plays in the transition to net zero.

“UKGBC Scotland will translate our mission to radically improve the sustainability of the built environment to the specific political, market, socio-economic, and physical built assets in Scotland, and accelerate the transition to a net zero carbon built environment here.

“We are here to support and represent the progressive voices spanning the entire built environment value chain in Scotland.”

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Harvie said: “Scotland’s Heat in Buildings Strategy sets out the pathway for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from our homes and buildings by more than two thirds by 2030. Our ambition is significant, and rightly so given the urgent action that is required if we are to stand a chance of limiting warming to under 1.5C. This is a huge transition, affecting communities, businesses and households all across Scotland and we must all work collaboratively to deliver it. I therefore warmly welcome UK Green Building Council’s intention to establish a permanent presence in Scotland. Their expertise will be invaluable as we work with the sector to deliver cleaner, greener, buildings for the people of Scotland.”

UKGBC Scotland held launch events in Glasgow last night and more will be held Edinburgh on Monday, while it has already appointed its first permanent member of staff to be based in Scotland.

The new network will convene a diverse membership of built environment organisations, while enabling an accelerated transition to a more sustainable built environment by developing regionally specific guidance, showcasing Scottish solutions.

New UKGBC Scotland member David MacInnes, energy manager at HFD Energy, said: “We are proud to be a founding member of the UKGBC Scotland Network – sustainability is at the heart of what we do across our group of companies. Through joining UKGBC Scotland, with its clear focus on the Scottish built environment sector, we aim to lay the foundations to share and implement best practice within our buildings.”