Infrastructure and the built environment have historically been one of the contributing factors in rising levels of greenhouse gases through the materials that are used, the loss of natural habitat, the operational impacts and then final demolition or disposal, accounting for 25% of the total UK emissions.1 However, over the past couple of decades forward thinking organisations within this sector have been making significant efforts to reduce this impact.

More recently people have realised that the assets that this sector is responsible for are essential for the transition to a net zero economy, such as large-scale renewable energy installation, sewer systems and net zero buildings all of which need to work with nature, not against it.

The industry and workforce behind these assets are also integral to the success of the transition and must be supported and upskilled.

A radical rethinking is needed to meet this transition. Through that radical rethinking, a much greater value to society can be delivered.

This paper seeks to identify how this sector can maximise the benefits of a net zero transition through its delivery and planning of schemes, procurement of the value chain and using sustainable finance to unlock essential capital that is linked to sustainability performance.