Industry takes a giant STEP forward on sustainability skills

Posted on: 6 September, 2010

The Rt Hon Nick Raynsford MP will today (Monday 6 September) host the launch of the UK Green Building Council’s major new industry-led initiative, the Sustainability Training and Education Programme (STEP), in Westminster.

The launch of the course comes on the same day that MPs return to Parliament after the summer recess and prepare to pass legislation in the new Parliamentary session, in particular the Energy Bill, which will put the construction and property sector on the front line of efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

STEP is designed to expand knowledge right across the construction and property sector, addressing the major gaps that exist across UK industry in understanding sustainability. The first course from the programme, an Introduction to Sustainability in the Built Environment, has been developed in partnership with the College of Estate Management (CEM) and is now available to the industry.

Paul King, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) said:

‘The construction and property sector has a massive impact on the UK’s carbon emissions and use of natural resources. We must get to grips with this, despite the economic climate. The key is for industry to have the tools it needs to manage the risks and profit from the opportunities, which is where STEP comes in. The recession has hit the industry hard – but this is just the time to be re-skilling for this huge challenge.’

The initiative is a direct response to industry’s calls for UK-GBC to get involved in training and education after market research showed two-thirds of existing training courses on sustainability and the built environment to be below par. CEM were chosen after a rigorous review of 44 submissions for partnership, with an industry panel from the UK-GBC membership helping to select the final partner and give advice on course content.

Dr Ann Heywood, CEM’s Principal, said:

‘We are delighted to join forces with the UK-GBC in promoting sustainability education, an issue that we both passionately believe in. Although due to the downturn it may be tempting to put sustainability on the back burner, it is essential that the UK boosts sustainability skills in the built environment to meet its emissions targets and take advantage of the growing global green economy.’