Ecobuild latest: Contractors and clients say culture is key to driving sustainability agenda

Skanska UK boss Mike Putnam has warned construction firms are doing “nowhere near enough” to go green.

In a stark warning delivered on the last day of the Ecobuild conference in London, Putnam said: “I don’t think we are doing enough. Nowhere near enough.

“Some leading organisations are doing quite good things across clients, contractors and subcontractors. But their number is still quite small compared to the totality of the industry. We need to collaborate much more, share our ideas and get momentum going.”

Putnam, who is also chair of the government’s Green Construction Board, told delegates he believed greater use of digital solutions, data, and off-site construction would “revolutionise the way we deliver things”.

He said a key focus of the Green Construction Board was on “making green a part of every person’s training”.

Euan Burns, chief engineer at Carillion, said the construction sector needs to invest more in research and development (R&D). He said: “I met Fujitsu recently and they spend £6-7bn per annum on R&D. Then if you look at our industry, we struggle.”

Crown Estate and Lendlease’s sustainability bosses Claudine Blamey and Matt Smith told the conference that fostering a culture of innovation in organisations was key to driving adoption of the sustainability agenda.