But building industry must do still more to reach the goals of a sustainable construction strategy

The government and construction sector have made “significant achievements” towards creating a green building industry in the past year but more is needed, according to a new report.

Launching an update on its Strategy for Sustainable Construction yesterday, the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said there had been “good progress” since June last year and that it was an “excellent example of joint work between industry and government”.

Steps that the business department praised included a commitment from companies representing more than one-quarter of the industry to halve the amount of waste sent to landfill, and good progress on the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, which it said was on target to achieve a 34% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

Construction minister Ian Lucas said: “This progress report demonstrates the government's commitment to put in place measures to drive forward the sustainability agenda and support industry with these aims.

“I am pleased to see we are making steps towards reaching these targets, but there is further work to be done to build on these achievements and reach the overarching goals of the strategy.”

The chief executive of the Construction Industry Council, Graham Watts, added: “The first annual progress report from the delivery board responsible for rolling out the Strategy for Sustainable Construction shows that much very good work has been done since the strategy was launched in July 2008 but that there remains a great deal yet to do.

“The industry - in its broadest sense - is certainly alive to the need for sustainable construction and to the importance of the Construction Commitments, and the progress report serves as a very concise point of reference with which to assess progress and exert more combined effort from government and industry.”

The report added that the appointment of a chief construction adviser would help increase co-operation levels between the government and industry on sustainability issues.