Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building

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Modular firm claims to be first carbon-neutral housebuilder

11 August 2020
Project Etopia’s Ellesmere Port factory

Project Etopia has become the first housebuilder in the world to achieve both the Carbon Neutral International Standard and to join the United Nations Climate Neutral Now Initiative, the modular construction firm has claimed.

As a signatory of the UN Climate Neutral Now initiative, Etopia Group has calculated and disclosed the current carbon footprint of the company, including international air travel, and shown a pathway to reducing it year on year.

The current carbon emissions of the firm are then directly offset using UN-certified emission reductions (CERs) and voluntary emission reductions (VERs).

Etopia Group has partnered with One Carbon World, a grant fund set up to help organisations to become more sustainable, with the modular housebuilder offsetting its emissions through “carbon credits” for One Carbon World, which supports reforestation projects across the world.

Project Etopia already claims to build carbon-negative homes, with all of its homes currently scoring an average EPC rating of 103/100.

Etopia Group has capacity to manufacture more than 2,000 homes a year from its Cheshire-based factory.

Joseph Daniels, founder and chief executive of Etopia Group, said: “The climate crisis is upon and unless we act now, the damage done will be unrectifiable. The Carbon Neutral International Standard recognises our commitment to ramping up our carbon-cutting efforts and we are proud to be working with One Carbon World to ensure that new trees are being planted across the world.

“But this is just the first step. The construction industry needs to be dragged forward into the 21st century and bring innovative technologies into both the methods of construction and the homes themselves. Our decisions are not an attempt to greenwash our image, it is about genuinely revolutionising the industry, and creating the high-quality, tech-driven net-zero homes of the future.”

Niclas Svenningsen, manager of Global Climate Action at UN Climate Change, said: “We have seen a pronounced shift in the way individuals and industries behave in relation to the climate crisis in recent years.

“The built environment, in particular, contributes an estimated 40% of the UK’s CO2 emissions. Energy-inefficient homes and a backwards approach to housebuilding have been far too common, and if we are to radically reduce our carbon emissions, then we must look to innovate.

“We are glad to see Etopia Group applying new ways of thinking and building more sustainable homes, and welcome them to our Climate Neutral Now initiative, hoping that others will follow their example.”

Comments

“with the modular housebuilder offsetting its emissions through “carbon credits” for One Carbon World, which supports reforestation projects across the world. ”

So really it’s just smoke and mirrors and some accounting – and shifting the problem elsewhere whilst the industry is STILL cutting down trees.

Tom, 15 August 2020