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Industry calls for action on the just transition from Scottish Government

February 8, 2024

Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST) in collaboration with the Construction Leadership Forum (CLF)'s Net Zero, Digital and Data Working Groups, has published a report exploring the industry’s response to the Scottish Government's Just Transition Discussion Paper for the Built Environment and Construction. The research revealed that industry is looking to Scottish Government for clear direction and action on the just transition.

This research has been undertaken to support the outcomes of the CLF’s Construction Accord - a commitment between industry and the public sector to create a thriving and high-performing construction sector in Scotland.

'Navigating Sustainable Transitions: A Stakeholder Perspective' gathers and analyses feedback from across the construction sector on the Discussion Paper. The aim of undertaking this research is to provide industry recommendations to the Scottish Government to inform its final Just Transition Plan for the sector.

By engaging a wide range of stakeholders through online surveys, in-person and online workshops, and 1:1 interviews, BE-ST were able to gather insights from across Scotland on stakeholders’ perspectives on the Discussion Paper. The report captures the overarching, consistent messages that emerged from these engagements to ensure that the final Plan accurately reflects the industry’s needs and expectations.

Based on the analysis of stakeholder feedback and key findings, the research found that there is a desire for urgent action, unanimous support to include the decarbonisation of heat within the final Plan, and consistent calls for increased support for SMEs.

The report makes several strategic recommendations to inform future policies and initiatives such as leveraging procurement in the transition, building both a skilled workforce and an innovative, internationally competitive industry, delivering sustainable standards, and maximising the manufacturing base in Scotland.

Combined, these findings and recommendations highlight the need for swift and coordinated action alongside strong government leadership, implementing localised strategies that boost economies, finding a balance between future and traditional skills, collecting comprehensive data to enable effective decision-making, and establishing clear and adaptive standards.

To find out more about the report, visit here.

Stephen Good, CEO of BE-ST and Co-Chair of CLF’s Net Zero Working Group:

"Scottish Government commissioned this research with the goal of gathering actionable insights from industry to equip them with what they need to enable a just transition for Scotland's built environment and construction sector. The need for more sustainable practices is clear, and the insights we've been able to uncover through this research pave the way for policymakers, industry leaders, and stakeholders alike to create a just transition for Scotland."

Lynsey Brydson, Head of Digital at BE-ST said:

"Undertaking this research has been a collaborative effort between the CLF, BE-ST and Scottish Government. This approach has allowed us to tap into a wide network and gather diverse perspectives of stakeholders across the sector and Scotland. We hope that industry’s recommendations are not seen as a set of guidelines but rather a collective call to action. The sector is ready for change, and this report provides a foundation for a just transition that is inclusive, sustainable, and responsive to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for Scotland."

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