Carbon Report

Transforming Construction for a Low Carbon Future

The National Federation of Builders’ (NFB) Major Contractors Group (MCG) is arming the construction industry with practical tools for main contractors to start or accelerate their journey towards achieving net zero carbon with a new decarbonisation handbook.

Transforming Construction: Delivering a Low Carbon Future’ contains practical actions that main contractors can adopt and implement in their own businesses. 

Designed to help the industry collaborate on delivering the UK’s net zero ambitions the handbook presents staged actions and measures for contractors to adopt and implement to work towards the ultimate goal of net zero while being affordable and fitting with each business’ vision. The report covers multiple areas where changes can be made to help decarbonise including:

  • Developing teams to lead change
  • Reducing the carbon footprint of staff and corporate
  • Recording, accounting and reducing emissions associated with construction projects
  • Reducing embodied carbon
  • Reducing carbon emissions through building performance
  • Reducing carbon through procurement

Watch the introduction video

Climate Change is the major issue of our time. No individual or organisation is immune to the challenges it presents and everyone has a role to play in combating it. Construction, however, has a greater role than most. The industry represents 10% of UK carbon emissions and directly influences 47% of all national emissions.

This puts the industry in a position of great responsibility and influence. The Major Contractors Group is driving forward an open and frank discussion about deliverable solutions the sector can provide and how the Government can help reduce these barriers via this report.

Given the sheer magnitude of what is required to meet the target of net zero emissions of global warming gases by 2050, it will be impossible to succeed by continuing to operate in the same way. A step-change is required and it is those companies that are willing to commit to transforming their businesses within a generation who will be in a position to build their prosperity in a new landscape full of new markets and new approaches. Main contractors are the gatekeepers to a low-carbon future. It is main contractors who can drive change in partnership with their supply chains and their forward-thinking clients.

The transformation required in the construction industry is multi-faceted and it is critical that Industry and Government take a joined-up approach to bring together developments in skills, procurement, design, products and materials, transport and more. This report is a call to arms. It represents the start of a transformation in the construction industry in which main contractors will play a critical role, alongside a Government willing to support the industry through regulation, guidance and funding. Massive carbon reduction will not just happen; it requires great commitment, vision and determination – and the time to start is now.

To discuss contributing to the MCG’s work in this area please contact Policy and Resources at the NFB. Call: 0345 578 160 or email:

Get in touch

Want to learn more about NFB membership and how we can support your business?


National Federation of Builders
Elizabeth House
8A Princess Street
WA16 6DD