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Consumers demand low-carbon housing

A YouGov poll shows that the majority of residents believe local authorities should deny building requests for buildings built with a high-carbon footprint.

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Citizens expect greater transparency when it comes to building materials
Citizens expect greater transparency when it comes to building materials

Seven in 10 UK residents share the view that local authorities should deny building requests for buildings constructed with higher carbon footprints, according to new research.

 

The YouGov poll of consumers in the UK, US and Germany also reveals three quarters of UK consumers believe that all companies – from product manufacturers to property developers – should be forced to share data on operational carbon emissions to allow them to make better purchasing decisions.

 

Carbon disclosure

 

In the UK, 71 per cent believe carbon disclosure should be mandatory but of those who already look for this, two thirds (68 per cent) are not satisfied with the information available and four-fifths of all UK respondents (82 per cent) say they do not feel well-informed about building materials with a low carbon footprint. This compares with three quarters of Germans (76 per cent) and two thirds of US residents (64 per cent).

 

When it comes to denying building requests for buildings constructed with higher carbon footprints, the UK recorded a ‘significantly’ stronger outlook than the Germans (48 per cent) and Americans (41 per cent) polled.

 

“The results of this poll clearly demonstrate that in Britain, Germany and the US people want to know more about the materials that go into their buildings, specifically the carbon content, but are being let down. Further, all expect local planning authorities to mirror their approach and block the construction of buildings with higher carbon footprints,” Lord (Greg) Barker, executive chairman of En+ Group, which commissioned the research.

 

“Property developers across the world need to accept that it is not only their corporate responsibility, but business critical, to respond to growing demand from environmentally-conscious consumers faced with the stark reality of climate change.”

 

The research polled consumers in the UK, US and Germany and investigated attitudes to carbon disclosure in the manufacturing of household products and cars as well as materials used in buildings.

“The results of this poll clearly demonstrate that in Britain, Germany and the US people want to know more about the materials that go into their buildings, specifically the carbon content”

While UK consumers showed more appetite for information on carbon across all categories and a greater willingness to pay more for all lower-carbon products, there was strong support for disclosure across all three countries, notes En+.

 

En+ said it established the research to understand consumer attitudes as part of its campaign to increase transparency of the carbon content of aluminium. Lightweight and endlessly recyclable, aluminium is vital material for energy-efficient cars, as an alternative to plastics in packaging, and in the design and construction of sustainable buildings.

 

While the aluminium industry contributes four per cent of the world’s carbon emissions, low-carbon aluminium has a carbon footprint that is some 20 times smaller than other aluminium produced, according to En+.

 

En+ is urging the entire aluminium value-chain to join the transition to a low-carbon economy and is calling on the London Metals Exchange to set the standard by creating a low-carbon aluminium asset class.

 

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