MadiganGill Declares a Climate Emergency: Taking Action to Protect Planet and People for the Future

Date posted 19-08-2021

Just three months before COP26 is due to take place in Glasgow, a new IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report has been released, the first major review on climate science since 2013, deemed a “code red for humanity” by UN Secretary-General - António Guterres. This comes after the IPCC declared in 2018 that humanity only has 12 years left to solve the climate crisis before irreversible damage is caused.

The report finds that since 1970, global surface temperatures have risen faster than in any other 50-year period over the past 2,000 years (IPCC, 2021). While global temperatures continue to rise and nations across the world pledge to cut emissions within ever shorter timeframes, the UK was one of the first countries internationally to pass a non-binding motion in Parliament declaring a climate emergency, and has since pledged to cut carbon emissions to practically zero in thirty years.

In support of the government’s efforts and in view of this “code red” it is crucial for organisations to play their part in this endeavour. Corporations in the construction sector – one of the UK’s biggest polluters – need to lead the way on the most critical challenge facing humanity. This is why MadiganGill, spurred by the urgency of the crisis and aligned with the UK’s pledge to tackle the climate crisis, has taken action, joining with thousands of jurisdictions and hundreds of businesses, to declare a climate emergency!  

According to the International Energy Agency, the buildings and construction sector is responsible for 40% and buildings represent 28% of energy and process related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions globally, 11% of which resulted from manufacturing building materials and products such as steel, cement and glass.

Alarmingly the UN’s 2019 Global Status Report reveals that the sector is far from being on track with the level of climate action required to alleviate the crisis. Instead, final energy demand in buildings in 2018 rose 1 percent from 2017, and 7 percent from 2010. The UK specifically has seen a 45 percent increase in CO2 emissions emitted from the construction industry since 1990.

Rapid action is crucial, especially if the construction sector in the UK is to achieve the Industrial Strategy’s Clean Growth Grand Challenge commitment - a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment (as set by the government and the Construction Leadership Council in 2013). It is also crucial in order to achieve targets set in the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to no more than a 2°C (or in pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C) above pre-industrial levels as an international community (IPCC).

In declaring a climate emergency, we have committed to prioritising our environmental and social policies by spearheading a new corporate strategy that is ambitious enough to enable us to confront the scale of the challenge ahead. We will also take this opportunity to work more closely with the industry, our supply chain partners, our staff - on site and in head office - our stakeholders across local communities, and our philanthropic partners, to raise awareness of the need to do more to protect the earth’s natural ecosystems and preserve biodiversity. 

Our leadership will also assume ultimate responsibility for the company meeting our environmental targets, and will provide effective oversight of the rolling out of our refreshed CSR policies and procedures. 

MadiganGill’s management is passionate about facilitating a culture of continuous improvement, driving greater social value at its heart. Therefore, annual updates will be published in order to track our progress, to uphold transparency, and to provide opportunities for stakeholders to scrutinise our programmes and hold us to our promises.

Overall by declaring a climate emergency, MadiganGill seeks to respond to the urgency of the climate crisis to tackle “code red” and we hope to inspire others in the industry and beyond to take action. Together we can be part of the solution to the problems confronting businesses and communities alike.


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