The Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) has launched a new business plan in which it urges public and private sector organisations to focus on greater collaboration to help deliver a net-zero built environment.
The plan for 2023/24 appeals to all involved in new-build and refurbishment projects to increase efforts to decarbonise the public sector estate by adopting the Scottish government’s Net Zero Public Sector Buildings Standard developed and supported by SFT’s team of experts.
It also prioritises place-based projects and sets out a goal of unlocking greater private sector investment into EV charging infrastructure and heat networks.
Established by the Scottish government in 2008, the Scottish Futures Trust is an infrastructure centre of expertise that works in collaboration with partners across the private and public sectors.
SFT chief executive Peter Reekie said: “The infrastructure we need, how it is paid for, what materials are used to build it, and where it is built, all need to be considered with a focus of net-zero, place and inclusive economic growth.
“This isn’t just a challenge for the public sector, but the responsibility of everyone involved in planning, building, investing in, owning, and operating Scotland’s infrastructure.
“The disruption to the energy market that we witnessed in 2022 has created yet another incentive for transition to net-zero energy sources and investment in energy efficiency.
“So this year, we will be doubling down on our net-zero focus and progress towards a greener built environment.”
The new business plan outlines SFT’s key activities for the year ahead.
- Working with Transport Scotland, public bodies, and the private sector to accelerate the rollout of more EV charge points
- Working with local authorities and delivery partners to support the design, technical development, and delivery of the Learning Estate Investment Programme
- Supporting housing partners to develop new approaches for the delivery of affordable homes, focussing on the increased use of off-site construction
- Supporting the deployment of heat networks in Scotland via the Heat Networks Support Unit, input on regulation to implement the Heat Networks (Scotland) Act 2021, and the development of delivery models
- Supporting at least three strategic initiatives that strengthen places and contribute to local and national economic growth
Reekie added: “Inflationary pressures have decreased the capacity to pay for the investment we need to reach net-zero, and increased the cost of transition.
“So over the coming year, we’ll be prioritising to focus scarce resources where inclusive economic growth and net-zero outcomes can be maximised, additional investment leveraged, and public services made more sustainable.
“We’ll focus on proposals that have clear place-based outcomes, we will use our skills in funding and financing across infrastructure sectors to unlock investment, and will work with colleagues across the public and private sectors to improve the delivery of programmes and projects, including through the work of the Construction Accord.”
Image credit: ConceptCafe/Shutterstock
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