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Applications for Round 15 of the Quarterly Co2nstruct Zero Business Champion programme are now open.

Please push this free opportunity out across your networks and encourage potential Business Champions (BC) to apply. Since the CZ 6th quarterly framework publication, there has been a keen interest across the industry to join the programme, more information on the Co2nstructZero programme can be found on this link here.

CLICK HERE for the application form, and HERE for edition one of the CZ Business Champion Getting to know you Q&A, this will be a future addition to this commission, to encourage uptake. This showcases the value of joining the programme!

Please feel free to work with your identified member/business to complete the attached application form and ensure that it is complete and submitted to by COP on the 2nd October. Applications are welcome from across the construction industry and please strongly encourage SMEs to apply.

Please note:

The questions within the application form relating to the Co2nstructZero Nine priorities, answers should demonstrate which of the nine priorities the company is achieving or working towards. It’s important to evidence and explain what the business is achieving and how they expect to reach any future sustainability goals, relating to the priorities of the programme.

Section one includes a set of questions for the Business Leader and Section two is a set of questions for the Emerging Leader (a young professional employee between 20-35 years old)

We are really looking forward to receiving applications and reading more about the fantastic work happening across the sector. We aim to get application outcomes announced in November once the CZ Programme board and CZ Programme Leads have made their assessments.

Round 16 of the programme will then open for applications in December.

If you have any questions please contact Stuart Young MCIPR


The challenge

In the United Kingdom, an estimated 4.5 million tonnes of wood waste is generated each year. Much of this comes from the construction and demolition sector. The vast majority of this timber is processed by the high-volume wood recycling industry into biomass for power stations, composite sheets like MDF, animal bedding, and landscape surfaces, but some still can find its way to landfill. Although it’s great to see how far recycling has come in recent decades, downcycling by chipping means that the timber cannot be reused in its original form. We provide an alternative that pushes this valuable material up the waste hierarchy and creates social value in local communities.

Our solution

The Community Wood Recycling network of wood recycling social enterprises works to ensure as much timber as possible is reused. We sort the wood we collect to find the best outcome. Longer lengths and sheet material are sold as affordable material for DIY in our network of wood stores. Shorter pieces are used to make handmade reclaimed timber furniture. In some areas we supply firewood for the local community. Anything that can’t be reused is recycled by chipping.

All this labour-intensive activity creates jobs, training and volunteering opportunities for people who are excluded from the workforce or facing social isolation.

How Does Community Wood Recycling Work?

· Waste wood is collected in 3.5 tonne caged trucks, reducing the CO2 and particulate in comparison with the conventional alternative of a skip lorry. We hand load our vehicles, giving our clients better value for money and transporting the waste more efficiently.

· The wood is carefully sorted for reuse where possible

· We take all non-hazardous wood including pallets

· We are correctly licensed, insured and supply Waste Transfer Notes. We have trained staff with CSCS cards and the correct PPE.

· We provide environmental reports and certificates of recycling

· Our reports can be used for Considerate Contractors and BREEAM

Richard Mehmed, Community Wood Recycling Managing Director, reflects on the impact of the network:

“By working collaboratively with the country’s top builders over the last 20 years, our nationwide network has saved more than 230,000 tonnes of waste wood to be sorted for potential reuse. This has created an estimated CO2 saving of 116,000. Over 6,000 people have passed through our network’s training and volunteering programme.

“When I see beautiful handmade products made from timber that would otherwise have been sent to be chipped, and hear the pride our trainees take in becoming valued members of our teams with a hopeful future ahead of them, I am inspired by the power of community reuse.”

NatWest, a Co2nstruct Zero Business Partner, has partnered with The Supply Chain Sustainability School to provide a free retrofit learning platform for the construction industry. The aim of the platform is to build capability and capacity to accelerate retrofitting of UK buildings to make them more energy efficient.

The sustainability platform will offer free training to 80,000 registered users, covering retrofit as well as 17 key sustainability topics including energy & carbon, waste & circular economy and more. This is an incredible achievement for NatWest. As I’m sure you will agree, retrofit plays a critical role in achieving Net Zero.

There will be a Launch Event which you can register for here by signing up to a free account on the Supply Chain Sustainability School. Please do share this opportunity across your business areas, Laura Capper from NatWest will join us at the October Business Champion and Partner forum, to discuss the partnership and webinar event in more detail.

For more information, please see the link below:

James Close, Head of Climate Change at NatWest Group commented: “As one of the largest lenders in the UK, we have a key role to play in supporting consumers and businesses in transitioning to more energy efficient homes and buildings that are warmer, cheaper to heat, and generate lower emissions. Decarbonising properties will require retrofitting existing buildings to increase their energy efficiency, constructing new energy efficient buildings and decarbonisation of electricity and heating supply. We want to work at scale to increase demand. But we need the skills and companies to carry out the work and we also want to make it as easy for our customers to retrofit as possible. Our collaboration with the Supply Chain Sustainability School will help cultivate a more mature retrofit supply chain, share knowledge and build the skills needed to retrofit homes and buildings across the UK.”

CE Midlands will be at UKCW in Birmingham this October, please drop in and see us at our stand.

The first set of speakers and details on seminar hubs have been announced for this year’s UK Construction Week Birmingham, which makes a welcome return to the NEC from October 3-5, following a hugely successful London show in May.

High-profile names will bring some of the industry’s most eminent leaders together to challenge, discuss and address the core issues affecting the built environment sector. Topics such as transforming infrastructure performance, sustainability, well being and building health and technology and the skills gap, are on the wide-ranging programme.

Confirmed Main Stage speakers include:

● Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands Combined Authority

● Anita Malster, CEO, Blossom Mental Health

● Becky Valentine, Co-owner, Lead – Sustainability, Wellbeing & Building Health

● Chithra Marsh, National Chair of Women in Property

● Dame Judith Hackitt DBE, FREng, Chair, Industry Safety Steering Group

● Jennifer Winyard, Senior Strategic Land Manager, Barratt Developments plc

● Joanne Williams MSc, MRICS, Historic Building Surveyor – Historic Building Climate

● Change Adaptation

● Jon Loveday, Director of Infrastructure, Enterprise and Growth, Infrastructure Projects Authority

● Paul Kitson, Strategic Director of Place, Prosperity and Sustainability, Birmingham City Council

Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, commented: “This year’s fantastic line-up of speakers really sets the stage for what the show has in store for in 2023. The industry is rapidly and ever-changing and UKCW strives to not only inform our visitors but educate them too. We have a strong and innovative seminar and speakers programme this year and we are proud of the diverse subjects on the agenda.”

With nine hubs located across nine show sections, UKCW Birmingham is a unique opportunity to hear from industry leaders, learn about the new wave of building methods, safety regulations, sustainability, digitalisation, mental health, EDI and more.

Sustainability Hub – The heart of Timber Expo. The hub programme will tackle the issues, layout strategies and case studies to help the sector reach its net zero targets. Create a ‘Roadmap to Net Zero’ and ensure your business knows how to move forward.

Infrastructure Hub – Sponsored by Conquip Engineering Group, explore the latest innovation and industry leadership covering a wide range of topics such as roads, rail, airports, tunnels, bridge and systems for water supply and sewage treatment.


Digital Construction Hub – Delve into key topics surrounding the digitalisation of the construction sector, in partnership with Build In Digital. Conversations will look into how A.I. will transform construction, the metaverse, robotics, building safety, cyber security and the golden thread.


CPD Hub – Professionals with all levels of experience can improve their knowledge and get to grips with best practice and latest regulations, which includes over 150 CPD hours across the three days.


Culture Change Hub – In partnership with NFB and supported by Building People, this popular hub will focus on improving employee wellbeing, better inclusivity within the built environment and tackling work-life balance, mental health & diversity.

To register for UKCW Birmingham for free, go to UKCW Birmingham Registrations

To view the full seminar programme and book your places at the seminars, visit UKCW seminar programme

Follow us on social media @uk_cw #UKCW2023

As usual in September, we embark on our new Season of activities to influence construction’s change agenda. This time, of course, we are facing unprecedented challenges: The ongoing war in Ukraine, the almost daily evidence of impending climate disaster, ecocide, global supply chain disruption, flatlining productivity, growing inequalities, and other difficulties.

But there’s hope too, buoyed by the confidence we have in our ingenuity as human beings, in our resilience, in our creativity in overcoming challenges, coupled now with the immense opportunities for technological and organisational transformations offered by AI and other emerging technologies. And fresh ways of organising and working too.

Given the sometimes seemingly insurmountable problems we face, Martyn Jones argues that sustaining hope has become more important than ever. Why so? Well, hope allows us to approach problems with a mindset and a set of strategies to enable success, thereby increasing the chances that we will accomplish our challenging goals.

Hope is not a brand-new concept in psychology. In 1991, the eminent positive psychologist Charles R. Snyder and his colleagues came up with ‘Hope Theory.’ They argued that hope consists of agency and pathways.

People who have hope have the will and determination (the agency) that goals will be achieved, coupled with a set of strategies at their disposal (the means) to reach their goals. Put simply, hope involves the will to get to where you want to be, and the ways to get there. This has always been right at the heart of Constructing Excellence thinking. Psychologist Shane Lopez, who has studied hope extensively, defines it as “the belief that the future will be better than the present, coupled with the belief that you have the power to make it so.” It is this combination of optimism and personal agency that differentiates hope from bravado or wishful

thinking. When we buy a lottery ticket, we are engaged in wishful thinking. When we draw up the business case and strategies for a business or a construction project we are in the realm of hope.

And that’s where Constructing Excellence can play a key role. Seeing hope as a strong force for change and helping us to work collaboratively to shape a better, positive, plausible, greener, more productive, healthier, more equitable future.

We can support the will of clients – and leaders from all parts of the supply chain – to get to where the built environment and our planet needs to be but also helping them to shape – and more importantly – deploy the means by which we can confidently get there, meeting the challenges along the way and making the most of the opportunities.

We shouldn’t see hope as just a feel-good emotion but rather as a dynamic, cognitive, and motivational approach. Within this concept of hope, emotions follow cognitions or thoughts, not the other way round, with hope leading to learning goals, which can drive change and improvement.

We, in Constructing Excellence, have a long history of encouraging our members to set learning goals, to be actively engaged in learning, constantly planning strategies to meet their goals, and monitoring their progress to stay on track.

But this role is now more important than ever as we help each other to imagine a more credible future that is better than the present. By identifying the pathways to that future (drawing on the technologies and new ways of working associated with the new techno-economic paradigm), we will cultivate hope that is both effective and resilient.

So instead of fixating on a dismal future, we should work together to consciously imagine plausible alternative prospects that stimulate energy and motivation instead of dread and anxiety. Constructing Excellence has the means to package and dispense hope, like a bestselling pill, but more powerful than any antidepressant on the market!

But our ambition need not stop there. Alongside this, our Theme Groups: Future Skills, Climate Crisis, SMART Construction and Building Safety, along with our partner LeadersMeets, can provide the collective thinking and means to harness the new technologies, and help implement smarter, greener, and safer solutions.

I hope and trust you had a pleasant summer and were able to enjoy a few weeks of annual leave. Like the rest of the industry, we kick back into action this week and have a busy autumn programme ahead of us. Our inaugural Golf Day next week is full and we launch our 2024 Awards in Birmingham on 26th September 2023. If you are interested in attending this networking launch event, please email

The major event of the autumn programme is of course our construction summit. We have a stella line-up of speakers including the construction minister and Dame Judith Hackitt, so we are expecting an audience of 150+. We have a limit of 200 so if you wish to attend and don’t want to be disappointed please book your place now by visiting You may wish to consider exhibiting at the summit and details of how you may do this are also featured in the link.

In July the board had an Away Day to plan our strategy for the coming eighteen months and I’m delighted to say that one possible new venture is the adoption of an Adopt a School campaign similar to that carried out by CESW five years ago. The idea will be to promote construction as a first-class career choice and improve our image at the same time. We are currently seeking sponsors to get this off the ground so if you or your company has a strong ESG policy and you’d like to be part of it please contact me at Andrew.carpenter@cemidlands.or and I can offer more detailed information.

For now I wish you well, thank you for your continued support of CE Midlands and hope to see you on 18th October at our construction summit which will be the undoubted biggest event of the 2023 construction calendar.

Industry Partners

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