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Collaboration is for life, not just for Cannes

The construction industry needs to capitalise on the collaborative atmosphere created by this year’s MIPIM in order to meet the key challenges it faces, according to Andrew Carpenter, chief executive of Constructing Excellence Midlands.

Speaking in the wake of this year’s event – which was attended by more than 20,000 delegates from around the world – Carpenter says that while a collaborative spirit is alive and well in Cannes, it risks being wasted if not capitalised on at home.

“MIPIM has always been an ideal opportunity to meet the movers and shakers,” said Carpenter. “You can speak with the whole supply chain in one fell swoop, as well as some of the major policy creators and decision makers.

“The event is the nucleus of the collaborative culture that we believe the construction industry needs to ensure it moves forward at the required pace. However, it is how that is followed up that will make the key difference when it comes to creating a truly integrated supply chain.

“It’s our industry’s version of ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’. It’s all well and good doing and saying the right things at MIPIM, but if that collaborative approach gets left at passport control on the way back into the UK, it’s just lip service and not something that is going to drive us forward.”

Carpenter – who is also chief executive of the Structural Timber Association – hosted a breakfast event during MIPIM, which discussed the use of timber as part of the government’s push for net zero. He believes this is a key example of where collaboration is needed in order for the ambitious targets to be met.

“With an eye on 2050 as the target for decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy, it is clear that this is not going to be anywhere near feasible for the construction industry if we aren’t working in lockstep.

“We as an industry are one of the biggest polluters on the planet, and we are at a crossroads in terms of how we tackle that.

“This is a key conversation that Constructing Excellence is having across its regions. We recently refined our theme groups – at which we discuss and define industry challenges – to create a dedicated workstream that focuses on strategic and collaborative research into how the climate crisis can be addressed. Conversations like this are a vital catalyst for continuous, long-term industry improvement, which is what Constructing Excellence is all about.

“We truly feel that the construction industry is at a critical juncture, and it’s our responsibility to make sure that we move forward together in the right direction.”

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