Two new reports highlight the vital role project management will play in Government plans for a greener future.
Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener sets out how the UK will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to reach a target of net zero by 2050.
The report demonstrates the importance of projects and project skills in delivering the strategy; what it refers to as a Green Industrial Revolution'. Measures outlined in the report include:
- Quadrupling the UK's offshore wind capacity
- Retrofitting of homes and industry to make them more energy efficient
- Installing 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028
It goes on to state:
As well as specialists in these sectors, employers will also need workers with wider cross-cutting skills to deliver net zero, including digital and data skills, project management, communications and change management.
A key Government commitment laid out in the strategy is to reform the UK skills system so that training providers, employers and learners are incentivised and equipped to play their part in delivering the transition to net zero'. Measures that will be taken to achieve this include legislating for net zero-related skills to be considered in the development of new local skills improvement plans.
The separate Heat and Buildings Strategy aims to address emissions from the UK's 30 million buildings. In particular, it focuses on developing the markets and consumer choices required to achieve net zero heating; developing the use of hydrogen for heating; and improving the energy performance of existing buildings.
As with the net zero strategy document, the Heat and Buildings Strategy report also highlights the importance of project management skills in making these ambitions a reality, calling for the retraining among the current workforce and developing the next generation of skilled workers.
It goes on to state:
Decarbonising buildings can provide a major economic stimulus, creating new highly-skilled jobs, products, markets, and supply chains in the UK, fit for a Net Zero futureUpgrading our homes and workplaces could rapidly create new opportunities and support over 240,000 low carbon jobs by 2035 across the sector (from manufacture to installation and modelling to project management) as part of a green recovery, while also reducing energy bills and delivering better, greener, and healthier homes and workplaces.
Andrew Baldwin, head of public affairs at Association for Project Management (APM), recently said:
As the chartered membership organisation for the project profession, we have long called on the UK Government to ensure it gets delivery of its net zero measures right, not just the policy. We therefore welcome these newly published strategies and the further commitment they represent on the journey to Net Zero, in which the management of projects will play an increasingly important role. These strategies also highlight the importance of matching ambition with investment, however. Nowhere is this more important than project management skills.
Project experts are key enablers in the battle against the climate crisis by delivering changes that make a positive difference and by helping people and businesses understand the choices they must take to become more sustainable. While we welcome the measures laid out in these reports, it must be remembered that strategies do not deliver projects. People do. If the government is serious about creating a green industrial revolution, it must follow through on its plans to invest in skills and training that will enable the delivery of projects that create the necessary changes for businesses, communities and future generations.