Miranda Dobson

Member Article

Missed sustainable opportunities uncovered by University of Hull

The University of Hull has discovered a critical break in support for the sustainable construction sector.

The University carried out an in-depth qualitative survey, and found many green entrepreneurs think the Government has not delivered a direct strategy for environmentally friendly building.

Construction businesses called for a clear plan for the transition over to greener building practices, and complained that the Government had been inconsistent with support and investment.

Environmentally conscious construction firms have come up against a series of obstacles, according to the University, who found that policies tended to favour large businesses over SMEs, and there was a considerable difference between planning laws in different local authority areas.

Progression in sustainable building has been scuppered as a result of these barriers, and with banks hesitating to invest in green projects because of concerns over risk, innovation has been stifled even further.

A skills shortage in the sector has also created problems for the transition to greener building practices, and a lack of expertise in green technologies has held businesses back.

Professor David Gibbs and Dr Kirstie O’Neill, who carried out the research across 50 businesses and policy makers, said they aim to remove hurdles that green entrepreneurs are coming up against.

However, despite a fall in output in green construction, environmentally conscious home buyers are supporting the industry by investing in ways to reduce energy consumption in their houses.

Dr O’Neill commented: “Much is made by the current government of its green credentials, but our research suggest that there is something of a gap between the rhetoric and the situation on the ground.”

Professor Gibbs added: “Our research indicates that the UK could miss out on a big opportunity if comprehensive measures are not put in place to support this innovative sector.”

Research released on Thursday is part of a wider project into green entrepreneurship at the University of Hull, and will be presented at the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s annual conference in Dublin this week.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Miranda Dobson .

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