Why Do We Need a Community of Practice?
Energy transition and Net Zero are currently high priority for governments and businesses across the world. This means that there’s trillions of dollars of funding and a multitude of projects, initiatives and technologies needing construction.
However, nobody is really talking about how to deliver these projects. We need to be considering how to best deliver large projects and how to overcome the challenges we’ve seen from previous endeavours in this area. This will take a shift in mindset and behaviours within the industry.
The big question:
How do we work together to help the industry to benefit everyone, to be able to cope with this real environmental, but also economical, challenge?
In this initial meeting of the Energy Transition Community of Practice, the group used a Miro board to explore the opportunities, challenges and areas for change within energy transition.
Read on to find out more about the group’s thoughts in relation to the questions posed and the outcomes from the discussion.
Where Do We See the Greatest Opportunities for Energy Transition?
- To change the way projects are delivered for good.
- Efficiency, productivity and cost competitiveness driven by decarbonisation.
- Upskilling project and construction management and trade skills for energy transition projects.
- Cross construction industry alignment in execution methods, technology and tools.
- Collaboration with other parties who are working on similar projects or in similar ways.
What Challenges Will Need to be Overcome for the Successful Delivery of Energy Transition at Scale?
- Finance/money- where will it come from?
- Energy transition projects will still need to be cost competitive.
- Waste management and circularity.
- Demand and supply cycle- the infrastructure for energy transition needs to be built in the first place.
- Full lifecycle analysis of emissions and sustainability (material, execution, operation).
- Shift in contracting models for energy transition projects (design, supply, install).
- Client/government leadership.
- How will energy transition look for different areas of the construction industry- will it be different for all?
- Embodied carbon in materials.
What Change is Needed for Successful Capital Project Delivery?
- Government support.
- Aligned objectives and commercial arrangements.
- Insurance: risk from companies against CC.
- Innovation and technology in construction execution.
- Embedding construction in design.
- True full construction industry dialogue and shared learning.
Government, big businesses and shareholders are creating the impression that Net Zero will be an expensive endeavour as it comes with a number of risks and has no guaranteed return. However, as an industry we are beginning to see projects and companies implementing Net Zero agendas and methods successfully and cost effectively. Demonstrating this enables all parties to gain a better understanding of how Net Zero can be achieved and is a great opportunity for shared learning.
One of the difficulties facing the industry currently, is the focus on cost and price rather than value. This will be a big area for a shift in mindset as ‘cost’ can drive behaviours that don’t consider the bigger picture. This begs the question, are we measuring success wrong? Should success be based on time and money as it is now, or should we be placing a greater emphasis on the ‘value’ a project brings?
There are some concerns about how energy transition will work in different areas of construction and what this will look like. However, while there are differences throughout the industry, there are also many similarities e.g., in insurance, investment, finance. By focusing on the similarities rather than differences, better cross-sector collaboration will be enabled and more opportunities to learn from each other will come about.
Next Steps for the Energy Transition Community of Practice
- Find some successfully delivered projects to share their learning.
- Identify overarching objectives for the Community of Practice.
- Consider other members of the construction industry who may wish to get involved.