With the threat of missing critical environmental targets a very real danger in the post COVID-19 economy, the Time for Timber campaign is today (21 September) launching a new drive that directly targets the financial and insurance sectors – one of the biggest stumbling blocks in the path of sustainable development.
With ambitious targets set for the UK to reach net zero by 2050, combined with an increasingly urbanised population, there is an urgent need to change how we build high density and single-family housing. The obvious solution is using renewable, sustainable and environmentally positive materials such as timber but, historically, the insurance industry has been unwilling to support such initiatives.
Misconceptions around timber’s suitability as a major project construction material have meant that this versatile solution is considered a risk by many insurers and finance houses. This basic misunderstanding of the facts could be jeopardising the future of the economy and the environment.
Bringing together leading voices from around the construction industry, the Time for Timber campaign has been founded with the express intention of challenging these misconceptions within the financial and insurance sectors. The campaign launches today with a major advertising campaign at Bank underground station, in the heart of London’s financial district.
The bold move will see the hard-hitting campaign message dominating the advertising space within the station, in a bid to kick-start engagement with this important issue. A programme of webinars with financial sector media partners and a new whitepaper will follow, to begin strengthening the dialogue between the timber construction industry, insurers and investors.
Underpinning the communication campaign is a groundswell of support that is building throughout the industry, which is showcased in a new Time for Timber documentary. The film features compelling interviews with figures such as: British Green Party economist, Molly Scott Cato; architect and Chair of the Good Homes Alliance, Lynne Sullivan; Technical and Innovation Director at Barratt Homes, Oliver Novakovic and Chief Executive of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association, Simon Howard – among several other prominent names.
Andrew Orriss from the Time for Timber campaign commented:
“We are at a crossroads in the UK and on a global basis: the world has woken up to the detrimental impact that we are having on the planet and recognises that it is time to act. Do we really want to look back at 2020 and see it as the year we lost the gamble on Net Zero 2050?
“There will be no second chances, that is why we – the construction industry – owe it to future generations to challenge these misconceptions and demonstrate to the financial and insurance industries that timber is a viable and sustainable long-term solution to the country’s environmental and housing crises.
“Now is the time for timber. Now is the time to invest in building in timber; for the prosperity of the country, for employment, for the economy and – ultimately – for safeguarding the environment, today and tomorrow.”