Simon Harris, CEO of Avrenim has commented on the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget.
“With today’s Autumn statement, there has to be clear consideration of the UK’s aspiration to be seen as the world leader in green technology. There are growing concerns about the UK’s capacity to retain its perceived aspirational position in the global race toward achieving net zero, other nations are seriously investing in a national green industrial strategy, actively capitalising on the prospects emerging from widespread industrial decarbonisation.
“There’s no denying that the UK lags behind in incentivising the adoption and acceleration of green technology. Increased strategic investment in infrastructure may translate to heightened demand for facility management services, however, more needs to be done to encourage the adoption of eco-friendly solutions to solve more complex problems. If we look across the water to the Biden administration who introduced a $369bn investment plan in green technology last year, this demonstrates proper commitment. Where is that level of commitment within our UK government net zero roadmap?
“The budget is a pivotal factor in shaping the industry in the run-up to an expected general election. From decarbonising the NHS estate and investing in renewable energy sources to fuel our hospitals and trusts, to raising the minimum wage to over £11, these are positive changes on the whole for many – and while I absolutely welcome more investment in making large facilities more eco-friendly – for the facilities management sector in general, the next 6-12 months could be crucial as its trajectory may change.
“With the Net Zero agenda taking precedence, the implementation of effective measures to promote greener growth will be essential to ensuring the UK doesn’t fall behind other countries when it comes to incentivising investment that is good for our cities, society, the environment as well as our economy and we need to put a plan in place to ensure we don’t wander into low growth and lost opportunities.
“Research shows that not only would the right strategy with the right backing deliver on the net zero ambitions, but it could also contribute some £74bn into the UK economy and given our current economic outlook, that would be a very welcome boost. That said, I welcome the £960m worth of investment into growing the green sector and the £4bn worth of investment over the next 5 years into more strategic investment into manufacturing with a net zero focus.