Build Back Better: letter to Prime Minister calls for a sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery from coronavirus

1 June 2020

Today, alongside more than 200 prominent businesses, we have signed an open letter to the Prime Minister calling for a sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery from coronavirus.

The letter states, "With the UK facing major economic and social concerns including the risk of high unemployment and rising regional inequality, we believe that an ambitious low carbon growth and environmental improvement agenda can do a lot to address these concerns, as well as make the UK economy better prepared to deal with future shocks such as those related to climate change. We are therefore writing to ask that the economic recovery plans you are developing align with the UK’s wider goals and deliver a clean, just recovery, that creates quality employment and builds a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient UK economy for the future."

The list of signatories includes many businesses from the construction industry, expressing our collective willingness to offer support in tackling the present health crisis while simultaneously asking for recovery efforts that align with the UK's wider social, environmental and climate goals.

"The world's response to COVID-19 has shown that rapid and massive change in the face of threat is possible. Now is the time to fully embrace the threat posed by the climate emergency and make a concerted global effort to create a better future. The UK is in a great place to lead the way, given the right will. This letter proves the will of a significant portion of our industry, as well as wider business." - Phil Armitage, Director at Max Fordham

The letter also reaffirms the businesses' commitment to action on climate change and determination to create a cleaner, competitive and inclusive UK economy. "The current crisis, in moving us all away from business-as-usual, has already created shifts in how we operate, and we believe we must use the recovery to accelerate the transition to net zero. Efforts to rescue and repair the economy in response to the current crisis can and should be aligned with the UK's legislated target of net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.”

The signatories call on the Prime Minister to provide a clear vision for government recovery efforts, ensuring they:

  • Drive investment in low carbon innovation, infrastructure and industries, as well as improved resilience to future environmental risks
  • Focus support on sectors and activities that can best support sustainable growth, increased job creation and accelerate both the recovery and the decarbonisation of the economy
  • Include within financial support packages measures to ensure receiving businesses are well managed and their strategies are science based and aligned with national climate goals 

"The pandemic presents both the biggest barrier and the biggest opportunity in achieving our global sustainability targets. We must ensure that we take this opportunity to build a more resilient, socially-just and low carbon economy. This is our chance to reset expectations and norms." - Hero Bennett, Sustainability Leader at Max Fordham

 Click here for more information and to read the full press release from all signatories.