BEYOND THE ROADMAP: Adfærd og mobilisering

Reduction Roadmap har vist os, at der i byggebranchen er en stor sult på både bevægelse og forandring, og denne mobilisering skal vi på én gang hylde og samtidig udfordre til at skabe konkrete resultater og ændringer i branchen.

Adfærd og mobilisering er et af undertemaerne på Building Green København den 30.-31. oktober, hvor hovedtemaet er BEYOND THE ROADMAP. Gennem interviews med  ArteliaCEBRA og EFFEKT, parterne bag Reduction Roadmap får du hen over sommeren får du præsenteret temaet og de fire undertemaer klimavidenskab & lovgivning, regenerativ arkitektur og byggeri på planetens præmisser, økonomi & investeringer og adfærd & mobilisering.

I denne artikel kan du læse et interview på engelsk om adfærd og mobilisering med Dani Hill-Hansen, architect, sustainable design engineer, EFFEKT, og Kasper Reimer, head of innovation, EFFEKT.

Reduction Roadmap has shown us that there is a great desire for movement and change in the construction industry. How can we turn this hunger into action and results?

The Reduction Roadmap has showed us, and has been confirmed by the industry mobilization, that there are more people working for meaningful change, then those working against it. With Reduction Roadmap 1.0 we were able to show a clear reduction target. But defining these targets alone was not enough, which is why we started the campaign in October 2023. Many people were talking about the Reduction Roadmap targets, but very few organisations were formally committing to or staying within the reduction curve. We know that most people want to do good, heal the planet and redefine the industries’ purpose and that is what the Reduction Roadmap aims to do.

The Reduction Roadmap has also shown us is that defining a clear call-to-action is essential to rallying people around a common purpose. We asked people to support a call-to-action directed at the political powers that be: align the building legislation with climate science and the Paris Agreement. This call-to-action came without a huge responsibility. It came without a need for our companies to commit to following the reduction target, but it was a shared call for common-sense legislation.

Regardless of the political outcome, the Reduction Roadmap targets are omnipresent within the industry. We know where we need to go, and we believe together it is possible to get there, but we must continue to push. We must continue to challenge business-as-usual. The Reduction Roadmap has always been about fulfilling the Paris Agreement, and we are not ready to give up on that goal yet. Moving forward, our approach will have to be different because the science is rapidly changing.

How can the construction industry contribute to creating the behavioral changes needed to ensure that future societies live within planetary boundaries?

What we witnessed during the Reduction Roadmap mobilization is that people came together as individuals to meet the call-to-action. For example, in several cases employees in very large companies came together to collect signatures to create an internal mandate for their management to commit to the Reduction Roadmap mobilization. In a normal setting, these employees might feel disempowered in a large corporation feeling like there isn’t much they can do to make change within their position. However, with Reduction Roadmap call-to-action, they were able to rally around the common goal and push internally from the bottom-up against their management, with significant leverage. A group of 100 consulting engineers is much stronger than a CEO who doesn’t believe change is needed. So, behaviours can change through social tipping points, enabled by common goals.

If the common goal for our industry is to live within the planetary boundaries, we need to make significant changes in our practice, in the goals set for projects, and we need to have meaningful discussion about what types of projects should be prioritized in the future. We are in a world of overshoot, meaning that all future actions must mitigate climate impact, while regenerating natural systems. This is going to take the collective action, to shape behaviour and cement new practices for the future.

“Tradition” sits at the end of the table in many Danish construction projects. How can we challenge this and ensure that we ask the right questions at the right times in the construction process?

We are currently living in unprecedented times. Climate change is here, and it is now. There is no longer room for business-as-usual or following traditions for the sake of tradition… again this is really the departure point for the Reduction Roadmap. Tradition hasn’t really landed us in a safe space. In contrast to traditional, relative approaches for setting sustainability targets, the Reduction Roadmap takes a top-down perspective and asks, ‘what are the limits of the planet’? We must find a way to work within planetary limits and this means setting the right project goals and organizational goals from the very beginning of building processes.

We know where we are today, and we know where we need to go to reach a 96% reduction in the coming three to seven years. We need to reject business-as-usual and normative practice as the starting line for projects and business pursuits. We must move away from the traditional idea that our sole purpose is to make money and grow the economy. Rather, we need to redefine the purpose of our industry, so that we can be a real part of the solution. We must set absolute targets for climate change, biodiversity, and transparently measure social impact as the baseline for future work, if we want to have a future on this planet. Everything is at stake. We need to start acting like it.

What have you learned about mobilization in connection with the work on the Reduction Roadmap?

To say we went into the mobilization process a bit naïve is an understatement. We had no idea how long it would take, how much energy would go into it, and honestly how many organisations would join the call-to-action. We are humbled by the support we have received. We have learned so many things over the last 10 months as a core team, it’s almost impossible to unpack everything – but we aim to highlight the core findings in our presentation of “Branded Activism” during Building Green Copenhagen in October.

We have created a strategic network around the project that has helped us understand both political infrastructure and the lobbying powers that dictate legislative decisions. We have learned that big changes come from cross-sectoral partnership between academics, industry and political figures.

If we’re to name one thing here, what we come back to time and time again with the Reduction Roadmap is that people cannot act on something, or react to new information, if they don’t understand it. With the Reduction Roadmap we have used “Branded activism” to take technical information and abstract data and bring it to the industry with a very clear and distinct narrative that anyone can understand. In this process, we have used strategic communication to taken minority insights, for example data from the IPCC report, and turned it into majority action – a clear call to action for the industry to align with the Paris Agreement. This process of translation has empowered industry actors across the supply-chain to mandate change from within organizations of their leadership and collectively send a clear message to politicians. Although the politicians have failed to align with the Paris Agreement, we have many new tools and knowledge to be more equipped for the next big challenge.

In addition, we think activism for the climate movement is important and can take many forms. The Reduction Roadmap is a form of “Branded Activism” – rather than protesting on the street, we are communicating and mobilizing around important climate knowledge and data. We’re enabling a shift in people’s behaviour through the communication of knowledge and clear call-to-action. We are doing it in a way that is accessible for individuals and organisations, which isn’t without making compromises along the way and making many mistakes. The Reduction Roadmap has a very specific scope and is one part of a bigger, necessary movement. We hope people are inspired by the work and create similar movements, using their own experience and knowledge in new contexts. There is a lot of work to be done and we hope Building Green Copenhagen 2024 is an opportunity to talk about that work and collective define the next big industry wide mobilization.

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