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Carbon roadmap: first steps

On 9 December, the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) will formally launch its Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap to the industry. Assembling the Roadmap has been a 12-month process, involving multiple individuals and organisations.

UKGBC published the four documents that currently make up the Roadmap on 10 November. There’s an overview report, a technical report which explains how calculations have been done, a summary for policy makers and then a document setting out action plans for 14 different industry stakeholders.

Infrastructure clients, owners and designers are among those 14 stakeholders. Here’s what the Roadmap says infrastructure owners should do immediately:

1 Commission studies on how to best reduce operational carbon. For highways this should factor in emissions produced by road users, not just maintenance and repair.

2 Align operational investment plans with the national net zero obligation, including plans to invest in decarbonisation measures.

3 Include carbon reduction targets and reporting requirements in project briefs. UKGBC suggests using PAS 2080 Carbon management in Infrastructure as a reference for this.

4 Develop net zero strategies for maintenance, refurbishment and minor upgrades, including big-ticket actions to reduce embodied and operational carbon.

5 Share carbon reduction data openly via the Built Environment Carbon Database – this online hub is under development and aims to be the main source of carbon estimating and benchmarking for UK construction.

The Roadmap showcases the huge commitment from many big private sector players, alongside government departments and public institutions. Among the companies on the Infrastructure Task Group are BAM Nuttall, Buro Happold, Arcadis, Skanska UK and Tarmac.

The UKGBC is not alone in its quest to produce a Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap. The WorldGBC has convened ten European green building councils to produce decarbonisation roadmaps through a project funded by the Laudes Foundation and the Ikea Foundation. The other nine countries are Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain.

Thermal Road Repairs is a green technology company which supplies systems to improve the quality, cost and time efficiency of road repairs and paving – at a far lower environmental cost than traditional methods. We invest significantly in R&D, to create new technologies and to continuously improve our existing ones.

High output. Low emission. Permanent solution.


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