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Getting to grips with PAS 2080

The clock is ticking for National Highways’ supply chain. By the end of 2025, they must all have PAS 2080 accreditation to prove that they’ve got a decent carbon management system in place.

The latest version of the standard is PAS 2080:2023 Carbon management in buildings and infrastructure. It sets out principles of how carbon emissions should be measured, recorded and reduced by asset owners or managers, designers, constructors and product or material suppliers.

A PAS - publicly available specification - is similar to a British Standard and is developed by the British Standards Institute (BSI). The difference is that it can be commissioned and paid for by other organisations and is produced more quickly than a British Standard would be by a technical advisory panel. Some of the PASs go on to become British Standards or ISOs.

The first version of PAS 2080 was published in 2016 and, at that time, only applied to infrastructure. The latest version was published in April 2023, with updates to include buildings and put more of an emphasis on addressing whole life carbon reduction earlier and more collaboratively.

National Highways gained PAS 2080 accreditation in December 2022. It wants its supply chain partners to have their own carbon management systems, accredited to PAS 2080, by the end of 2025. That could take 12 months or more to do, depending on the size and type of company and whether they already have any carbon management strategies in place.

The first step for a company would be to understand what’s involved and to carry out a gap analysis to work out what needs to be put in place. Next, it would need to develop an action plan for creating or updating its carbon management system.

The next step would be to implement the action plan, including communicating changes with staff and other stakeholders and carrying out any training in skills or digital tools that needs to be done. At the same time, the company would be collecting evidence needed for an audit.

A Stage 1 audit could take place next, to determine whether the company was ready for the final Stage 2 Certification Audit. Audits are then done annually, and carbon management systems will have to be updated when changes are made to PAS 2080.

National Highways is cutting small and micro companies a bit more slack. They must have carbon management systems that align with PAS 2080 in place and must be able to evidence that they have them.

National Highways will also be expecting its supply chain to sign up to Science Based Targets Initiatives (SBTi). This involves committing to emission reduction targets which are submitted to SBTi, with progress reported annually.

National Highways has used the SBTi standard to set its carbon reduction targets. And it has said that once it submits its own SBTi baseline, it expects at least 75% of its supply chain spend to be with companies who have set their own SBTi targets within five years.



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