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Contractors, Anglian Water and consultants pledge to cut carbon

An initiative to reduce carbon in infrastructure construction has been signed by government ministers, Anglian Water and water industry consultants and contractors. The joint agreement, which could save as much as 24Mt of carbon and £1.46B a year by 2050, endorses the use of new technologies, construction techniques and low carbon materials to save on resources and cut down on emissions.

New techniques are expected to cut carbon consumption in infrastructure projectsNew techniques are expected to cut carbon consumption in infrastructure projects

The initiative was signed at the launch of the Infrastructure Carbon Review, which was published on November 25, 2013. Infrastructure and related industries account for around half of the UK’s current carbon emissions. The review, developed jointly by government and industry through the Infrastructure Cost Review and Green Construction Board sets out a series of actions for government, clients and suppliers that have the potential to reduce up to 24Mt of carbon from the building of UK infrastructure by 2050.

By endorsing the review, government and industry will work together to implement, monitor and review progress against these objectives. The Green Construction Board will host a cross-industry event in spring 2014, where clients and industry can set out the progress they have made against the pledge commitments.

Chris Newsome, director of asset management for Anglian Water and chair of Green Construction Board working group, said: “This review is about reducing carbon and reducing cost. At Anglian Water, we have gained real value from adopting lower carbon solutions and now business leaders across the infrastructure sector are endorsing the review and taking action to do the same.

“I’ve been very proud to be associated with the infrastructure carbon review and the long term benefits it will deliver within the UK.”

Commercial secretary to the Treasury, Lord Deighton, said: “If we want a strong, globally competitive economy we have to invest in efficient infrastructure. The government has set out its long-term infrastructure strategy, and we’re working with industry to make sure that we deliver cost effective and sustainable projects.

“This agreement means that we could save the UK economy £1.46B a year by 2050, which is a vital step forward in carbon and cost reduction. Industry as well as government must continue to drive this work forward so we get the infrastructure that the UK needs to compete in the global race.”

Business & Energy minister Michael Fallon said: “This review makes the business case for carbon reduction in what we build. It has been written by business leaders not civil servants and throws down the gauntlet to the construction sector to get behind what could be a game changing initiative.

“Real change won’t happen by acting alone but through government and the construction industry working together in line with our industrial strategy. This is a sector that supports around three million jobs and where the UK has a strong competitive edge. We want to keep it that way.”

Businesses signing the endorsement included:

  • Highways Agency
  • Heathrow Airport
  • EDF (New Nuclear)
  • National Grid
  • Anglian Water
  • Defence Infrastructure Organisation
  • Skanska
  • The Clancy Group
  • Galliford Try
  • Laing O’Rourke
  • JN Bentley
  • Balfour Beatty
  • Carillion
  • Bam Nuttall
  • Murphy Group
  • Arup
  • Atkins
  • Mott Macdonald
  • ICE
  • UK Green Building Council
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