Policy & regulation, News

Organisations and projects lack specific reduction targets, report claims

A whole life carbon target should be set for the infrastructure industry, which looks set to become an increasingly important influence on total emissions level, according to a new report.

In its new study, Delivering Low Carbon Infrastructure, the UK Green Buildings Council calls for the establishment of a whole life carbon target for the infrastructure industry.

Infrastructure providers are set to influence 90 per cent of the UK’s total carbon emissions by the middle of the century, according to a 2013 government study,

Currently the infrastructure industry controls 16 per cent of carbon emissions and influences a further 37 per cent.

To meet the UK’s wider carbon reduction goals, the UK’s infrastructure sector needs to reduce its total emissions to 34MtCO2e/year by 2050, compared to 2010’s figure of 157MtCO2e per annum.

However the report, which was carried out in association with a number of companies including the engineers Atkins and the contractors Osborne and Skanska, says infrastructure organisations and projects lack a specific carbon reduction target to work towards.

There is little similarity in ambition, duration and scope of the targets being set in the infrastructure industry, while clients do not use a single measure to set their carbon targets, it concludes.

In addition, regulators are not “explicit” in setting targets for carbon reductions and driving performance.

Andy Michell CBE, Thames Tideway chief executive officer and chair of the Institution of Civil Engineers infrastructure client group, said: “Carbon is a key concern in infrastructure. Clients across all infrastructure sectors are taking action to reduce emissions, but we must ensure our actions go far enough to tackle the challenge that lies ahead.”