Practitioners discuss HS2 environment and sustainability
- Adaptation ,
The company behind the HS2 rail project to link London, the Midlands, north-west England and Yorkshire organised a joint event with IEMA and Mott Macdonald to discuss environment and sustainability matters that prospective contractors will need to be aware of.
Around 150 environment and sutainability professionals attended the conference in London on 7 August.
Lessons learned from developing the environmental statement for phase I – London to the West Midlands – were shared to inform the next steps in the first stage of the project as well as phase II, from Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester.
Professor Andrew McNaughton, technical director at HS2 Limited, opened the event with a keynote address. He set out a vision for a 21st century railway that, he said, would place people at its heart.
Nick Blyth and Josh Fothergill, policy and engagement leads at IEMA, outlined emerging trends in environmental impact assessment and climate change resilience that phase II of the project would need to take into account.
Alison Munro, chief executive at HS2 Limited, closed the day with a call to arms for the environment and sustainability industry. She said that the project was without precedent and provided a once-in-a-century opportunity to build a truly sustainable railway.
The theme of the day was collaboration. Delegates also heard from organisations that are working closely with HS2 Limited, including consultancy Mott Macdonald, Network Rail, the Environment Agency and the infrastructure working group at the Green Construction Board. Keith Howells, chair of Mott Macdonald, facilitated the event.
Peter Miller, head of environment and planning at HS2 Limited, said of the conference: “The environment industry is relatively young and small but HS2 is a mega project that is going to draw on all of this resource and more.
"It was encouraging to see so many companies engaging with us to understand their role in the project and begin to upskill their organisations in order to win work and help deliver this much-needed sustainable infrastructure.”
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