BAM’s carbon commitments
Royal BAM Group, a leading European construction company, has long since committed to reducing its impact on climate change. This recently took a leap forward with our commitment to halve emissions by 2030, a target that has been approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi). This target aligns with the global effort required to limit global temperature rises to no more than 2°C.
We have committed to reducing the CO2 intensity of our operations by 50 percent in 2030 compared to 2015. This builds on our current target to achieve a 25 percent reduction by the end of 2020. We will achieve this through energy efficiency measures, avoiding fuel-driven generators by ensuring early grid connection on projects and de-carbonising our vehicle fleet. Furthermore, we have committed to purchase 100 percent of electricity from renewable sources.
In addition to direct emissions (Scope 1 and 2), companies with significant indirect impacts (Scope 3) must also address these. For BAM, this means tackling the carbon impacts held within our supply chain.
Concrete and steel
For a long time BAM has had its sights on quantifying the
Scope 3 carbon impact of the work we do. In 2016 we engaged the Carbon Trust to
undertake analysis based on spend, which was repeated in 2017. The emissions
from purchased goods is nearly 20 times as much as our Scope 1 and 2 emissions.
This was not unexpected, but it really helped to highlight the scale of the challenge (see chart). BAM has committed to reducing absolute Scope 3 GHG emissions by 20 percent by 2030 from a 2017 base-year. The main focus will be to firstly collect more detailed information about the carbon impact of our purchases and then to drive out carbon from key sources such as concrete and steel (two of the main contributors to the Scope 3 footprint).
Supply chain impact
BAM already undertakes many activities to reduce supply chain impact within each individual project. An example is using the Carbon Performance Ladder in the Netherlands, which requires our suppliers to report their emissions and set targets to reduce them.
BAM is also increasingly carrying out life cycle analysis on projects to reduce ‘embodied’ carbon and opting to work with suppliers that can demonstrate they have lower carbon products. Collaboration plays a key part in this. In the UK we are working with the UK Green Building Council to provide more guidance around efficient and zero carbon buildings. This includes the recent publication of Net zero carbon buildings: A framework definition part of the World Green Building Council’s initiative. This is the first step on the journey to net zero carbon buildings in operation by 2050.
Collaboration with clients
The key to delivering a lower carbon construction project is to engage with clients early in the project. We ask clients to carefully consider specifications with a view to reduce negative environmental impact during construction. This is through a process originally developed by WRAP, called designing out waste workshops, now hosted on the Resource Efficient Scotland website. These workshops aim to ensure that the project can be constructed in the most efficient way, primarily eliminating waste, however there are key considerations about aspects like off-site construction, low carbon materials and transport impacts, which all relate to carbon reduction.
The SBTi, isn’t ‘another badge’ for BAM, although it certainly provides a benchmark within the industry. BAM has a strategic objective to have a net positive impact by 2050 and is one of the first companies in the construction industry with validated science-based targets. Our website contains more information about our sustainability initiatives.
Jesse Putzel, Head of Sustainability, BAM Construct UK
About the Author
Clare is the Energy and Sustainability Manager at Northampton General Hospital.