Gold for HS2 contractors | RailBusinessDaily

Gold for HS2 contractors | RailBusinessDaily

Two of HS2’s key construction companies have been awarded gold standards by the Supply Chain Sustainability School (SCSS) just two weeks after the project’s first ten sites went diesel-free.

Partly funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and industry partners, the Supply Chain Sustainability School was established in 2012 to promote knowledge and collaboration in the built environment.

The school launched its Plant Charter in 2020 to support the UK target of Net Zero by 2050. Signatories are encouraged to take action to reduce emissions at construction sites, to address and reduce tailpipe emissions, and to educate staff on why and how emissions can be reduced. These actions result in improved air quality and more environmentally friendly work practices.

HS2 Civils Contractors, joint venture Skanska Costain STRABAG (SCS JV) and EKFB JV – a team comprised of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall – have both been awarded the highest tier under the charter.

To achieve the Gold Standard, companies must meet the standards set by the SCSS, be reassessed every 12 months, demonstrate increased competency in sustainable practices, attend multiple training events, and be at the forefront of sharing best practices with other companies.

Speaking of the success, Andrea Davidson, Head of Environment Sciences at HS2 Ltd said: “With two of our contractors now reaching the gold standard for sustainability, HS2 is truly pioneering sustainable building in the UK. The scale of the project means we can invest in innovative practices so they become mainstream and scalable, which will make a huge difference to the sector going forward.

“We recently announced that ten of our construction sites are now completely diesel-free, and now with this recognition we look forward to further advancing our sustainability in 2023.”

First to receive the gold standard was HS2’s London tunneling contractor, SCS JV, which has introduced a range of measures including using the cleanest available plant and machinery on construction sites and introducing innovative technologies that improve efficiency and reduce emissions. Three of SCS JV’s construction sites are now fully diesel-free, with the Canterbury Road site first announced as diesel-free in May 2022.

The SCS JV has also worked with plant rental companies to reduce emissions at the sites. The SCS environmental team works closely with Flannery Plant Hire, L Lynch and M O’Brien at Eco-Driver refresher sessions to keep site employees up to date on how to effectively reduce the plant’s tailpipe emissions.

After becoming the first construction joint venture to achieve Bronze standard in March 2022, EKFB JV – which is building the section of HS2 between Buckinghamshire and Warwickshire – has further improved sustainability and upgraded to Gold status.

Some of these improvements include the phasing out of diesel tower lights and the introduction of greener solutions such as solar and highbred lights, as well as the switch from generators to hybrid sets at all sites. EKFB has also introduced new and innovative, greener on-site facilities and retrofitted existing facilities to reduce emissions.

Robert Lockwood, Air Quality Lead, Skanska Costain STRABAG JV, said: “Receiving the Plant Charter Gold Award is a testament to the collaboration across the SCS JV, including our dedicated supply chain, to minimize the impact of our operations on local air quality . I’m confident it won’t stop there either and the teams will continue to innovate and strive to reduce emissions even further for the remainder of the project.”

Craig Downs, Plant Manager of EKFB JV said: “EKFB and its supply chain worked hard to achieve industry-first Bronze status earlier this year and we are now thrilled to have achieved Gold status in less than half the time originally projected to have . Going from Bronze to Gold in 8 months demonstrates our commitment to reducing our environmental impact on our local communities and on our construction sites.

“This is proof that our supply chain and the EKFB and Hydrock teams are working together to achieve the first gold status outside of London, which supports the progress we are making towards our environmental and sustainability strategy goals.”

Photo credit: HS2

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