Costain Group PLC
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Costain : Climate initiative develops emissions tracker tool

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07/17/2017 | 11:58 pm

The Construction Climate Challenge (CCC), an initiative hosted by Volvo Construction Equipment (CE), is working to develop a tool to pinpoint opportunities to reduce emissions in the construction supply chain in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh Business School and Costain Group.

The Carbon Infrastructure Transformation Tool (CITT) project is born from the need to solve two key problems facing the construction industry: the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the highly fragmented nature of supply chains.

“In large infrastructure projects there are large amounts of emissions at stake. The supply chain is also very fragmented, with many different stakeholders, said Dr Matthew Brander, Lecturer at University of Edinburgh Business School and Project Manager for CITT.”

“It’s important to ensure we have a consensus across the whole chain to reduce emissions.”


The project is running for three years and will focus on pinpointing carbon accounting methodologies, stakeholder engagement and social barriers to tool adoption and collaborative frameworks for efficient supply chain management.

As the research is undertaken it will feed back into the development of the tool.

“The tool will be integrated into current pricing processes and will allow us to have carbon and cost together,” said Damien Canning, head of technical sustainability at Costain Group and industry specialist for carbon management for CITT.

“It will put the data in the hands of the right people at the right time in contractors’ processes which will allow them to make decisions to significantly reduce carbon. It will also push carbon further back towards the start of the design processes.”

There will be close collaboration between the researchers and the construction industry and live tests have been set up with real infrastructure projects. These will take place throughout the project.

“The way to really drive this is to develop something with as much input from the industry as possible. This will help to raise standards significantly, and ensure consistency across the industry,” said Canning.

After the project is finished the open source tool will be publicly available and free to use, to enhance the possibility for it to be used by as many as possible.

“The key is to get the industry to use this tool. Therefore it has to be accessible and easy to understand. You can develop the best tool in the world but if the stakeholders don’t want to use it, it’s not going to have much impact,” said Dr Brander.

CCC is hosted by Volvo CE to promote sustainability in the construction industry and provide funding for environmental research, and is part of the group’s commitment to WWF’s Climate Savers programme.

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