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Innovation Advent Day 21 – Carbon crunching

Today, Darren White, our Head of Environmental Sustainability at Tideway and Innovation Champion, shares his highlights of the last few months in the world of Tideway Sustainability.

We’ve had an exciting past few months within Tideway with regards to our carbon management strategy. Earlier this year we received our first accurate carbon predictions from our Main Works Contractors, already showing a reduction of approximately 5% from the total calculated in the Energy and Carbon Report which was part of our DCO application. Next up will be to get their proposed reduction targets which will be part of their carbon management plans, with progress being reported every three months throughout the project.

This year’s Infrastructure Carbon Review saw the launch of the new standard PAS 2080 Carbon management in infrastructure which is a world’s first standard which sets out the framework required to reduce carbon within infrastructure projects and networks. A great example of UK infrastructure industry leading the way. Incredibly, over 80% of our 120 year carbon footprint is from the capital carbon in our materials, so we really need to focus our attention on a smart design and selection of materials that still meet our rigorous performance specifications. Our design and material teams are working on some interesting developments which I hope will come to fruition in the new year – watch this space!


In November we saw one of our suppliers, A-Plant, showcase their innovative proposals for a floating plant hire facility at their wharf in Barking. This would see a pontoon being loaded up and then being able to visit various foreshore sites at allocated times, depending on the tides. This would reduce the need for a fleet of vans causing congestion and pollution around our sites when making small deliveries. Alan Clarke of A Plant has been tirelessly promoting sustainability and innovation within the plant hire sector and is always challenging the norm to bring about efficiency and change so I was also please to award him as one of our Tideway Environmental Champions!


On the day there were also some suppliers showing off the latest kit coming into the market, such as cool battery powered diggers – zero emissions, very low noise, long battery life… a no brainer! A viable option to the NRMM requirements for improved air quality.

To support our More by River initiative of reducing the number of HGVs movements by increasing the use of the river for logistics, we have now got live emission data being recorded from one of the tugs working for GPS on the Thames. The work is being carried out by Green Sea Guard and we hope will inform and support future marine logistics strategies.


Finally, towards the end of the year I was pleased to attend the ICE’s Carbon Crunch meeting where Damien from Costain presented their work on the CVB contract where they have developed a carbon tool that is populated from their bill of quantities and can be used to inform design decisions.

All exciting stuff, and we haven’t even started tunnelling yet…

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