A construction firm in the North of England has set itself the task of becoming a net zero-carbon business by 2040.
Esh Group has outlined this commitment to become a more sustainable contractor with the launch of a new carbon reduction strategy, named Ever Greener. Targets transforming its vehicle fleet to be entirely electrified or low carbon by 2035.
The company, based in Durham and Leeds, has signed up to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), committing to both short and long-term goals, with a key part of the Even Greener strategy being a series of headline targets to be achieved ahead of 2040.
As well as its vehicles fleet, these include a 65% reduction in business operating carbon by 2034 – specifically, Scope 1, 2, and Scope 3 waste, business travel, upstream transportation, and staff commuting.
Chief executive, Andy Radcliffe said: “The subject of sustainability and carbon reduction is of huge significance to the way we, and the industry, does business now and in the future. We must make changes and contribute to a worldwide sustained reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. It is essential that the targets and plans we make, can be achieved.
“A considerable amount of work has gone on behind the scenes for over a year now, with the support of an external consultant. We have analysed our baseline data, identified opportunities and considered what steps we can take across the business towards an operating model that will reduce our carbon emissions year-on-year.
“This is the beginning of our journey, one that we are committed to, and one that we are not alone on, as the construction industry as a whole discovers the best route to take.”
The Even Greener strategy is being underpinned by the company’s recent introduction of ‘carbon champions’. These are senior representatives and subject matter experts from across various divisions in Esh Group.
Carbon champions are tasked with bringing forward ideas and innovations that can be trialled, assessed, and, where key outcomes for carbon reduction, operational performance and commercial viability are met, then adopted into business operations.
Esh says that additional focus areas include pre-construction, supply chain engagement, client engagement and project delivery. Business processes will be realigned to ensure that low carbon alternatives are offered at tender stage and ‘even greener’ alternatives will be added to stock catalogues at purchasing stage, it adds.
“Proactive engagement with clients is an essential ingredient throughout the strategy with a view to embedding low carbon building solutions and processes within future projects, while identifying funding available to support such initiatives,” Esh said.
According to the company, the largest proportion of Esh’s carbon emissions is contained within Scope 3; those generated by suppliers and subcontractors, and it says steps have already been made to survey a large proportion of the supply chain and offer guidance, resources and training.
Darush Dodds, Esh’s director of corporate affairs, said: “Sustainable practice must be rooted within our core business operations and is reliant upon the availability of low carbon fuel sources, products and services, as well as the decarbonisation journeys of our suppliers and clients. Ultimately, we need to all work collaboratively toward the same end goal – a greener way of doing business.”
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