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Highway to zero

20 July 2021

Highway to zero

Rather appropriately perhaps, Hghways England has issued a roadmap - in the form of plans to achieve net zero throughout the organisation by 2050. 

The agency has committed to achieving net zero for its own operations by 2030, delivering net zero road maintenance and construction by 2040 and supporting net zero carbon travel on the road network by 2050.

Contractors and suppliers will also be required to act,  including commitments to reduce carbon year-on-year by using new technologies.

There is also an aim for all construction plant and compounds to be zero emissions by 2030.

Highways England says that emissions from the maintenance and construction of the road network led to emissions of around 734,000 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) during 2020. In reducing this it will focus on the asphalt, cement and steel sectors, using a carbon management system to minimise emissions, including lean construction practices and the principles of the circular economy. 

There is surely no better example of the circular economy than hire, whereby equipment is used by many operators, maintained efficiently throughout its optimum working life and then recycled. 

The organisation points out that it has installed LED lighting on the M62, utilised recycling and solar power for resurfacing on the A590, and launched electric vehicle trials in several cities and regions.

It will develop a zero carbon 2040 plan for cement, concrete and asphalt by June 2022, and by 2023 will publish a blueprint showing how electric vehicle charging services should be provided on motorways and major A-roads.

Plans to implement net zero strategies are developing all the time and they will clearly involve hirers and suppliers in providing appropriate equipment.

Picture: Holger Schué/Pixabay

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