Construction firm Henry Boot targets net-zero by 2030

Image: Henry Boot

The Framework is headlined by a 2030 net-zero target for what the business describes as “directly controlled emissions”. Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (power-related) emissions fall within this definition.

Across these scopes, Henry Boot is aiming to deliver a 60% reduction in absolute emissions this decade, against a 2019 baseline. Given that more than half of its annual Scope 1 & 2 emissions in 2019 were attributable to its plant sale and hire arm, Banner Plant, this will be a key focus.

A full fleet and generator renewal programme will be launched shortly, as will a new sustainable transport policy. The overarching aim of the latter will be to reduce business travel, in terms of distance travelled, by one-fifth against a 2019 baseline.

On fleets, Henry Boot has pledged to switch to 100% electric models for all fleet cars and vans this decade. For heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), where electrification is not as advanced as for lighter vehicles, a specific programme will be developed in the coming months. On generators, there is a commitment to “rapidly” introduce biodiesel now, before making the switch to alternatives. Some other construction firms are opting for electric or hydrogen-powered alternatives.

Offsetting will be used to deal with the residual 40% of Scope 1 & 2 emissions. A target for Scope 3 (indirect) emissions has not yet been finalised.

Henry Boot’s first steps towards net-zero for Scopes 1 & 2 will be conducting a full review of energy and resource use at all controlled sites, to get an up-to-date baseline and identify hotspots. New frameworks and policies will then be launched by 2025. The majority of the firm’s vehicle, generator and equipment replacements will then be added from 2026.

Notably, Henry Boot had already committed to growing by 40%, in terms of capital employed, by 2030. In other words, the business will need to reduce emissions while expanding.

“We have always been a business that takes a long-term strategic view, focusing on authentic delivery – and our approach to tackling climate change will be no different,” Henry Boot’s chief executive Tim Roberts said.

“The Net-Zero Carbon Framework demonstrates the adaptability of Henry Boot, as we evolve our business model to support a cleaner, healthier planet for all of us – all whilst continuing to grow our business. All my instincts tell me that by doing the right thing and acting responsibly with regards to our stakeholders, we will be creating long-term value in the business and of course help create a better planet for us all to enjoy.”

Other construction firms to have set net-zero strategies in 2021 include Morgan Sindall and Multiplex Europe.

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Sarah George

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