Meet the Sustainability Leader: Tideway, Mobility

With entries now open for edie's Sustainability Leaders Awards 2020, this new feature series showcases the achievements of the 2019 winners and reveals their secrets to success. Up next: The winner of our Mission Possible: Mobility award, Tideway.

Meet the Sustainability Leader: Tideway, Mobility

(L-R) Tideway team

Through its ambitious river transport strategy, construction firm Tideway has eliminated the need for more than 250,000 heavy goods vehicle (HGV) movements to be made during its work to build the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

Tideway is currently in the process of delivering a major new infrastructure project aimed at reducing pollution in the Thames and boosting the capacity and efficiency of London’s wastewater management systems – a feat which the company initially estimated would require more than 506,000 two-way HGV journeys.

Through the development of an advanced, ambitious and precise transport strategy, the firm has managed to reduce the number of two-way HGV journeys required to move raw materials and waste during the project to just 140,000 – a move which will mitigate local air pollution risks and minimise Tideway’s carbon footprint.

At the time of application, in summer 2018, Tideway had already avoided 33,500 two-way HGV movements through this strategy.

A further reduction in HGV movements will be achieved by delivering more than 4.2 million tonnes of raw materials by river, with one of Tideway’s barges capable of carrying fifty times as much material by weight than an HGV.

This shift away from road transport will bring about multiple benefits for the environment and the local community, including a reduced impact on London’s road network, a lower carbon footprint, a reduced risk of road safety incidents and a boost for the capital’s once-thriving river economy.

Moreover, Tideway’s decision to use boats rather than HGVs is expected to mitigate any potential rise in local air pollution levels, which notably breached the legal limit for 2018 just one month into the year. It has been estimated that river barges at 75% weight capacity produce 90% less CO2 and around half (54%) of the amount of nitrous oxides (NOx) emitted by their HGV equivalents.

It is commendable that Tideway has expressed a desire to help foster London’s river-based transport network once work on its flagship project is complete, with the company having set an aim to “leave a lasting legacy by rejuvenating the river economy as a sustainable means of transporting material”.

The purpose-led nature of the company’s sustainability ambitions is therefore clear to see, with Tideway having additionally told edie that it is motivated by its mission to “reconnect Londoners with the Thames” – a feat it hopes to achieve by increasing the health, safety and environmental standards for the river and the surrounding areas.

Specifically, Tideway has opened “safeguarded” wharves along the river and invested a “significant” sum into improvements within the Phoenix Wharf and Deptford Creek areas – both routes which are significant in serving its Greenwich Pumping Station site.

Achieving such a bold and noble ambition is, undeniably, something no one company can do alone. Tideway has therefore fostered a number of innovative and strong partnerships with other businesses and key stakeholders, in a bid to achieve a maximum positive impact on London’s environment and society.

The judging panel was impressed with Tideway’s ability to collaborate with others in developing its river transport strategy, with the firm’s partners ranging from Transport for London (TfL) to the Port of London Authority (PLA).

Tideway initially teamed up with TfL during the planning stage of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project, using the body’s data regarding transport emissions and road safety in order to build the business case for its transport strategy. Through analysis of TfL and Department for Transport (DfT) figures, Tideway concluded that a shift away from HGVs would not only limit its carbon footprint – but would result in the avoidance of around seven serious road traffic collisions.

Going forward, the partnership spurred Tideway and TfL to form further collaborative connections with the PLA and the Company of Watermen and Lightermen – a move which ultimately led to the launch of the Thames Skills Academy (TSA).

Since its launch in 2018, the TSA has been regarded as a standard-setter in terms of health and safety training and environmentally-conscious shipping practices. Under Tideway’s river transport strategy, all boat masters will be required to complete the Academy’s enhanced training programme, which includes a state-of-the-art shipping navigation simulator test at a specialist marine training centre.

For all road transport not covered by the TSA, HGV drivers will be offered immersive training covering health and safety, fuel-efficient route planning and vehicle load management.

What the judges said: “The judges were highly impressed by this innovative entry based on the formation of powerful partnerships and the utilisation of the latest technology-based solutions for sustainable mobility, which are now delivering impressive emissions savings.”

edie’s 2020 Sustainability Leaders Awards

Now entering their 13th year for 2020, the RSA-accredited Sustainability Leaders Awards are sure to be one of the biggest nights of the year in the sustainability and energy space, with some exciting new categories added to recognise excellence across the spectrum of sustainable business.   

The 2020 Sustainability Leaders are now OPEN for entries. The entry deadline is Friday 27 September 2019. The Awards will then take place on the night of 5 February 2020 at the Park Plaza London, Westminster. 


edie staff

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