Morgan Sindall outlines fresh carbon accounting and engagement moves on road to net-zero

After announcing a 2030 net-zero target last month, Morgan Sindall Group has outlined new measures to track and reduce carbon across its construction business - and to engage the communities where its construction projects are located.

Pictured: Morgan Sindall staff taking part in the Carbon Literacy Trust partnership scheme in schools

Pictured: Morgan Sindall staff taking part in the Carbon Literacy Trust partnership scheme in schools

Morgan Sindall Group’s overarching new climate strategy was published in February. Its overarching 2030 net-zero target is underpinned by science-based targets to reduce Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (power-related) emissions by 30% and Scope 3 (indirect) emissions by 60%, before offsetting residual emissions via UK-based projects.

Building on that strategy this week, Morgan Sindall Construction has outlined plans to roll out a carbon calculation tool called ‘CarboniCa’. The tool allows project teams to forecast the likely whole life emissions impact of a future and identify key opportunities for reducing them. It is hoped that the tool will help align all projects with the UK Green Building Council’s framework for net-zero buildings, which covers both embodied carbon and emissions from building use. Arup has acted as the third-party verification body for CarboniCa.

In the future, further measures to “remove carbon from each stage of the construction process” will be developed, Morgan Sindall said in a statement.  The firm is “working towards climate positive, environmentally effective assets that will serve future generations”, the statement continues.

Morgan Sindall Construction has also confirmed new measures to help engage staff across the supply chain, as well as clients and people who live, work and study in the communities where it has a presence.

On the latter, where major initiatives are planned, the firm has partnered with the Carbon Literacy Project to roll out a new education and engagement scheme. The scheme will see staff from both the Project and Morgan Sindall visiting schools to teach pupils about the low-carbon transition and give teachers the information they need to discuss climate change and net-zero.

All new programmes and targets are being unified under a broader framework called ‘Decarbonising Communities’.

The measures we’re undertaking as part of Decarbonising Communities reflect Morgan Sindall Construction’s belief that merely complying with legislation or relying on carbon offsetting to minimise the impact of emissions is not enough,” managing director Pat Boyle said. “If we’re going to save the planet, more needs to be done – and faster.”

“Through our example and our sharing of expertise, we hope to bring our clients and supply chain with us on a journey that will result in a quantifiable and transparent contribution to the reduction of carbon in the built environment, leaving a climate- positive legacy on all assets.”

Net-zero value chain

In related news, US-based real estate investment manager Nuveen Real Estate this week announced a pledge to reach net-zero across its $133bn portfolio of assets.

The firm – a subsidiary of TIAA – is one of the largest of its kind in the world. In a statement released on Tuesday (16 March), the firm said it was making the decision to reduce exposure to climate risk for existing assets while helping to support the low-carbon assets of the future.

Nuveen Real Estate’s delivery plan will involve the development of a dedicated net-zero plan for each building. Plans will centre around retrofitting for energy efficiency; modernising energy and emissions data collection and monitoring systems and increasing renewable energy procurement and generation. In the case of tenanted buildings, tenants will be involved during the development of plans.

"As the world moves towards a net-zero carbon future, governments around the world will, rightly, increase environmental regulations to achieve this, but we believe it is important to move towards this target as soon as possible," Nuveen Real Estate’s global head of strategic insights Abigail Dean said, alluding to the US’s preparations to legislate for net-zero by 2050.

"Although some measures are relatively easy to implement, there are still some big challenges for the real estate industry in reaching net-zero, particularly in the standardisation of measurement and the collection of data," Dean added. "Landlord and tenant collaboration will be key to overcoming these hurdles."

The announcement from Nuveen Real Estate building on net-zero announcement from real estate asset giants like City Developments Limited (CDL), M&G Real Estate and Legal & General Real Assets.

Sarah George



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