Sir Robert McAlpine targets net-zero emissions by 2024

Building and civil engineering company Sir Robert McAlpine has announced a new public commitment to implement carbon reduction initiatives to reach net-zero emissions in the next five years.

Sir Robert McAlpine targets net-zero emissions by 2024

The strategy also commits to a year-on-year reduction of construction waste

Sir Robert McAlpine has today (19 February) unveiled a new sustainability strategy with an overarching aim to transition to net-zero emissions between 2020 and 2024. While the details of the carbon reduction strategy are yet to be fleshed out, and whether offsets will be utilised, the new commitment will focus on carbon reduction initiatives and year-on-year progress that will be validated by the Carbon Trust.

The strategy also commits to a year-on-year reduction of construction waste by applying closed-loop principles, collaboration and offsite construction to the delivery of projects.

Sir Robert McAlpine has also committed to increasing the transparency of its supply chains to ensure ethical and responsible sourcing practices that minimise the impact on the environment.

In addition, the company will form a partnership with the Social Profit Calculator to measure a year-on-year increase of positive social value on local communities across the company’s operations.

Sir Robert McAlpine’s head of sustainability Simon Richards said: “As individuals, we are passionate about the work that we do and delivering quality projects for our clients, yet the impact that our industry has on the environment and society cannot be ignored, Climate Change being a prime example.

“It is collectively our responsibility to address this, and this strategy gives our people and projects a framework to do so proactively and collaboratively with our supply chain partners and the wider construction industry. We all have a role to play, our strategy emphasises our skills and expertise to take up the challenge and lead on embedding change, making a meaningful, lasting difference.”

As of 2016, almost 85% of the company’s key building materials were responsibly sourced, while more than 96% of construction waste was diverted from landfill.

The company was previously targeting a 10% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions per £m managed turnover against 2008 baseline and recorded a 16% reduction in 2016.

The company notably worked on Bloomberg’s headquarters in London, which, at the time, achieved the highest BREEAM design-stage score by a major office development. Read a case study of the building here.

Sir Robert McAlpine’s sustainability manager Tom King is a member of edie’s 30 Under 30 Class of 2019 – a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Read Tom’s profile here.

Matt Mace

Comments (1)

  1. Andy Kadir-Buxton says:

    At least another 41% cut in CO2 emissions can be realised if we convert all houses and industries to near zero-carbon emissions. This does not have to be expensive. The cheapest and simplest method would be to paint the surfaces of all rooms with Starlite, invented by Maurice Ward; this would prevent heat escaping and so minimise heating requirements. As far as I am aware, the secret formula for Starlite was passed onto his immediate family members so has not been lost by his tragic death. Starlite can also prevent heat loss with attempts to store energy with molten salt, and Economy 7 radiators. If we can store all the excess capacity of electrical generation at night then we can cut the number of power stations needed so storage of energy is important. Maurice Ward Information


    (This figure assumes that 80% of heating is by gas, and that domestic gas use is 29%, and industry heating is 22% of total energy consumption.)

    An alternative to Starlite is Firepaste, invented by Canadian Troy Hurtubise, we were looking for financial backing for lab time so that he could make a household paint out of it when he died, a great tragedy not only for friends and family, but for the environment as well. RIP. As both Maurice and Troy said that they made their inventions out of household products I am attempting to get a government lab set up to recreate their inventions.

    If you look at this YouTube video

    you will find the the likely components are 90% corn starch and 10% baking soda mixed into a putty using PVA glue. There may have been other components as well, because it has been made into a spray paint, and paint. You will need to crack the formula in order to make use of passive temperature control of buildings. You might even be able to improve upon them both.
    Making traditional cement results in greenhouse gas emissions from two sources: it requires intense heat, and so a lot of energy to heat up the ovens that cook the raw material, such as limestone. That then releases further CO2 as it burns. Nikolaos Vlasopoulos, chief scientist at Novacem, says that cement based on magnesium silicates, not only requires much less heating, it also absorbs large amounts of CO2 as it hardens, making it carbon negative. According to Novacem, its product can absorb, over its life cycle, around 0.6 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of cement. This compares to carbon emissions of about 0.4 tonnes per tonne of standard cement.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie