There is no question that the amount of CO2 emissions the world generates has become an imminent threat to mankind. Both individuals and businesses are looking for ways to limit or make up for the CO2 emissions they produce through their activity. Nowadays, we are flooded with terms like carbon footprint, carbon offsetting or carbon assessments, all materials pointing to a sense of urgency needed worldwide to stop our planet from becoming unfit for living.
In this article, we would like to discuss the positive impact carbon assessments create, with a focus on the rail industry and our own experience of developing a carbon assessment tool.
The Climate Change Act 2008 has introduced carbon budgets as a system of limiting the carbon emissions by setting a net UK carbon account for every five year period. It has also set a target of reducing carbon emissions by 100% or net zero by 2050.
In 2019, Network Rail has also made public its objective of improving carbon emissions by 25% in Control Period 6 (2019-2024). Their Energy and Carbon Policy encourages adopting the use of low-carbon design and use of whole life costing techniques.
Finally, the Network Rail Environment and Social Minimum Requirements for Projects document (NR/L2/ENV/015) details a responsibility to identify opportunities for capital carbon reduction and influence design and carbon efficient construction methods / logistics.
What needs to be assessed?
RSSB tasked Designers and Contractors to use the Rail Carbon Tool to identify opportunities for capital carbon reduction for any works over £1 million encompassing structures, track, electrification and fixed plant infrastructure, Geotechnical / Earthworks, Buildings.
Capital carbon is defined as the total carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions associated with the following stages in the asset lifecycle: creation, construction and end-of-life decommissioning and treatment. Capital carbon differs from operational carbon which covers the carbon emissions resulted from the operation and maintenance of assets.
The FJD Carbon Assessment Tool
Our Capital Carbon Assessment tool meets the requirements of NR/L2/ENV/015 by taking input data from the RSSB rail carbon tool and applying them in a consistent manner in accordance with the RICS Whole Life Carbon Assessment for the Built Environment.
What are the benefits?
Compliance with NR/L2/ENV/015.
Easy to read and understand visuals that compare side by side individual asset options.
The ability to assess individual asset types as well as the total carbon savings on a project.
The ability to easily manipulate the data and undertake sensitivity analysis.
We would love to hear from you! What experience or knowledge have you accumulated about carbon assessments? Do you think they will create an impact in our industry?
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