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Sat, 13 April 2024

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By Earl Russell
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Delivering sustainable infrastructure solutions, enhancing life, protecting our shared future

Amey

6 min read Partner content

Engineers solve problems and harness the power of technology to make our world better and tackle the big challenges facing humanity. Amey has done this through our expert infrastructure services in the UK for over 100 years. I am proud of our legacy and traditions, and it is on these strong foundations that we have now set our sights on meeting the needs of our shared future.

When I joined the business as CEO in January, I was determined to accelerate Amey’s journey towards putting sustainability at the core of everything we do. This is an ambitious mission and will lead to the creation of more sustainable infrastructure solutions for all our clients across transport infrastructure and the built environment.

Net zero infrastructure policy and strategy

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time, and the UK Government has rightly set ambitious targets for decarbonisation. Yet, a new report published by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) last week has raised serious concerns about the UK’s lack of progress towards achieving net zero over the past year. The CCC report echoes warnings from multiple reports, including those from the National Infrastructure Commission and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which have emphasised slow and inadequate progress to date.

The CCC’s overall message is concerning, and we can see the benefits of a more strategic and joined-up approach to infrastructure planning and investment; further collaboration with local authorities on local transport plans; achieving a net zero railway by 2050, including a rolling programme of electrification; and for the Government to use the Autumn Statement to put in place strong signals to stimulate the development of emerging net zero industries and technologies in the UK.

Surface transport alone is the largest source of carbon emissions in the UK at 23%, and heat for residential, public sector and commercial buildings is responsible for around 17% of all UK emissions. These statistics show the scale of the challenge but there have been positive developments in our sectors. A recently published report by the Cabinet Office found that direct emissions from public sector buildings have fallen by 10% compared to 2017-18 levels. We’re proud to have played our part in this by helping our clients decarbonise the public estate, but we recognise there is much more to do.

Our success and expertise

Amey’s unique strength comes from the breadth and depth of our engineering and technology expertise, which delivers added value and better outcomes for our clients, the wider public and our environment. Our unrivalled legacy of success in large scale project management gives us a unique combination of engineering, consulting, technology, data, operational excellence and end-to-end contract management experience. As a result, we can identify and create value at every stage of the asset lifecycle, and our consulting teams are trained to apply PAS 2080 carbon management in infrastructure principles on all our projects. Of course, none of this can be achieved without our biggest asset - our people - and I am proud of the teamwork between Amey’s 11,000 colleagues, partners and clients to set us on the path to meeting some of the major challenges of our times.

Our market-leading consulting expertise in data-enabled energy transition solutions allows our clients to measure, target and deliver sustained decarbonisation solutions in both new and legacy programmes. We have revolutionised traditional approaches on our railways by introducing smart electrification on the Core Valley Lines in Wales, and this innovative approach has significant potential for future electrification schemes, vital for decarbonising the UK’s rail network. In the highways sector, we designed the UK’s first carbon neutral road improvement project on behalf of National Highways in Cumbria, reducing carbon emissions by 43% and delivering cost savings in the process.

Amey’s unique expertise in estate services also means that we have developed world-class capabilities in reducing carbon emissions across a wide range of workplaces. Successful decarbonisation of the UK’s building stock is crucial to achieving net zero, and we are proud to have played our part by introducing new carbon neutral facilities for our clients in the defence and education sectors. Indeed, we have now strengthened our position and enhanced our energy management credentials through ISO 50001 certification. This means that Amey is the first FM and infrastructure organisation to be awarded the certification as a delivery team, and we can now offer services to our clients who operate in complex environments under ISO standards. By doing so we are also helping the UK Government to deliver on its ambition to create a smaller, better, and greener public estate.

Looking to the future

These are just a few examples of how Amey has changed fundamentally as a business, by leading our clients in their transition to net zero and creating value at every stage of the asset lifecycle. This sits alongside all the work that we do on improving local biodiversity, reducing our own carbon footprint, and embedding sustainability and social value in our procurement decision making. We are committed to being fully net zero by 2040, and our performance against that target is closely monitored by our ESG Committee which provides careful oversight into the development and implementation of ESG policy and strategy across Amey.

We cannot afford to postpone the responsibility of achieving net zero for future generations, and we must take decisive action now. Following recent public policy interventions in the EU and US, it is crucial for the Government to act quickly and decisively to restore the UK’s global leadership position on climate action and to incentivise the huge levels of investment required to support the net zero transition. We stand ready to work in partnership with Government to deliver the new green jobs and infrastructure required to put the UK back on The Path To Net Zero.

We are redefining the art of the possible, but we know that this is only the start of the journey if we are to achieve net zero for our partners. For more information on how we support our clients in their transition to net zero, please see our case studies.

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