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Sun June 20 2021

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BAM chases down sustainability targets

17 May BAM Construct UK reports that it has made better than expected progress in reducing carbon, even allowing for the effect of Covid-19 slowdown.

The Co-op HQ in Manchester, built by BAM, designed to be carbon negative
The Co-op HQ in Manchester, built by BAM, designed to be carbon negative

Having already beaten its 2020 sustainability targets, Bam Construct UK is on course to beat its 2030 targets soon too, helped in part by the recent decline in business travel and other pandemic restrictions.

BAM gave itself 15 years to cut its carbon emissions by 50%; within five it had saved 45%.

Using 2015 as a baseline, BAM set an initial five-year target to reduce emissions by 25% and achieved this early too. Jesse Putzel, BAM’s head of sustainability, said: “By 2019, we had reduced emissions by 34%, which is a significant outperformance. We were among the first to have targets approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative.

“We achieved the majority of these significant carbon reductions from improving efficiencies like reducing energy and fuel use, not through offsetting our impacts.” [Offsetting is where companies give money to third parties to buy ‘carbon credits’.]

BAM said that the Covid pandemic had a positive impact on its carbon reductions in 2020, with emissions reduced by 45% compared with 2015.

BAM’s longer-term target in 2015 was to go on to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030. This has now been replaced by a commitment to be net zero by then or before.

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BAM and its partners were able to minimise embodied carbon at a major London office scheme to such an extent that the as-built carbon savings (10,000 tCO2e) were greater than the whole of BAM’s carbon footprint.

At Kings Cross Sports Centre BAM has just delivered what it says is a ‘net zero in construction’ project.

BAM also chose to measure as-built carbon on a new primary school in Bristol and is developing a zero carbon version of this.  It is carrying out work on a Department for Education pathfinder net zero project, to inform its school building, and is behind ‘the world’s most sustainable film studios’, being built for Sky in Hertfordshire.

Other BAM projects include the PassivHaus net zero Montgomery School in Exeter and the Co-operative Group’s HQ in Manchester, a building designed to be carbon negative. Across the group BAM is currently creating net zero hospitals and net-zero and energy neutral housing.

BAM is a signatory to the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment. It has agreed to be independently audited on progress, publicly reporting on performance, and actively influence its clients and wider stakeholders to also achieve net zero.

Other contractors to have signed include Lendlease, Willmott Dixon, Multiplex and Mace.

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