Construction, property development and maintenance company Kier has announced details of its carbon-cutting plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its operations by 2045.
The plan comes in the wake of its Building for a Sustainable World framework report released in 2020.
Kier states that it has recorded and reported greenhouse gas emissions through voluntary and statutory schemes since 2007 and in 2015, set a target to reduce scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions intensity by 10 per cent by 2020. A 27 per cent reduction was achieved by the following year. In 2017, it set a target to cut energy and fuel use by 30 per cent by 2030 based on a 2014 baseline.
It adds that as of its financial year 2020/21, it has managed a 66 per cent reduction in scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions intensity since 2014, and that it is set to achieve net zero across its value chain carbon (scope 3) by 2045.
The new plan outlines the company’s interim targets to achieve as part of its pathway to net zero, as well as outlining how scopes 1 and 2 are to be achieved without offsetting. It also states that it will soon be publishing its offsetting standard, which means any offsetting it needs to do contractually, or as part of scope 3, is to be done within UK borders, using transparent schemes.
Kier’s sustainability framework, ‘Building for a Sustainable World’ from 2020, covers both the environmental and social aspects of sustainability and sets out 10 pillars for action, including net zero carbon. The overall approach to achieving net zero carbon follows a four-step process:
- Review - assess and improve processes, tools and systems for carbon emission data collection
- Reduce - implement energy and carbon reduction and efficiency measures to reduce energy demand
- Renew - identify and implement measures to increase generation and use of renewable energy
- Rebalance - offset the remaining balance of carbon following reduce and renew measures (with restrictions)
The company states that offsetting is “a last step” and it would “not be prioritised over making real reductions in carbon emissions”.
The calculation of Kier’s carbon footprint is in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and the ENCORD Construction CO2e Measurement Protocol.
The company states: “We have created an offsetting standard that ensures that our businesses prioritise actual reductions and energy efficiency measures and only offsets carbon emissions within UK borders using credible and transparent schemes. Where we are bidding for contracts which include a contractual offsetting requirement set by the client, sign off is required by the Group Sustainability Leadership Forum, which is led by the CEO. Any offsetting activities will be transparently managed through Kier Group and will only include UK-based certified schemes.”
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