Climate Action

Highways Sector Council commits to Net Zero Highways

The Highways Sector Council (HSC) has released its Net Zero Highways plan, highlighting the progress made by the sector and the ongoing work by various bodies to reduce carbon emissions.

  • 22 November 2022
  • Press Release

The Highways Sector Council (HSC) has released its Net Zero Highways plan, highlighting the progress made by the sector and the ongoing work by various bodies to reduce carbon emissions.

Given the urgency of the Net Zero challenge HSC will initially focus on reducing those Greenhouse Gas-producing activities that contribute the most to the whole life emissions of the highway asset – Road User and Capital Carbon emissions.

Road user emissions – tailpipe emissions from all vehicles

  • Leveraging its members and partners HSC will help share best practice and expertise – for example in EV infrastructure and modal optimisation and will lead industry engagement with DfT.

Capital carbon – embedded emissions from the construction and maintenance of the highway asset, in particular from cement and steel production, and from diesel emissions from plant, equipment and materials transport

  • PAS 2080: Carbon Management in Infrastructure offers a systematic way for managing whole life carbon that HSC believes can be the cornerstone from which the industry can build and accelerate improvement. HSC will leverage its sector wide membership to accelerate the scalable adoption of PAS 2080 as a fundamental enabler to minimising the whole life carbon footprint of highways.

Key next step

A brief has been prepared for a HSC working group to develop practical guidance and resources to help all sector organisations (no matter their size) align their operations and projects to PAS 2080.

Ann Carruthers, Leicestershire County Council’s Director of Environment and Transport said: “The sooner we see an industry wide shift towards whole life carbon reduction, the sooner we can meet our net zero targets, and ensure better business performance, reduced costs, increased competitiveness and innovation. We need to build on what we’ve achieved so far, and make sure our highways are fit for a truly sustainable world.

John Dixon, HSC Member and Jacobs’ Head of Highways said: “PAS 2080 is increasingly being adopted and promoted in the Highways Sector. It is a flexible standard that can be applied to different project types, sizes and stages. If we use it as a means to facilitate consistency and collaboration at pace we stand a better chance of making a difference on time.”

Find out more here.