Reducing scope 3 footprint (value chain)
Carbon emissions in BAM’s value chain are of a different order of magnitude than carbon emissions from our operations: our full scope 3 footprint is estimated at around 8 million tonnes of CO2 (compared to 112 ktonnes direct CO2 emissions in 2021). We disclose our full scope 3 inventory annually through our CDP submission. Our value chain emissions are upstream, in the production of carbon intensive construction materials such as concrete and steel, and downstream, in the energy use of the assets that BAM delivers.
We are committed to account for scope 3 emissions and regularly engage with stakeholders in the value chain to jointly look for opportunities to reduce carbon emissions. We have been reviewing our Science Based Target scope 3 emission footprint compared to the levels that we first measured in 2017. Having improved the completeness of our scope 3 assessment in the intervening years, we have now (2022) decided to improve the ambition level and strive for a 50% reduction by 2030 versus 2019* (this was previously set at a 20% reduction by 2030).
BAM’s first priority is to improve the measurement quality of its scope 3 inventory. The complexity of scope 3 emissions in the construction sector due to the large variety in products and supply chains make this very challenging and our current scope 3 inventory is mostly based on estimations. We are working towards more mature scope 3 measurement with a strong focus on the high-impact materials concrete, steel and asphalt.
At the same time, we are putting efforts in making its value chain more sustainable by engaging with stakeholders and look for opportunities to decarbonise the built environment. We have set the ambition to offer low carbon alternatives to clients by 2023, also when this is not explicitly requested. Furthermore, examples of how BAM is addressing carbon emissions in its value chain are:
- Offering low carbon asphalt (LEAB) through the joint venture AsfaltNu;
- Collaborating with concrete suppliers to increase the use of low carbon concrete. In the Netherlands, BAM Infra Nederland signed the ‘Betonakkoord’, where BAM together with other partners and concrete suppliers has committed to gradually reduce the carbon intensity of concrete;
- Collaborating with steel suppliers to use more sustainable (recycled) steel;
- Setting performance targets for buildings, such as zero energy homes in the Netherlands and the development of low carbon schools with the Department of Education in the UK;
- Applying modular construction to reduce the amount of materials needed in the construction process and enhance the end of life useability of sustainable buildings and infrastructure;
- Offering integrated design-solutions aimed at reducing embodied carbon such as timber-based solutions to replace the use of concrete;
- Active participation in lobby groups for a more sustainable construction sector, showcased for example by the UK Contractors Declare Climate and Biodiversity Emergency and BAM Construct UK signing the UKGBC net zero carbon commitment.
*Subject to changes in reporting scope and applied methodology. Changes in reporting scope, for example the part of downstream energy use that BAM needs to account in its scope 3 footprint, and/or changes in the methodology BAM uses to calculate its scope 3 footprint might require BAM to revise its base year and/or ambition in the future.