HS2 Contractort EKFB awarded industry-first sustainability status

EKFB become first construction joint venture to achieve a new sustainability status developed by the Supply Chain Sustainability School. The status recognises construction firms taking steps to lower emissions and cut carbon on their sites.

HS2’s main works contractor, EKFB - a team made up of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall, has become the first construction joint venture to achieve a new sustainability status awarded by the Supply Chain Sustainability School (SCSS). The status is part of a new programme within the School’s Plant Charter which recognises the actions taken by construction organisations to lower emissions on construction sites, resulting in improved air quality and a cleaner working environment. Each organisation that becomes a signatory to the Charter makes a public pledge to work towards five commitments that address these emissions. These include minimum standards in procurement, engagement with stakeholders, awareness raising and education, measurement and reporting, and innovation. EKFB has started their journey on the Bronze level and their plan is to progress towards Silver and then aim to achieve Gold in the next 18 months. Actions taken by EKFB include using retrofit technology on non-road mobile machinery to cut emissions, conducting Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil trials, introducing electric machinery and hydrogen powered generators, as well providing environmental education and awareness programmes for staff. The organisation also uses the School’s online platform, the Sustainability Tool, to track its supplier environmental, sustainability and social data.

Andrea Davidson, HS2’s Air Quality Lead said: “It’s great news that EKFB is the first construction joint venture to be recognised in this way. It’s one of many steps that HS2 and its supply chain is taking to meet our new environmental targets and commitments, including making all construction sites diesel-free by 2029 and achieving net zero carbon as a project from 2035.

Craig Downs, EKFB’s Plant Manager said: “EKFB and its supply chain has worked hard to achieve this industry-first status and in doing so we are proud to be recognised for our ambitious sustainability strategies. This accreditation demonstrates our commitment to innovating and reducing our environmental impact through implementing cleaner construction technics and saving carbon emissions within our building methods as we construct the new high speed railway.”

James Cadman, Head of Carbon, Supply Chain Sustainability School, said: “We are very pleased that EKFB have become the first joint venture Signatory to the Charter, plus are the first signatory on for the Minimum Standards (v2.0). This shows that taking concerted and measured action can make significant inroads into tackling air quality and GHG emissions. We hope others follow suit.”

The Supply Chain Sustainability School is a multi-award-winning initiative which represents a common approach to addressing sustainability within supply chains. With more than 50,000 registered users, the School provides free practical learning and support in the form of sustainability training, events and networking, e-learning modules, tailored assessments and a library of over 3,000 online resources.