In a major milestone towards the standardisation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions calculations for the UK, new guidance for local highways authorities (LHAs), that includes Scope 3 emissions, has been launched today.
The Carbon Calculation & Accounting Standard (CCAS) Carbon Reporting Guidance for Local Highways Authorities (GHG Scopes 1, 2 & 3) has been published by the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT) and the Future Highways Research Group (FHRG), led by Proving Services.
Developed by the FHRG and the result of an 18 month long project which drew in 19 commercial and supply chain partners from across the sector, the guidance will support LHAs in establishing their carbon footprint. It also supports the goals for reducing carbon emissions set out in the Climate Change Committee’s Sixth Carbon Budget.
With no standardisation for carbon accounting currently in place, the highways and transportation sector is starting to accept the need for harmonisation. The Guidance provides LHAs with comprehensive and straightforward advice enabling the detailed reporting of GHG emissions across highways’ construction and maintenance services. It will enable:
- Comprehensive and consistent standards for carbon accounting for LHAs.
- Repeatable, transparent, and robust processes for undertaking emissions assessments including for both highways construction and highways maintenance.
- Proposed in-house processes for reducing the administrative overheads of carbon accounting.
- The assessment of strategic carbon reduction options based on accurate carbon baseline assessments.
The fact that this guidance also encompasses the notoriously difficult Scope 3 emissions resulting from supply chains, commercial partners and contractors, is a major achievement for the FHRG.
LHAs will be able to capture the carbon impact of all work that is their responsibility across Scope 1, 2 and 3. The standardised approach will also ensure calculated emissions are comparable between different LHAs, regardless of how they deliver their services, whether in-house, outsourced or through a local authority trading company.
Anthony Payne, President of ADEPT said: “Achieving net zero will not happen without the actions of local authorities and the decarbonisation of highways and infrastructure is key. A large majority of councils have now declared a climate emergency – being able to measure carbon emissions in a consistent and standardised way is critical to us successfully delivering against our ambitions.”
Simon Wilson, Director at Proving Services said: “A lack of standardisation in the UK highways sector has led to highly fragmented approaches to carbon measurement, accounting and reduction. The CCAS document provides pragmatic, step-by-step guidance for LHAs and their supply chain partners in implementing the GHG protocols for measuring and reporting carbon emissions. Adopting the guidance will encourage sector-wide standardisation, enabling carbon benchmarking and informed decision making for a low carbon future.”
Mitesh Solanki, Managing Director of Ringway said: “Ringway are very proud to be part of this extensive piece of work by FHRG for ADEPT, and their supply chains. This represents a vital step forward in joint environmental learning, and in the effective delivery of transparent carbon reduction through one model, avoiding the risks of ‘greenwashing’, whilst acknowledging the importance of commonality and consistency across UK’s local authorities.”
Mark Saunders, Client Director at Colas said: “Working across the whole Highways value chain, it became obvious of the need for harmonisation in the approach to measuring and reporting carbon. Different methodologies gave different results which, in turn, led to uncertainty, delayed decision-making and, even, ‘greenwashing.’ The publication of this standard and reporting guidance will propel our Highways sector forward towards decarbonisation quicker than ever, with a solid foundation of data certainty.”
Carbon Calculation & Accounting Standard (CCAS) – Carbon Reporting Guidance for Local Highways Authorities is available on the ADEPT website: www.adeptnet.org.uk/documents/fhrg-carbon-calculation-reporting-guidance-lhas