“There’s something like 46 action plans now, across the company, I’m really clear that what we can’t do is have a big central team that is delivering on carbon, and everyone else carries on working as they did before,” explains National Highways’ Director of Environmental Sustainability Steve Elderkin on this week’s Highways Voices podcast. “Carbon needs to become part of everyone’s role and everyone’s decision making. So my team are going to remain pretty small actions are going to be owned across the business, and if we deliver against the commitments in the plan, then we will deliver the carbon reductions that we need to.”
Mr Elderkin took on this role at the beginning of the year, with a remit to lead the implementation of National Highways Net Zero Plan and Environmental Strategy, connecting the country sustainably. He gave a wide-ranging interview on the podcast, telling Adrian Tatum that, “All of our governance decisions, needs to be thinking about not just financial affordability, but carbon affordability. and decision makers need to have good carbon information in front of them. But also for partners and contractors, they need to have the understanding of where the carbon is coming from, which parts of their design are carbon intensive, so that they can target their efforts to find alternative, lower carbon ways of delivering the benefits from the projects.”
The interview features discussions about connected vehicles, the supply chain’s role in carbon reduction and how we need to rethink the way roads are actually built. “If we cannot rise to the challenge of constructing and operating our roads in a net zero carbon way, then we’re not going to have a lot of call for construction jobs,” adds Mr Elderkin, “and so the success and the vibrancy of the sector relies on us working together.”
You’ll also hear news about events from our podcast partners ITS (UK) and the Transport Technology Forum, details of a successful LCRIG Innovation Festival and a warning from ADEPT, as well as why Marlborough Highways wins this week’s “Adrian’s Accolade”.