Case study: Cardiff Council Carbon Neutral Milepave™ Scheme

Miles Macadam recently delivered its first carbon neutral surfacing scheme in South Wales, in collaboration with Cardiff Council. In 2021, the Council released ‘The One Planet Cardiff Strategy’ declaring their plan to make Cardiff a Carbon Neutral city by 2030. Miles Macadam worked closely with their Highways Team during the planning stages to look for the greatest possible carbon savings by firstly selecting Milepave™ as a reduced carbon surfacing process, using less resources, lower mixing temperatures and having a lower bitumen content than conventional asphalt surfacing materials.

To reduce the carbon footprint further, Miles Macadam worked in collaboration with the Harsco environmental coating plant, SteelPhalt. Scrap metals from across Wales, (including end of life cars) are melted down at the plant and the by-product of this process is the creation of a durable, sustainable steel aggregate, which can be used to replace quarried stone. The use of this recycled material created another significant reduction in the carbon footprint (now over 50% to that of a conventional hot mix surfacing process, utilising natural aggregate).

Delivered Programme of Work:

  • 12,780m² of 50mm Milepave surfacing
  • 1,685 tonnes of steel aggregate laid
  • 33% less carbon than a similar Milepave scheme utilising quarried aggregate
  • 66 tCO₂e total emissions, including sub-contractors Scope 3 transport

Environmental Saving:

  • Savings of 1,477 tonnes of virgin aggregate extraction, equating to 6.5 tonnes of carbon (ICE 3)
  • 1,510 tonnes of road planings returned to plant and recycled into coated materials
  • Increased performance and subsequent lower whole life carbon costs

Financial Saving:

  • Designed system to last longer, address specific site related issues and ensure lower whole life cost

Miles Macadam and Milepave™ offer significant benefits over conventional approaches and through its direct emission reduction, carbon neutral certification and carbon reduction strategy, the scheme will be certified as achieving Net Zero Carbon Emissions.

Cllr Dan De’Ath, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport said: “The council is committed to becoming a carbon neutral council by 2030, through our One Planet Strategy.

“Climate change is the biggest threat facing our planet and steps must be taken to reduce the amount of carbon produced in our everyday lives. As a council, we have assessed the carbon footprint of all our services and operations, so steps can be taken to reduce it significantly to reach our carbon neutral goal.

“The reduction of carbon in the petrochemical industry, which includes road resurfacing, is quite an achievement and where appropriate, we will look to utilise the techniques that have been used to resurface this part of Northern Avenue on other roads in the city.”

Charlie Clarke, Managing Director of Miles Macadam said: “Miles Macadam has always strived to pioneer sustainable road surfacing. Since its introduction in 1995, using our product ‘Milepave’ we have always delivered a low carbon surfacing solution, achieving a 37% carbon saving over conventional materials and our goal is to continually reduce our carbon footprint through our operations.”

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