In addition to direct operational emissions, the production of key inputs for the construction industry such as steel and concrete are large contributors to global emissions. As other industries take steps to reduce their GHG emissions, the relative share of GHGs attributed to the construction industry is only going to increase, and therefore the importance of aligning highly fragmented supply chains towards reducing emissions cannot be overstated.
Aims and Expected Outcomes
The project seeks to develop and implement a tool to aid the alignment of supply chain actors through efficient design of incentives and the articulation of key carbon management challenges. The tool itself will demonstrate the embodied carbon and cost impact of each material element used in the creation of an infrastructure asset (identified through the bill of quantities), and will help to drive emission reductions by identifying opportunities to reduce carbon through innovation and supply chain engagement.
The proposed research will support the development and live testing of the tool by:
- testing the completeness of the tool for identifying reduction opportunities
- identifying the possible social and institutional barriers to implementing the tool and identifying solutions
- exploring the different potential frameworks for incentivising supply chain carbon management
- investigating uncertainty representation strategies for environmental and economic indicators
- developing decision support models for determining infrastructure design trade-offs under uncertainty
The close collaboration between the researchers and a cross-section of the construction sector will ensure that this research has both an immediate impact on the sector, and provide a legacy by identifying key areas for further research and innovation. The tool will be made freely available at the end of the project.
This research project is led by the Centre for Business, Climate Change, and Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh Business School, in collaboration with industry partners Costain Group and Skanska UK. The project is funded by the Construction Climate Challenge (an initiative hosted by Volvo Construction Equipment).
For further information on the project or accessible versions of these documents, please contact Matthew Brander.
- Jackson and Kaesehage (2020). Addressing the challenges of integrating carbon calculation tools in the construction industry. Business Strategy and the Environment.
- Brander and Jackson (2019). The risk of burden shifting from embodied carbon calculation tools for the infrastructure sector. Journal of Cleaner Production.
- CITT Executive Summary Report (2019).
- Jackson and Ascui (2019). Achieving infrastructure emission reductions through supply chain collaboration.
- Jackson and Kaesehage (2019). Dirty Works: Enabling carbon management practices in the construction industry.
- Rossi and Jackson (2019). Decision analytics for infrastructure project design under uncertainty—case study.
News and Press Releases
- New research holds potential for step change in carbon management of infrastructure projects, Specification Online, 7 November 2019.
- New tool to improve carbon management in infrastructure, PBC Today, 6 November 2019.
- New research holds potential for step change in carbon management of infrastructure projects, Refurb, 6 November 2019.
- First workshop completed within the CITT project, Construction Climate Challenge, 29 June 2017.
- Tool to combat carbon emissions unveiled, New Civil Engineer, 13 January 2017.
- Low-carbon building tool, materials help developers cut costs, emissions, Environmental Leader, 13 January 2017.
- New tool detects carbon emission hotspots, SmartCitiesWorld, 13 January 2017.
- Costain reveals revolutionary tool to drive down carbon in construction and infrastructure, Costain, 12 January 2017.
- Open source tool will help drive emission reduction, Construction Climate Challenge, 11 January 2017.
- The CITT Research Project, Construction Climate Challenge, February 2016.
- Construction Climate Challenge funds new environmental research, Volvo Construction Equipment, 11 February 2016.