The Carbon Infrastructure Transformation Tool (CITT) project starts from the need to solve two key problems facing the construction industry: the ever more pressing need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the highly fragmented nature of supply chains within the sector.

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.

Project Lead

Matthew Brander Headshot

Matthew Brander

Senior Lecturer in Carbon Accounting and Director, MSc Carbon Finance

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.

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