A journey with all of our stakeholders, because together we are stronger and can make a difference...
A journey with all our stakeholders
Progressing with purpose
Perpetuating sustainability is part of our DNA. Not only is it within our vision, it underpins our purpose too. A purpose that drives us to enhance the communities in which we all live, learn, work, play, care and protect.
Our recently launched Responsible Business Plan speaks to both our vision and our purpose, making sure that we continue to do the best things for our people, our planet and the communities we work within.
We were delighted to welcome so many partners at the launch of our Decarbonising Communities strategy - a framework for collaboration, inclusion and alignment of purpose amongst our stakeholders. For those who were unable to attend, we've included a wrap up in this document.
We hope that you'll join and support us on this journey, because together, we are stronger and can make a difference.
The time is now
The future is in our hands
Climate change is one of the greatest environmental challenges that society has ever faced. It’s beyond time for everyone to get involved, own the changes required, raise our voices and build back a better planet for everyone and everything that lives here now, and for the generations to come.
Now, more than ever, we are confronted with the fragility of life, and in these uncertain times, it has become clear that we must take even more action.
Thousands of species are already extinct, temperatures are rising, ice caps are melting and carbon emissions are increasing.
According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the concentration of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere have been rising steadily, along with global temperatures, since the industrial revolution.
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) states that the global average temperature was 1.1oC above the pre-industrial period, worryingly close to a level of 1.5oC, at which point scientists say lasting damage and devastating effects begin to scale faster for every fraction above 1.5oC.
To put that in context, at 1.5oC, over 70% of coral reefs will die, and at 2oC over 99% of reefs will be lost.
The UK Green Building Council states that around 45% of the UK’s total carbon footprint is from the built environment. Almost half of this is from the energy used in operating the buildings.
Whilst this figure is stark, what it does mean is that in the construction sector, we have a real opportunity to make significant change in the fight against climate emergency.
Thatching at the
UEA Enterprise Centre
As part of Morgan Sindall Group, we have been tracking our performance and tackling the challenges that face our industry.
Since 2016 we have been reducing our Scope 3 emissions going from an A- score three years running to an A rating in 2020 from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) - and are one of the very few companies to achieve this globally.
Since 2016 we have reduced our Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 13% and our carbon intensity by 26%, and are working to reduce our Scope 3 emissions in the value chain. Indeed, we were the first UK construction firm to have our approach to reducing carbon validated by SBTi.
Taking this further, we will have achieved Net Zero for our own operation by 2030 at the latest, and we're working rapidly towards a climate positive position.
This however, has limited material impact on our purpose, to enhance the communities in which we all live, learn, work, play, care, and protect, which is why we have created Decarbonising Communities.
"This journey has only just begun, and it is definitely an infinite one – a cause close to our hearts, because now, more than ever, we are being entrusted to pass on a healthy, happy and sustainable planet for generations to come. The future is in our hands, and together we have the power to change it for the better."
Head of Social Value and Sustainability
Content from our launch event
Thank you for joining us live
We were delighted to be joined by Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), who set the scene for why this work fits into her purpose of delivering lasting change within our industry.
Over the next few pages, our Decarbonising Communities strategy is outlined in more detail, but if you would like to catch up on the launch event, please click on the video below to watch the webinar:
What does it mean?
Decarbonising Communities is fundamentally about leaving
a climate positive impact on
It is our strategy that is focused on reducing asset-related embodied and operational carbon, as well as those within our own organisation, in order to leave a positive impact on the world around us.
This will enable our business to reduce reliance on non-renewable natural resources as part of our roadmap to be Net Zero Carbon by 2030.
The strategy aligns to Contractors Declare, aligns to the UN's sustainable development goals, reflects the UKGBC framework for Net Zero buildings and supports our commitment to SBTi.
Whilst many businesses are achieving net zero by relying on offsetting, we know that's not enough. Paying to offset carbon should be a last resort when nothing else is possible.
That's why our Decarbonising Communities strategy focuses on six key areas of implementation that will empower all our stakeholder groups to reduce carbon.
Reimagining the art of the possible
Together we are stronger and, by working collaboratively with our customers, we are consistently challenging the status quo
In parallel with the development of the Decarbonising Communities strategy, a digital twin project has been running to challenge the design and build process to enable low-carbon outcomes.
This project uses a legacy construction project, but has enabled a fully integrated contractor-consultant-procurement-customer team to start again, re-imagining the process required to achieve more sustainable assets.
It has identified the value that can be captured through vertical collaboration in the value chain, and the impact that capital cost decisions have on operational costs and costs to the environment.
The learning from this project will begin filtering into our pre-construction and delivery phase practices, to empower our teams to know when and how to challenge the process to maximise environmental benefits.
Cross laminated timber at
Trinity College, Cambridge
Ultimately this unlocks opportunities for our customers to achieve their environmental aspirations.
It will help put more emphasis on the early design stages of the project and involving our supply chain partners to guide design decisions.
Alignment with the construction industry playbook
The Construction Playbook, released in December 2020, seeks to transform the way public sector projects are assessed, procured and managed.
One of its intended outcomes is to take strides towards the UK’s net zero commitment by focusing on a whole life carbon approach to fight climate change and deliver greener facilities for the future.
By offering our customers whole life carbon assessments which not only provide meaningful data, but also design recommendations and low-carbon alternative material options, we are ensuring that we can continue to exceed our customers’ expectations.
Tim Clement, Carbon Performance Manager
The Playbook also identifies that the industry must become more predictable. Consistent achievement is key, and we have a great opportunity to set up our projects with a process that enables low-carbon outcomes.
The Decarbonising Communities approach will result in the tools that make it possible for project teams to embed better, greener ways of working.
The assets we deliver
A six step framework
Decarbonising Communities aligns to the UKGBC framework for net zero buildings and there are
six steps to implementing the strategy.
This process has been designed to challenge and test our existing processes to ensure the priority is in removing as much carbon as we can and making it inherent within our operation.
Interrogating all of the steps involved in creating the assets we deliver will ensure we continue to push forward in protecting and improving the environment now and in the future.
This process empowers our customers throughout to make meaningful decisions across the entire process mapped out in the diagram below.
Over the page, we have provided a snapshot of our intelligent carbon calculator - a tool that will be vital in reducing carbon in the assets we deliver.
One of our Science-Based Targets commitments is to roll out our carbon calculation tool on all projects by 2023.
CarboniCa has been developed for this purpose and allows site teams to estimate, manage and reduce whole life carbon emissions through the design, construction, and in use phases.
It provides reliable data, challenges business as usual, represents an integrated approach and is geared towards project-specific information.
CarboniCa underpins the delivery of our strategy on projects, empowering customers to make decisions based on meaningful data, and reducing carbon across the life of the assets we construct.
What's the biggest barrier to reducing carbon in design?
- Cost - these processes and materials cost more
- Time - lack of early involvement and time to flesh out solutions
- Awareness - many don't understand the options
- Human - gatekeepers' negative influence/lack of belief
- Legislation - not enough to force people's hands
- All of the above
It is amongst the most sophisticated and complete
tools that I have seen, which
nicely balances complexity and
simplicity for most use cases.
Terry Ellis, Senior Consultant, Arup
An individual carbon pledge
A carbon pledge for our colleagues
Led by John Morgan, Pat Boyle and the Construction leadership team, we launched the Morgan Sindall Group Carbon Pledge for our colleagues. The Pledge is an intelligent and tailored eLearning module that helps our staff to understand the importance of carbon and learn more about our leadership in tackling carbon and climate change. The Pledge allows users to create their own Carbon Pledge to make the small yet significant changes to ways of working, helping us to decarbonise.
It asks every one of our 7,000 colleagues across Morgan Sindall Group to commit to three work-related carbon reduction commitments relevant to their role.
Every employee is expected to take the Pledge, using the online platform, starting with John Morgan, Pat Boyle and the Construction senior leadership team.
I will investigate the cost-benefit analysis of using low carbon fuels and plant.
I'll promote the use of smart electric vehicle charging on new projects.
I will incorporate at least one offsite construction method on each project.
I will become a carbon reduction champion and ensure others turn off equipment when not in use.
I'll challenge the structural designer and supply chain to minimise cement content in the concrete mix.
I'll ensure that all tenders I work on will consider and programme grid connection.
I'll hold a pre-fabrication workshop and identify strategy for at least two new MEP items.
These pledges will mean that by the end of 2021, we will have over 21,000 granular actions, that will help remove carbon from our activities and the wider value chain.
Where are you on your own carbon journey?
- It’s part of my core purpose and I try to make a difference every day
- I truly believe in it, but I still have some way to go
- I haven’t yet started, but this sort of event is motivating me to begin
- I’m not interested, I’ve other priorities at the moment
Our supply chain
The carbon maturity framework
Every day on site, we drive the operational performance of over 25,000 people in our supply chain.
Add to this the numbers of consultants, designers, and engineers, and this number probably increases by 50 per cent again.
More than ever we need to work more collaboratively with our supply chain to deliver projects for our clients that generate much lower carbon emissions during project delivery and over the entire building lifecycle.
To help and support their contribution to carbon reduction, we are introducing a Carbon Maturity Framework. This framework is designed to guide and empower the supply chain to reduce their carbon contribution by supporting them through levels of certification, disclosure, upskilling and action to enable the removal of Scope 3 emissions.
Five levels of the framework
Level 1 | Key staff have had basic training about carbon in the built environment
Level 2 | The supplier is measuring and reporting their Scope 1 & 2 emissions
Level 3 | Voluntary disclosure of organisational carbon emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Programme
Level 4 | The supplier has set and had verified a science-based targetby the SBTi
Level 5 | Optimising resource efficiency, materials passports and repurposing redundant materials
The carbon maturity framework graphic over the page demonstrates how the levels work visually.
How important will the supply chain be in reducing our carbon?
- Imperative, we can't do it without them
- Important, but it's just one element of the journey
- Important, but too difficult to force others
- Not important, other elements rank higher
Places where we work
Education towards carbon literacy
We have formed a unique national partnership with the Carbon Literacy Project (CLP).
This will create a greater understanding of the management of carbon within stakeholder groups, including but not limited to commissioners, schools, Government departments and the supply chain.
The partnership will help to build a network of carbon literate individuals and organisations who can recognise the contribution they can make to carbon reduction.
Is it our responsibility to educate both communities and the next generation?
- 100% - we are already a CLP-certified organisation
- Absolutely - it’s so important - how can we support this?
- Partly - but there is only so much we can do
- No - we need to concentrate on getting it right in-house first
Each business unit within Morgan Sindall Construction will have a CLP-accredited trainer who can go into the community providing professional training.
Our goal is to support as many others as possible and become a Silver standard Carbon Literate Organisation by the end of 2021.
Get in touch for CLP support
If you could like any support, advice or training around carbon literacy, please get in touch with us by clicking on the button below to email us
Email us here
Providing assurance and sharing the knowledge
Transparency and assurance
There’s one final but very important part to Decarbonising Communities that underpins the strategy, and that is transparency.
Voluntary public disclosure associated with carbon accounting is something we have strongly undertaken for many years.
In 2018, we were the first UK construction firm, and only the third worldwide, to have our Science-Based Targets verified.
In 2020 after many years of disclosure we received an industry-leading ‘A’ rating from the voluntary Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).
We also become one of only a handful of companies around the world to have achieved Platinum status under the CEMARS certification scheme, which ensures our greenhouse gas reporting and reduction is externally verified.
We also continue to be included on the FTSE4Good index, which rates the performance of companies on corporate responsibility standards.
Carbon reduction is at the heart of our 'Improving the Environment' plan, ensuring that all of our project teams can contribute to our Responsible Business Strategy.
It is against this backdrop of carbon accounting credentials that we will continue to share our experiences, ideas and best practice with stakeholders, through relationships, and formally through our chosen carbon disclosure routes.
A strategy summary and five key takeaways
Together we are stronger and can make the step change required
From customers to communities to supply chain, our commitment to carbon literacy, education and support includes everyone
Enabling individuals and organisations to make carbon reduction contributions
We are resolute in making the necessary change because we are trusted to pass on a healthy, happy and sustainable planet for future generations
We are all leaders in creating a low carbon society, individual accountability is key
Only by working together with our customers can we truly challenge the status quo. Projects like the digital twin are helping to positively disrupt the industry.
By aligning to the UKGBC net zero buildings and implementing CarboniCa on every project, we'll reduce carbon in our operations and the buildings we construct.
In March 2021 we launched the Morgan Sindall Group Carbon Pledge to help everyone we work with, make a difference to carbon reduction.
A Carbon Maturity Framework with five guided levels will help train and support our partners to reduce their carbon emissions in operation and over the building lifecycle.
where we work
A unique national partnership with the Carbon Literacy Project will help us provide training and support to numerous other organisations in making carbon reductions.
Transparency and assurance
Finally, underpinning all five of the above, our long track record of voluntary disclosure associated with carbon
accounting including CEMARS, FTSE4Good Index and the Carbon Disclsoure Project amongst others will continue.
It's against this backdrop that we'll continue to share our experiences, ideas and best practice to move forward
with all our stakeholders.
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