Decarbonisation of the infrastructure sector

Page 1

Decarbonisation of the infrastructure sector

Sustainable Infrastructure Series - FIDIC White Paper

July 2023

With thanks to Ramboll and Arcadis for collaborating to author this document.

Other Global Leadership Forum

Think Tank members who have kindly contributed to this report include: AECOM, JP Morgan, Mott Macdonald and WSP.

Foreword

from the FIDIC President and CEO

FIDIC (International Federation of Consulting Engineers) celebrates its 110th anniversary in 2023 and throughout its history has become the voice of the consulting engineering industry in a globalised world. Over the past century, there have been many challenges, but it is fair to say climate change may be the most significant one to date.

Populations and regions across the globe continue to struggle for food, clean water and, even survival - the very survival of the planet. Technical solutions alone are insufficient in the broader discussions on effective governance and restricted finance.

FIDIC stakeholders have a substantial impact on the infrastructure sector globally and raising the bar on how we work with decarbonising the infrastructure sector in all lifecycle phases of projects can have a real impact towards staying within 1.5 degrees as targeted by the Paris Agreement.

Consulting engineers have made a truly significant impact on society worldwide. Innovative advances in transport, water supply, energy, buildings and critical national infrastructure have all led to improved health and economic development and hence a much better life for all.

Meeting the climate challenge will involve the entire infrastructure sector and will be reliant on customers, clients, companies, professions and governments all working towards the same goal. If we stand still, we are not progressing, as the world will continue to evolve around us.

As such, the Global Leadership Forum Advisory Board agreed the scope of work, convened a number of think tanks including this one and appointed member companies Arcadis and Ramboll to produce this white paper, with input from FIDIC and other members of the working group including colleagues from AECOM, JP Morgan, Mott Macdonald and WSP.

This white paper has been produced by the Global Leadership Forum Think Tank for Sustainable Development.

The objective of this research is to promote collaboration and to collate best practice approaches to assist the acceleration of decarbonisation in the global infrastructure sector.

This first piece of work considers best practice when applying scope 3 carbon emissions, focusing on downstream activities in the first instance.

To focus the scope of this white paper, the consideration of buildings is limited to those that form part of major infrastructure projects. It is envisaged that a piece of work dedicated to commercial and public sector buildings will be produced in due course as a continuation of the Global Leadership Forum’s activities.

As we strive to be recognised as a trusted advisor to decision makers involved in the planning and construction of a sustainable infrastructure for future generations, FIDIC will collaborate with other like-minded organisations to achieve this objective.

This white paper is just one element of the work that we do to bring together stakeholders to share best practice, learning and guidance.

2
Anthony Barry President, FIDIC Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE Chief Executive Officer, FIDIC
3 Key considerations associated with life cycle stages 4 The opportunity for decarbonisation in the infrastructure sector 6 2.1 Introduction 6 2.2 Responding to the climate emergency 6 2.3 Application of a lifecycle perspective to infrastructure delivery 9 2.4 Standards and methods supporting infrastructure decarbonisation 11 Decarbonising infrastructure 12 3.1 Managing impact throughout the lifecycle 12 3.2 Case studies ......................................................... 13 3.3 Current status and challenges 19 Key considerations 20 4.1 Accelerating infrastructure sector decarbonisation..................................................... 23 4.2 Visions for a decarbonised infrastructure sector .............................................. 24 Actions to drive progress 25 Summary 27 Acknowledgments 30 Contents 01 02 03 04 05 06 07

Key considerations associated with life cycle stages

Lifecycle phase Key considerations

• Challenge, identify and justify the need for new infrastructure.

Land use and planning phase

• Consider the location of new infrastructure, in terms of soil conditions, surrounding structures, carbon sequestration potential (carbon sinks and storages) and land use type.

• Early-stage carbon analysis.

Feasibility and finance phase

• Consider using or refurbishing existing structures, elements and materials.

• Introduce decarbonisation as a key procurement criterion.

Design process

• Early decisions are integral to the overall design, such as its integration with other infrastructure, construction schedule, life cycle durability, maintenance and end-of-life options.

• Application of circular economy and lifecycle approaches (design for reuse and deconstruction with flexible and conversive structures).

• Undertake sustainability evaluation including carbon accounting to guide the design process.

• Use low-carbon ground improvement methods.

• Design for offsite construction (benefit of lower waste and efficient fabrication).

Carbon and resource management

• Use less materials and m2 for resource efficiency and smaller areal footprint.

Design phase

• Identify opportunities and use alternative low carbon materials.

• Perform material coordination through the design process.

• Support biodiversity and seek possibilities to use nature-based solutions.

• Save and if possible, enhance carbon sinks and storages.

Reporting

• Report the important actions and data for construction, maintenance and end of life phases.

• Report all studied low carbon solutions for further development.

• Report the used materials with material pass to ensure the reusability in preparations and at the end of the lifespan.

• Report project outcome with quantity- and quality-based evidence.

• Recognise successful actions and areas of improvement.

4
01

Key considerations associated with life cycle stages 01

Lifecycle phase Key considerations

Procurement

• Outlining criteria for how to deliver low carbon solutions in the construction phase.

• Build according to low-carbon design principles.

• Use green procurement in the procurement process.

Construction

Construction phase

• Managing and using the materials from demolition and earthworks on the current site.

• If necessary, challenge the brief and move back to design methods for more sustainable solutions.

• Pay attention on construction sites direct emissions, such as machinery, vehicles and energy consumption

• Extend the lifespan of the infrastructure with predictive maintenance.

• Consider using recycled or low-carbon materials in repairs.

Operation & maintenance phase

• Use low emission vehicles and machinery in maintenance.

• Prefer repair and refurbishment over demolition.

• Expanding the lifespan of infrastructure by refitting the elements.

End of life phase

• Repurposing and recycling the elements and materials.

5

The opportunity for decarbonisation in the infrastructure sector

2.1 INTRODUCTION

Infrastructure projects are some of the largest, most complicated, long-lasting engineering projects, with associated environmental impacts throughout their lifecycle. Infrastructure is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions – directly through the construction, operation, and maintenance of assets and also indirectly through use.1 Infrastructure lifecycle greenhouse gas (‘carbon’) emissions are largely determined by decisions made by asset owners, managers, designers, constructors and product/material suppliers.

FIDIC members and stakeholders frequently lead and support the design, specification and maintenance of infrastructure projects, helping to inform and make decisions which can have real influence and bearing on the decarbonisation of these projects and ultimately across the wider society.

It is important to stress that when considering the Sustainable Development Goals (2030) and many of the net zero (2050) targets the infrastructure that will be in place in time for these targets is being considered, conceived and designed now. As such, it is important we share best practice and strive for low-carbon solutions as we will be locking in both embedded and potential profiles of operational emissions for decades to come.

The paper, aimed at FIDIC stakeholders, members, infrastructure operators, clients and investors, considers the global infrastructure sector’s role in influencing and reducing carbon emissions throughout infrastructure’s lifecycle.

This paper seeks to collate current best practice and considers the current challenges, next steps and opportunities and uses the significant expertise and influence of the Global Leadership Forum to drive real and lasting change.

2.2 RESPONDING TO THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY

Climate change is the defining crisis of our time.2 The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change calls for limiting global warming to ‘well below’ two degrees Celsius and for the pursuit of efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees. Failure to slow global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, could result in temperatures rising to above three degrees Celsius by 2100, causing further irreversible damage to our ecosystems.

Governments, regional authorities and major infrastructure operators are responding to climate change by committing to reduce emissions, including commitments to net zero GHG emissions over the coming decades.

1 HM Treasury, The Infrastructure Carbon Review, November 2013. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/ system/uploads/attachment_data/file/260710/infrastructure_carbon_review_251113.pdf

2 https://www.un.org/en/un75/climate-crisis-race-we-can-win

02 6

The opportunity for decarbonisation in the infrastructure sector

In most instances the measurement of the change in carbon emissions mentioned above is baselined against 1990 levels. Looking at country commitments to net zero, there is a positive trend with 136 countries2,with a combined population of over five billion individuals, setting target dates. Of these, however, only 26 (approximately 19%) have plans in place to meet these target dates.

Looking at companies, between July 2019 and June 2020, over 230 companies committed to reach net zero emissions as part of the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign, an urgent call to action for companies to set emissions reduction targets in line with a 1.5°C future.3

There are, however, multiple schemes that track companies’ commitments and so it is hard to get a definitive number. For example, the Energy Climate Intelligence Unit4 lists 419 companies which have made net zero commitments of which 212 (approximately 50%) have published plans to meet these targets.

Most companies are targeting a 2050 date but there is a far greater variation than the country targets which ranged from 2030 up to 2060 as opposed to the companies which ranged from 2005 to 2075 with 52 companies having targets prior to 2020 and so should already be operating at their net zero target.

FIDIC adopts the net zero definitions provided by IPCC: net zero emissions – net zero emissions are achieved when anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are balanced globally by anthropogenic removals over a specified period. CO2 is the principal anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) and net zero CO2 emissions are referred to as carbon neutrality.

[Reference: https://fidic.org/sites/default/files/SOTW_Oct_2021_Net_Zero%20FINAL%20-%203.pdf p. 5]

On the following page is an outline of some key points that help to explain the evolution to current climate thinking and the need for further action.

The concerns around climate change continue to evolve and as can be seen from the most recent activity, there has been a further shift from the SDGs towards zet zero.

3 https://www.un.org/en/un75/climate-crisis-race-we-can-win

02 7

The opportunity for

decarbonisation in the infrastructure sector

Considering the SDGs as the closest target (2030) according to the United Nations, the SDGs are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.

The 17 goals are all interconnected and to leave no one behind it is important that we achieve them all by 2030. In September 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Building on the principle of “leaving no one behind”, the new agenda emphasises a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all.

8
02

The opportunity for decarbonisation in the infrastructure sector

Source: United Nations, annotated by FIDIC 4

The challenge above is significant and net zero will be as, if not more, challenging which is why holistic and circular economy thinking needs to be part of day-to-day activity today.

Currently, more than 70 countries, including China, the United States and the European Union are collectively responsible for about 76% of global emissions and have set net zero targets.5 However, the transformation of key economic systems is needed to achieve net zero. The circular economy is included within the scope of this paper as it has a key role to play in providing a range of sustainability benefits, including reducing carbon emission and biodiversity loss. Net zero can be achieved only with circular solutions and approach.

Consent to build infrastructure ‘planning permission’ frequently requires environmental screening and/or Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which may include consideration of project lifecycle GHG emissions and resilience to impacts associated with climate change.

2.3 APPLICATION OF A LIFECYCLE PERSPECTIVE TO INFRASTRUCTURE DELIVERY

It is widely believed that at least 80% of a product or project’s environmental impact is likely to be determined at the design stage, not just in designing and developing the physical product or service, but when identifying and understanding problems and how to go about solving them. The original graphic below has been developed with a product in mind but can equally be applied to infrastructure as a sector as well.

Figure 1 Illustrative influence on environmental impact during design and the cumulative impact during infrastructure lifecycle stages (Re-emitted from original source: Mattias Lindahl, Tomohiko Sakao and Erik Sundin, Linköping University, Sweden).

4 UN, Sustainable Development Goals, accessed 4/2/2020

5 https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/net-zero-coalition

6 BS 8001:2007, pg. 66.

9
02

The opportunity for decarbonisation in the infrastructure sector

In general, the earlier in a project the decarbonisation issue is addressed, the greater the potential emissions reduction and positive impact that can be achieved. This is where concepts such as the circular economy, carbon reduction, nature-based solutions and resource efficiency are very important and are increasingly being explored in a great degree of detail by various stakeholders. For carbon accounting the standardized life cycle phases design (A1-A5), and use (B2 and B4) are typically the most relevant in the light of embodied carbon.

Throughout the paper, we use examples to demonstrate the role of the infrastructure sector in reducing infrastructure carbon emissions in each of the generic lifecycle stages that occur in infrastructure development process.

02 10
Figure 2. Generic lifecycle stages and typical activities in infrastructure.

The opportunity for decarbonisation in the infrastructure sector

2.4 Standards and methods supporting infrastructure decarbonisation

There are several international and national standards for the management of carbon in infrastructure, some of them explicitly focus on carbon management whilst others have a broader sustainability focus. Carbon sequestration is still in its early stage of codification and therefore not typically included in the standards. Lifecycle phases for carbon accounting include product and construction stage (A), use stage (B), end-of-life (C) and retention of resource value (D). The following table summarises the key standards globally and their focus.

Life cycle stages for the infrastructure assessment (source ISO 21930)

11
Carbon Management Carbon Accounting Broad Sustainability Focus Used Globally PAS 2080 (International) l l l Envision (USA) l IS Rating (Australia/New Zealand) l BREEAM Infrastructure v6 (International) l l l SuRe Standard (International) l l CEN/TC 350 standards l l GHG protocol Scope 1, 2 and 3 l l l ISO 14001 and related standards Environmental management l l l l 02

Decarbonising infrastructure

3.1 MANAGING IMPACT THROUGHOUT THE LIFECYCLE

In an optimal scenario, carbon neutrality is embedded into all the lifecycle phases (A-D). The principles and all the decisions made during the process are considered in the light of holistic sustainability aiming to reduce the negative impacts and enhance the positive impacts. Financing is a strong driver for sustainability. As engineers, we frequently work to achieve sustainable solutions, including financial viabilityin the long term.

The global infrastructure sector is at the forefront of measuring and reducing GHG emissions from infrastructure. The following examples, based on Global Leadership Forum member projects have been selected to highlight the current approaches to quantifying and reducing GHG emissions throughout the infrastructure lifecycle.

The presented case studies have been sourced through an iterative process. All Global Leadership Forum member companies were invited to share current experiences and best practices, with a focus on impact, process and challenges. The selected case studies present best practices from all project lifecycle phases. Through the received best practices it is evident that design phase solutions and ambitions are emphasised, although good examples can be found from all the lifecycle (LC) phases:

1. Land use and planning

2. Feasibility and finance phase

3. Design

4. Construction

5. Operation and maintenance

6. End of life

Examples of quantity-based evidence

• CO2 emissions (kg/ tCO2e)

• Used raw materials (t, m3)

• Used recycled materials (t, m3)

• Produced waste (t, m3)

• Used virgin land (ha)

• Impacts on carbon storages and sinks (tCO2e / year)

• Budget (+- €/£/$)

Examples of quality-based evidence» starting after bullet point «Budget

• Followed framework or process.

• Carbon management actions have been implemented (mass coordination, using recycled materials, identifying emission intensive elements).

• Lifetime durability and maintenance has been considered.

• Design process has been recorded and reported.

• Green procurement.

12
03

Decarbonising infrastructure

3.2 CASE STUDIES

Lifecycle phase Project description and outcome

Project description:

The Colorado Transportation Commission (US) has approved a new standard to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector. The standard requires Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the state’s five metropolitan planning organizations to determine the total greenhouse emissions expected from future transportation projects and reduce emissions by set amounts.

Working closely with CDOT staff, the FIDIC member company prepared a Draft Policy Directive that establishes an ongoing administrative process and guidelines for selecting, measuring, confirming, verifying, and reporting GHG mitigation measures.

Impact:

The case offers a methodology to develop a framework for the state Department of Transportation to:

Implement the standard, and measure carbon through common scores, as well as outline mitigation measures.

Land use and planning phase

Assess future infrastructure projects through carbon ambitions and document compliance with the new standard:

• Improve air quality.

• Reduce smog.

• provide more sustainable travel options.

• The case is scaleable across US and internationally.

How:

A list of potential mitigation measures was developed including a score that represented each measure’s potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for each of four compliance years. The mitigation measures represent hypothetical project types that have potential to reduce emissions by providing options to reduce vehicle miles travelled (VMT), such as pedestrian/bicycle projects, transit options, transportation demand management programs, traffic operation improvements, and parking management. In addition, the potential GHG reductions from construction mitigation actions were also estimated and assigned a point value.

Southern Program Alliance, Melbourne Australia

Feasibility and finance phase

Design phase

https://www.wsp.com/en-nz/projects/southern-program-alliance / Project overview:

The Victorian Government’s Level Crossing Removal Project is overseeing the largest rail infrastructure project in the state’s history. It will see the removal of 85 of Melbourne’s most dangerous and congested level crossings by 2025. The project will also see the upgrading or building of more than 27 train stations, laying many kilometres of new track, and making associated rail improvements.

13
03

Decarbonising infrastructure

Lifecycle phase Project description and outcome

Removing the level crossings will reduce risk for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists as well as creating new community spaces for residents and visitors.

Impact:

• In the design, the project targets embodied emissions both in design optimisation and through material substitutes.

• The project scope also includes local jobs.

• The project is scaleable.

How:

• The project utilizes the IS Rating tool to develop separate GHG emission base and proposed case inventories.

• Lifecycle energy related GHG emission are accounted for separately to embodied emissions (A1-A3).

• Embodied emissions are reduced through a range of initiatives including.

• Material substitutions – including the use of concrete with high quantities of supplementary cementitious materials (Up to 65% for some application), recycled content in asphalt and aggregate replacement.

• Design Optimisation – the design team will capture initiatives over the project design period that reduce the quantities of materials utilized. The impact of this optimization is quantified and reported at each design stage.

• Material transportation optimisation – this addresses the location of materials used for the project with a hierarchy applied to the use of site won materials or local suppliers where practicable.

City Rail Link, New Zealand

The City Rail Link (CRL) project is a 3.45-kilometre (2.14-mile) twin-tunnel underground railway together with four stations.

Impact:

Sustainability has been a core focus in the design, including targeting a 25% reduction in scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions.

• Enhanced social outcomes.

• Water quality improvement.

Feasibility and finance phase Design phase

• Zero waste to landfill.

• Best practice climate resilience.

• The project is scaleable to another rail and tunnel project.

How:

This integration of specific sustainability requirements included the carbon emission reduction requirements of each design package and its elements. This was necessary so that the design would achieve the whole-of-life emission reductions targeted by CRLL and the Link Alliance.

This includes a 15% reduction in embodied carbon reduction, a 25% reduction in construction and operational scope 1 and 2 emissions from energy sources, and a 20% reduction in significant scope 3 emissions from energy sources. This performance is measured against the pre-tender referenced design and pre-alliance design.

14
03

Decarbonising infrastructure

Lifecycle phase Project description and outcome

National Highways and Cascade JV, UK

Project description:

The aim of this major highway scheme is to reduce congestion at Dartford and create economic growth. The joint venture was responsible for preliminary design tender and support, with carbon reduction as a core activity.

Impact:

• The study demonstrates the application of net zero to a major road scheme, including use of ‘carbon ratings’ based on the carbon intensity for individual design elements.

Early Design phase

• Further, it demonstrates the FIDIC member firm’s role in leading carbon management, including through procurement of the main contractor.

• It is scaleable /applicable to other infrastructure projects.

How:

Carbon a central component of the tender process, PAS 2080 verification for the project, delivery partners and subcontractors, detailed carbon baseline set as contractual maximum, numerous contract clauses refined and a specific carbon incentivisation, created to drive further carbon reduction over seven-year programme was developed.

Along with carbon reduction, the project is biodiversity net-gain (positive) and has a host of social value improvements, particularly around connectivity and active transport. The carbon incentivisation methodology has driven the right behaviours in the tender process.

Early consideration of life cycle impacts, AUS

Project overview:

Earlier Design phase

Carbon in pavement design is widely assessed by reference to a preliminary design during the design process with design optimisation frequently focused on the replacement of primary with secondary materials. However, designers and decision makers cannot capture the full sustainability impact of a design through this approach. Adoption of a more holistic approach aligning civil and stainability design outcomes allow the clear articulation of the sustainability impacts of design choices to our clients before committing to a way forward. This approach was applied as part of an Australian road scheme case study.

Impact:

• Demonstrates the ability of FIDIC member firms to influence the project design from the tender stage.

• Demonstrates the application of life cycle assessment / consideration of wider sustainability impact to inform decision making.

• Demonstrates the application of emerging design benchmark data to inform decision making / reduce GHG emissions;

• Is scaleable / applicable to other road schemes and potentially other infrastructure projects.

15
03

Decarbonising infrastructure

Lifecycle phase Project description and outcome

How:

The project seen an immediate benefit of this approach on a major infrastructure project in Australia. Assessment of the singular pavement design permitted by the client as part of a larger project indicated 7.4kg CO2 equivalent emissions per square metre of pavement per year of design life.

The FIDIC member firm assessed a range of different options and developed a pavement design that reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 35% on a mainline road. Using the same approach, they were also able to identify a 75% reduction in lifecycle carbon for a shared user path. This out-of-scope design was accepted by the client based on its holistic advantages over the reference design.

By making sustainability visible in the tender stage and communicating this to the client clearly and simply, we have been able to create a positive impact on the project and were ultimately successful in tender and setting a precedent for use of more sustainable design options in future

The UKs 1st Net zero Carbon station, UK Project overview:

The FIDIC member company has developed a methodology that looks to whole-life carbon and costs, while maximising carbon benefits by inducing switch from high carbon transport (private vehicles) to low carbon transport (rail, bus, cycling and walking).

Design phase

• A UK rail scheme case study.

• The station is intended to be the UK’s first net zero carbon station.

• Demonstrates the FIDIC member firm’s role in reducing whole-life carbon and cost.

• Assesses the whole-life carbon of the new station against expected ‘avoided emissions’ arising from transport modal shift to support calculation of ‘Carbon Return on Investment’ and could be beneficial to future benchmarking of similar projects.

• Is scaleable / applicable to other infrastructure projects.

Sustainability optimization of concrete bridges, Denmark

Project overview:

Through analyses of two highway bridges, a baseline was defined. Potentials in relation to geometrical optimisation of the structure and choice of materials have been identified and a hot-spot analyses in relation to materials were conducted.

Design phase

Impact:

• By optimising towards geometry and material it is possible to reduce the amount of embodied carbon with 44-48% for at bridge cast in-situ and an element bridge respectively.

• The hot-spot analysis results showed that approximately 50-70% of GWP comes from concrete and 20-40% from metals and these materials thus have the greatest potentials when reducing the quantities.

• The optimisation methods can be applied widely in infrastructure projects

16
03

Decarbonising infrastructure

Lifecycle phase Project description and outcome

How:

• The design norms were challenged.

• Structural design optimisation to reduce quantities.

• Alternative material choices: focus was placed on concrete and steel, but other materials are still open for exploration.

• All reduction can be achieved without any additional costs to add to the traditional budget for a new bridge.

C02 Pilot: E10 Kiruna-Kauppinen, Sweden

Project overview:

The project is the first C02 pilot project in Sweden for the Swedish Transport Authorities with the aim to reduce C02 footprint by 50% during preliminary design, detailed design and construction phases. The typical climate goal is 15 to 30% reduction in Swedish Transport Authority projects.

Design phase

Construction phase

Impact:

• Demonstrates the FIDIC member firm’s role in reducing whole-life carbon and costs in conjunction with wider sustainability impact and use of big data to inform decision making and use well established innovation and process management methodologies to push forward the boundaries of industry.

• Assess whole-life carbon of the from early design phase to construction phase and including “missing emissions” relating to road use by consideration of road alignment and pavement design and their impact on fuel consumption. The projects highlight the need for different processes for sustainable innovation at different project phases and could be beneficial to future benchmarking of similar projects and how to work with innovation to deliver more sustainable solutions.

• Is scaleable / applicable to other infrastructure projects.

Combined climate budget for railway and road infrastructure project, Norway

Project overview:

The project has a climate budget for construction, operation and maintenance over 60 years for 40 kilometres of a double-track railway and 15 kilometres of a four-lane highway.

Construction phase

Operation & maintenance phase

The project’s vision is to be Norway’s most environmentally adapted road and railway project with a goal of reducing CO2 emissions and energy consumption by at least 40 % compared to traditional solutions.

Impact:

• Total CO2 emissions from material production, construction, and operation/ maintenance of infrastructure for the railway and highway is estimated to 960.000 tonnes of CO2eq.

• Around 64% are from production and transport of materials to the construction site, 20% are from machinery during construction and around 16% are from operation and maintenance of the infrastructure over 60 years.

17
03

Decarbonising infrastructure

Lifecycle phase Project description and outcome

• Three greenhouse gas budgets were prepared as the design developed, in 2018, 2019 and 2021. The budgets assess that CO2 emissions were reduced by around 29% from the first budget in 2018 to the current budget from 2021.

• Further analysis showed that the measure with the greatest potential for CO2 reduction is to reduce the cross-section in a railway tunnel from 119 m2 to 104 m2, estimated to reduce total emissions by around 20.300 tonnes CO2 eq.

• The project is scaleable.

How:

The carbon budget is based on the project’s cost analysis and related calculations of material- and resource input. Calculations of climate and environmental impacts are done using life cycle assessment (LCA) based on the railway company’s guide for environmental budgets and the road company’s tool for LCA assessment of roads. The LCA methodology is defined by these ISO standards: 14020:2000; 14025:2006; 14040:2006; 14044:2006.

A method called «FRE16 Pluss» in the project has proposed measures to reduce CO2 emissions for structures, technical installations, materials, construction logistics, tunnelling, day zones in the road system, contracting and purchasing. The method is inter-disciplinary and involved many of the project’s experts. More than 600 ideas were suggested and over 90 were considered as possible.

Toldbodvej Bridge lifting Aarhus, Denmark

Project description

The objective of this project was to increase the clearance between the bridge deck soffit and rail profile while doing electrification of the rail line from Frederica to Aarhus, through sustainable means that align with circular economy principles.

The approach focused on increasing clearance without disrupting traffic, in the most efficient manner through bridge lifting, by reutilising the existing bridge and its components. This ensured that materials were utilised in a circular manner, minimising waste and reducing the environmental impact of the project.

Impact:

Operation

and maintenance

End of life phase

• The reduction of embodied carbon and contribution to circular economy was achieved by reusing the existing structure, minimising the environmental impact of the project.

• Traffic congestion was avoided by lifting one half of the bridge at a time, ensuring the other half remained operational, which also aligns with net zero and reducing carbon emissions.

How:

The bridge lifting process applied circular economy principles of reuse and recycling. To achieve this, the bridge was lifted in two parts using a sustainable approach. The first part was lifted with the help of jacks, with a cut made longitudinally and a portion of the deck removed. The second part was kept open to traffic to reduce disruption and hence emissions. Once the first part was raised and stitched, it was made operational to traffic, and then the second part was lifted using jacks. Finally, a final stitch was made to fully open the bridge.

18
These case studies are courtesy of the following organisations: Ramboll, Arcadis, WSP, Jacobs, Aplan Viak and COWI.
03

Decarbonising infrastructure

3.3 CURRENT STATUS AND CHALLENGES

Whilst there are different market maturity levels, as well as methods and data applied globally, there is a need to collaborate to identify and share best practice. Infrastructure projects are frequently distinguished from building projects by their greater spatial and temporal scale.

The case studies show practical and generally transferable examples of effective approaches to carbon management. Successful outcomes consider both the complexity of infrastructure projects and climate impacts among wider sustainability goals through all lifecycle phases. The infrastructure sector is not yet consistent in effectively applying sustainability and whole life impact considerations throughout the projects lifecycle.

Challenges

• There is a clear need to integrate decarbonisation and other sustainability considerations from the earliest phases of the project and that these are an integral and practical part of the design process.

• Clear metrics for the comparison of decarbonisation against the other typical drivers for project development such as cost, programmeme and buildability need to be developed.

• There is often insufficient clarity on the hierarchy of the different, sometimes seemingly competing, sustainability considerations. There is also frequently lack of clarity regarding the design solution hierarchy.

• The role of decarbonisation in the procurement of the project supply chain remains unclear.

03 19

Key considerations

Lifecycle phase Key considerations

• Challenge, identify and justify the need for new infrastructure.

Land use and planning phase

• Consider the location of new infrastructure, in terms of soil conditions, surrounding structures, carbon sequestration potential (carbon sinks and storages) and land use type.

• Early-stage carbon analysis.

Feasibility and finance phase

• Consider using or refurbishing existing structures, elements and materials.

• Introduce decarbonisation as a key procurement criterion

Design process

• Early decisions are integral to the overall design, such as its integration with other infrastructure, construction schedule, lifecycle durability, maintenance and end-of-life options.

• Application of circular economy and lifecycle approaches (design for reuse and deconstruction with flexible and conversive structures).

• Undertake sustainability evaluation including carbon accounting to guide the design process.

• Use low-carbon ground improvement methods.

• Design for offsite construction (benefit of lower waste and efficient fabrication).

Carbon and resource management

• Use less materials and m2 for resource efficiency and smaller areal footprint.

Design phase

• Identify opportunities and use alternative low carbon materials.

• Perform material coordination through the design process.

• Support biodiversity and seek possibilities to use nature-based solutions.

• Save and if possible, enhance carbon sinks and storages.

Reporting

• Report the important actions and data for construction, maintenance and end of life phases.

• Report all studied low carbon solutions for further development.

• Report the used materials with material pass to ensure the reusability in preparations and at the end of the lifespan.

• Report project outcome with quantity- and quality-based evidence.

• Recognise successful actions and areas of improvement.

20
04

Key considerations

Lifecycle phase Key considerations

Procurement

• Outlining criteria for how to deliver low-carbon solutions in the construction phase.

• Build according to low-carbon design principles.

• Use green procurement in the procurement process.

Construction

Construction phase

• Managing and using the materials from demolition and earthworks on the current site.

• If necessary, challenge the brief and move back to design methods for more sustainable solutions.

• Pay attention on construction sites direct emissions, such as machinery, vehicles and energy consumption

• Extend the lifespan of the infrastructure with predictive maintenance.

Operation & maintenance phase

• Consider using recycled or low-carbon materials in repairs.

• Use low-emission vehicles and machinery in maintenance.

• Prefer repair and refurbishment over demolition.

End of life phase

Design optimisation

• Expanding the lifespan of infrastructure by refitting the elements.

• Repurposing and recycling the elements and materials.

Before the investment is made and in the early stages of the lifecycle, challenge, identify and justify the need for the new infrastructure. The biggest carbon and cost impacts come from decisions made early in the design process. Design optimisation is key to reducing the carbon footprint. Lifecycle assessment (LCA) is a holistic quantifiable approach to assess the carbon impact of materials related to different designs. Evaluation of the different design choices available should be based on a clear understanding of the associated carbon impacts.

The infrastructure design process has several dimensions from project goals and site locations to more detailed decisions regarding material-efficient design solutions, supporting the uptake of low-carbon materials and reducing construction impacts by reducing the need for logistics.

Key considerations for improving the impact in the design phase:

• Address the comprehensive view of the lifecycle emissions to ensure impactful considerations, solutions, and decisions in the right phases.

• Implement carbon management, assessments and accounting to all the lifecycle phases (planning and concept phases) to ensure a bigger and more proactive impact.

• Enhance the carbon management process that supports proactivity and the individual tasks and experts and connects the goals to the previous and next phases.

• Allow for an iterative process to move between phases and allow for adjustments in each of the project stages.

• Clear and transparent scope and communication of the carbon accounting.

• Emission-based design guiding construction and use phase.

• Include the follow-up of realised emissions to develop the solutions and awareness.

• Use technology and tools where possible to manage carbon and aid efficient and effective design.

21
04

Key considerations

Material optimisation

Embodied carbon is the major defining factor in infrastructure’s CO2 emissions and it is a core element when searching for solutions for reducing GHG emissions in the built environment.

Key actions in reducing embodied carbon in the design phase are using less material and using alternative materials. Large amounts of materials are inevitably used in infrastructure projects and their characteristics determine the projects’ embodied carbon and may also be a significant element of the lifecycle carbon footprint.

The material and component producers are developing their products towards carbon neutral. It is important for the global infrastructure sector to be aware of and support this development and accelerate the use of new, less carbon-intensive materials.

Considerations for reducing the material usage:

• Aim for more efficient structural design (e.g. compact structure form).

• Optimise the specification for structure elements.

• Design for off-site construction.

• Design for reuse, reconfiguration and deconstruction.

• Increase reuse of materials from demolition and earth works.

Aspects for using alternative materials:

• Materials with lower carbon intensities.

• Reused or higher recycled content products and materials.

• Materials with lower transport-related carbon emissions (eg. locally manufactured and sourced materials).

Carbon management and accounting

Carbon management and accounting are tools to optimise and verify low-carbon design outcomes. Carbon management is a method of working proactively to reduce the carbon footprint of projects. By, for example, establishing a GHG emissions baseline for the project, it is possible to identify the materials and processes that contribute to the greatest GHG emissions (hotspots).

The goal is to bring in GHG emissions as an active part of the decision-making process and design. Focus on carbon management can contribute positively to moving the industry in a more sustainable direction and enable monitoring and calculation of GHG emissions.

Carbon management can be implemented in a project by involving a number or all of the following activities:

• Establish a GHG emissions baseline for the project.

• Identify project carbon hotspots.

• Identify alternative solutions for the carbon hotspots.

• Optimise GHG emission hotspots.

• Involve contractors and the supply chain in innovative methods.

• Identify and apply GHG emission reduction incentivisation measures.

• Set requirements for CO2eq reductions that challenge procurement and execution.

• Record and report GHG emission reductions.

22
04

4.1 ACCELERATING INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR DECARBONISATION

To accelerate the infrastructure sector GHG emissions reduction it is crucial to transfer and apply best practice from all the lifecycle phases as well as continue to develop the better practices and continue to raise the bar across the whole infrastructure sector. In addition to mitigating the negative impacts we also need to enhance the positive impacts from a holistic point of view.

Trends and opportunities

From the case studies, a number of trends and opportunities can be translated into key process elements:

Engaging and open communication

• Creating a culture of ‘common knowledge’ including sharing of best practice, pitfalls and practical experience / key learnings

• Communicating the benefits and costs associated with carbon reduction opportunities.

• Developing and sharing case studies that demonstrate project delivery approaches supporting decarbonisation from all the lifecycle phases.

Proactive and goal-oriented collaboration

• Creating a common approach to data and databases to enable comparison of alternative designs, benchmark performance and make informed decisions.

• Be open to opportunities to use innovative materials to enable their production and development.

• Identifying the common challenges and sharing successful approaches between stakeholders and lifecycle phases. Larger FIDIC members could support/sponsor smaller firms in developing countries.

• Forging strategic partnerships with sector peers and other stakeholders (including contractors, architects, engineers, material suppliers etc.) to leverage the collective strength of the infrastructure sector to accelerate decarbonisation.

• Collaborating with the financial sector including fund managers, Multilateral Development Banks, governments etc. Potentially, facilitating the development of specialist funding for infrastructure projects aligned with an agreed carbon standard. Develop a streamlined process for carbon management

• Using standard delivery methods to support decarbonisation and sustainability goals, this would include using transparent carbon accounting methods.

• Creation of evidence base of normalised metrics, such as kg/ CO2e/km of road, allowing identification of typical ranges of values for different asset types, benchmarking of performance and ultimately contractual specification of carbon intensity.

Train and upskill all the key stakeholders

• Develop a ‘FIDIC Academy’ to help share best practice.

• Creation of a FIDIC member’s ‘Low Carbon Infrastructure Handbook’ introducing the key considerations for carbon management and summarising best practice.

• Raising awareness through the creation of information tailored for different stakeholder needs – including clients.

• FIDIC member participation in industry working groups / technical steering groups - including supporting the development of new ISO standards.

23
04
Key considerations

Key considerations

4.2 VISIONS FOR A DECARBONISED INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR

The infrastructure sector must adopt a sustainable approach across all lifecycle phases and including engagement and input from stakeholders including authorities, policy makers, owners, investors, constructors, designers and product / material suppliers.

Progress requires application of structured approach to the consideration of sustainability, including lifecycle GHG emissions from the earliest phase of project delivery with best practice transferred from more developed markets and applied globally.

FIDIC members have a key role to play in raising the ambition for infrastructure sector lifecycle decarbonisation and the potential for a significant contribution to staying within 1.5 degrees temperature rise that was part of the Paris Agreement.

The preceding sections of this White Paper were used to inform, structure and stimulate workshop discussions during the April 2023 FIDIC Global Leadership Forum (GLF).

The Workshop involved >50 senior management representatives of FIDIC member companies and focused on consideration of:

• The key challenges and strategies to accelerate infrastructure sector decarbonisation.

• Identification of possible joint opportunities and actions for the GLF members to help overcome these challenges. The GLF Workshop recognised both the urgent need for action and the consultant’s role as a ‘driver for decarbonisation’ throughout the infrastructure lifecycle and the need to work with and inform different stakeholders - investors, regulators, construction companies, infrastructure operators and users.

The GLF Workshop recognised that there is no standard approach to carbon management currently applied globally and that the approach taken in less mature markets may be less stringent than that applied in more developed markets. There was, however, a consensus on what constitutes best practice for carbon management and also that the case studies (Section 3) demonstrate aspects of this.

04 24

Actions to drive progress 05

It is incumbent upon FIDIC members to lead infrastructure decarbonisation through the identification and application of best practice within our own organisations and also to promote adoption of best practice though our spheres of influence.

The strategies and opportunities identified by GLF members at the April 2023 Global Leadership Forum Summit were:

• Go early and influence the brief ;

• Apply a systematic process engaging with other stakeholders ; and

• Develop long-term goals and maintain focus throughout the project lifecycle.

Actions arising from the GLF are summarised in the table below, these align with the commitments reported though the FIDIC GLF report, `Closing The Sustainable Infrastructure Gap’. Commitment 6 was made during the April GLF Summit following discussions arising from the first draft of this report.

FIDIC GLF commit to undertake the following actions and challenge others to do the same:

Action

• Identify and specify FIDIC member minimum sustainability criteria for infrastructure projects.

• Work with clients to challenge the brief and help improve the project sustainability performance.

• Develop and use infrastructure sector intensity metrics (eg tCO2e/km of road) as indicators of relative carbon intensity rather than focusing on absolute emissions.

• Use project data to help develop carbon intensity performance benchmarks.

• FIDIC members have a key role to play in helping to identify, share and promote best practice.

• Target stakeholders include: governments, policy makers and funders.

Commitments arising from the GLF

These actions can be linked to:

Commitment 1: The GLF will create a think-tank to work on exploring and defining a sustainability rating standard.

Commitment 2: The GLF will continue to expand and extend invitations to governments worldwide to provide the tools and advice to help them turn their net zero policies ambition into clear pathway plans.

Commitment 3: There is an increasing need to create a global repository of successful project case studies and document the practices, approaches and innovations used.

Commitment 4: FIDIC and the GLF will continue to work with Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), governments and international organisations to help certify investible projects and build confidence in their governance structure.

Commitment 5: FIDIC and the GLF will continue to work with policymakers and financial institutions to help identify the regulatory and policy levers that would facilitate investment in the most impactful sustainable infrastructure projects using a carbon balance sheet approach.

Commitment 6: The infrastructure sector and individuals need to increasingly engage with clients, to help improve the understanding around the value of acting early to reduce carbon.

This will require, influencing government and legislation to apply nature-based solutions standards in the infrastructure industry globally.

Industry forums will need to advocate for an increasingly common and well understood approach to ‘greener’ procurement and how this is measured and stipulated. This will involve the evolution of set standards and goals across the sector and within organisation and educate engineers to design for and influence public sector clients regarding those standards.

To do this the infrastructure sector will need to invest in securing knowledge and technical personnel in the right positions.

25

Actions to drive progress

The carbon footprint models developed for infrastructure projects present `common ground’ between different FIDIC members and stakeholders and hence, the potential to collaborate for the greater good.

Several Global Leadership Forum members committed to share infrastructure carbon footprint models and experience-based data to support comparison of alternative approaches, sharing of best practice, and potentially the benchmarking of the carbon intensity of different schemes.

Further work is however required to enable sharing of data, meaningful comparison and benchmarking of carbon intensity data, including:

• Client authorisation for sharing data ;

• Procedures for maintaining client confidentiality ;

• Interpretation of shared data, including recognition of:

- key methodological factors (e.g. scope of reporting and emission factors used etc) influencing the calculation of infrastructure carbon footprints; and

- project-specific aspects influencing the carbon emission intensity.

• Agreement on and development of a common format for reporting / data sharing;

• Collation and interpretation of data; and

• Development of carbon intensity metrics etc.

Sharing of this information within and beyond FIDIC members and stakeholders will facilitate transfer of knowledge. We need to start now, there is no time to wait for a fully defined process. We will need to maintain support for, review progress at regular intervals and work with members to further development and maintain this initiative.

05
26

Infrastructure projects, which have substantial greenhouse gas emissions throughout their lifecycle, can be influenced by the decisions made by asset owners, managers, designers, constructors, and material suppliers. FIDIC members and stakeholders play a crucial role in influencing and reducing carbon emissions in infrastructure projects. This report highlights the current best practices, challenges, and opportunities for FIDIC members and stakeholders in their pursuit of decarbonisation.

The urgency to respond to the climate emergency is evident, with the need to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius as outlined in the Paris Agreement. Working together and sharing best practices among stakeholders are essential to identify effective measures for accelerating decarbonisation.

This will include adopting a lifecycle perspective on infrastructure delivery, as early intervention and design decisions have the greatest potential for emissions reduction. Standards and methods supporting decarbonisation exist globally, focusing on carbon management and sustainability considerations. There is, however, a need for greater integration of decarbonisation and sustainability from the earliest phases of projects, clarity on the hierarchy of sustainability considerations, and understanding the role of decarbonisation in the procurement of the supply chain.

The examples of decarbonising infrastructure presented in the report demonstrate the impact that FIDIC members and stakeholders can have across all lifecycle phases. Design solutions and ambitions play a significant role, but good examples can be found in all stages of infrastructure development. Going forward it is important that we improve consistency in effectively applying sustainability considerations throughout the lifecycle.

To accelerate decarbonisation in the infrastructure sector, we recommend several actions. These include engaging in open communication, fostering proactive and goal-oriented collaboration, developing a streamlined process for carbon management, and investing in training and upskilling of key stakeholders. Most importantly, we must work together towards developing industry standards, and identifying accessible and transparent platforms for mapping these standards to drive progress.

The infrastructure sector has a vital role to play in decarbonisation, and we can make a significant impact by incorporating sustainable practices throughout all stages of infrastructure projects.

By working together and daring to tackle the most difficult issues related to decarbonisation, we will be able to contribute to a more sustainable and low-carbon future.

Summary 06 27

Acknowledgments

FIDIC would like to thank the following groups and individuals listed below for their contributions to this publication.

THE GLF ADVISORY BOARD

Members of the Global Leadership Forum advisory board hold key positions, knowledge and expertise in the engineering, investment, construction and wider infrastructure sectors.

The advisory board has a remit to establish working think tanks with a mandate to bring other global industry leaders together to deliberate on key global issues and produce tangible insights to enhance the sector’s public engagement and activity. As such, we would like to recognise their direction and contribution to the development of the think tanks and this research.

THE FIDIC BOARD

As with all documents and research produced by FIDIC, the board plays a vital role in ensuring that quality, integrity and the direction of such publications and we thank the board members for their contribution to this publication.

THE SECRETARIAT

FIDIC is only possible because of the hard work of its team and this report would like to recognise the efforts of the individuals within the FIDIC secretariat to make this report possible.

THINK TANK MEMBERS

The GLF advisory board and the FIDIC board would like to recognise those members of the Sustainable Development and Meeting the SDGs think tank for their work and continued support of the Global Leadership Forum.

• Elina Kalliala - Ramboll

• David Smith - Arcadis

• Jens-Peter Saul – Ramboll.

• Sarah Katz – Ramboll.

• Rachel Skinner – WSP.

• Fuat Savas – JP Morgan.

• Joost Slooten – Arcadis.

• Chris Allan – Arcadis.

• Rob Banes – Arcadis.

• Robert Spencer – AECOM

• Peter Oosterveer – Arcadis.

• Mark Naysmith – WSP.

• Neel Stroebaek – Ramboll.

• Mike Haigh – Mott MacDonald.

• Graham Pontin – FIDIC.

• Sara Lipscombe – FIDIC.

28
07

Acknowledgments

REVIEWERS

FIDICs research is important and covers a global stage and as such FIDIC research is peer reviewed by several independent individuals and a selected board member to help ensure its quality. FIDIC would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank the following.

CONTRIBUTORS

FIDIC’s reports do not only focus on FIDIC’s objectives, but by their nature are a culmination of the industry’s expertise and professionalism and as such there are always valuable contributors to FIDIC’s reports. In this one we wish to recognise the following.

• Nelson Ogunshakin – FIDIC CEO

• Anthony Barry – FIDIC President

GLF SUMMIT ATTENDEES

FIDIC would like to give a very special thanks to all the delegates from its member associations who attended the inaugural Global Leadership Forum in Geneva on 27−28 April 2023, without whose support and engagement this report wouldn’tbe possible.

3TI

AEO group

Arcadis

Artelia

Asplan Viak

Atkins − member of the SNC − Lavalin Group

Aurecon

B-Act Quantum Vinatage

Basler & Hofmann AG

Bentley Systems

Buro Happold

CDM Smith, Inc

EBRD

EFCG

Eptisa

Genève Aéroport

GOPA Consulting Group

HDR

IMEG Corp

Intercontinental Consultants & Technocrats Pvt Ltd

JPMorgan Securities LLC

Morrison Hershfield Group Inc.

Mott MacDonald

Pinsent Masons

POWER Engineers Incorporated

Ramboll

Schneider Electric

Solar Impulse Foundation

University of Cambridge

VHB

World Business Council for Sustainable Development

WSP

29
Progetti AECOM
07

Acknowledgments 07

FIDIC MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS

FIDIC is a product of its member associations without which FIDIC would not exist. Whilst all member associations can be found on the FIDIC website, in this report we have engaged with FIDIC member associations on the detail of our work and we would like to thank the following member associations for their support for our research.

30

Disclaimer

This document was produced by FIDIC and is provided for informative purposes only. The contents of this document are general in nature and therefore should not be applied to the specific circumstances of individuals. Whilst we undertake every effort to ensure that the information within this document is complete and up to date, it should not be relied upon as the basis for investment, commercial, professional, or legal decisions.

FIDIC accepts no liability in respect to any direct, implied, statutory and/or consequential loss arising from the use of this document or its contents. No part of this report may be copied either in whole or in part without the express permission of FIDIC in writing.

Copyright FIDIC © 2023

Published by International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) World Trade Center II P.O. Box 311

1215 Geneva 15, Switzerland Phone +41 22 568 0500

E-mail fidic@fidic.org

Web: www.fidic.org

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.