BAM adopts energy efficiency rating labels to assess project sustainability04 March 2022

Construction firm BAM Nuttall’s sustainability measures improved across its UK operations in the last 12 months following the introduction of a ‘sustainability index’ which grades every project for its overall environmental and social impact.

The Sustainability Index considers 13 measures across BAM Nuttall projects, which include key sustainability elements such as carbon intensity, construction waste intensity, environment compliance, good practice and social impact. The data used to generate the project’s score is gathered from a range of sources and is grouped into five categories: data presence, carbon performance, waste performance, compliance and ‘demonstrating success’.

This information allows projects to be scored each month, with projects being graded between A and G, like an energy efficiency rating used on household goods.

The index has helped project managers to identify specific areas where improvements can be made, enabling projects to implement changes and strive towards sustainability excellence. As well as recognising high performing projects, the index recognises projects that have made substantial improvements to their score over time.

As an example, the team building the new sea wall at Dawlish improved their score from a ‘D’ to ‘C’ by using ultra low-carbon concrete, reducing the embodied carbon of the scheme by an impressive 1,200tCO2e when compared to the initial tendered design. The project also uses the biofuel HVO, which improved its direct carbon emissions score.

Sarah Jolliffe, BAM Carbon Reduction lead, said: “Our Sustainability Index is a simple and transparent way of understanding the overall sustainability impact of our projects. Not only does it allow us to keep our own environmental and social impact in check, it also allows our customers to monitor our sustainability performance.

“Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen our average project rating rise from a ‘D’ to a ‘C’. That’s partly due to the introduction of innovative, sustainable alternative solutions across the company/BAM Nuttall, such as the move to using HVO to run construction machinery, and partly down to local project initiatives put in place by project managers to meet the needs of clients or the local community.

“Using Power BI, everyone in our business has a comprehensive and very visual dashboard - It makes it much easier for our project teams to see how their project is performing compared to projects in other sectors, or other parts of the country. A year on, what we’re beginning to see is project managers sharing knowledge and learning from other projects achieving ‘A’ and ‘B’ ratings, about how they can improve their own scores.”

Ian Parish, Managing Director, BAM Nuttall said: “The Sustainability Index offers us a tool which can be used to measure our own performance but can also help our clients to see how their projects compare to those in other sectors. Over the last 12 months we have used this data to continue embedding change across our business, not just focussed on carbon, but across the entire sustainability profile.

We’ve seen encouraging progress and we’ll continue working collaboratively to realise the opportunities that this initiative offers us and from April 2022, we’ll be extending the use of the index across all BAM projects in the UK.”

Operations Engineer

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