4 May 2023 | Net Zero | Our Work

Catch up on LCRIG’s net zero activities

The Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG) put a focus on net zero during the first quarter of 2023 – with more than 130 people attending two webinars which focused on how to achieve carbon reduction in fleet and making the right asset management decisions.

Both events formed part of a series entitled ‘Practical steps on the journey to net zero’ with the CPD-accredited webinars available to watch on demand via the LCRIG Skills platform.

In February, representatives from Oxfordshire County Council, Transport for London (TfL), WJ Group and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) formed part of a webinar panel that explored some of the actions which can be taken to help achieve carbon reduction in fleet.

During the webinar, panellists discussed the following:

– How to calculate vehicle emissions
– Implementing the right charging infrastructure
– Decarbonising production machinery
– Steps to reduce use of vehicles
– Implementation of future technologies (e.g. hydrogen, biofuels, HVO)

In March, LCRIG concluded the webinar series with an event entitled ‘Practical steps on the journey to net zero: making the right asset management decisions’.

This session featured panellists from the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA); Enfield Council; PYE-Management Ltd; and Stabilised Pavements Ltd (SPL).

Speakers covered a range of topics including:

– Considering climate factors in highway maintenance initiatives

– How to make the right investment decisions

– Consideration of whole life carbon outputs

– Cutting through greenwashing

– The use of innovative materials

Colas and Breedon were the primary partners for the ‘Practical steps on the journey to net zero’ series which explored in detail the work being done to accelerate the transition to clean energy and sustainable roads.

Last year a launch webinar set out the breadth of the challenge faced with a focus on working towards solutions to help the sector reach net zero. The subject of materials was also covered during the series which was brought to life at last year’s Strictly Highways event with a panel debate entitled ‘Disrupting our way to net zero’.

Member’s work to achieve Net Zero continues to gather pace with LCRIG reporting on a range of activities during Q1, including how Kier is working with Protium, a green Hydrogen Energy Services Company (HESCO™), to conduct a feasibility study examining if its highways depots can be powered using green hydrogen.

Elsewhere, Amey reached an important milestone in its commitment to achieving net zero, gaining verification of its carbon footprint from 2019 to 2021 with the British Standards Institution (BSI).

LCRIG also highlighted how Cambridgeshire County Council, together with its partners, were able to move forward with their shared Net Zero missions with the announcement of a successful bid in the Innovate UK Net Zero pioneer places programme.

We also covered a story about how the role of councils in helping to deliver Net Zero was highlighted in Chris Skidmore’s Mission Zero Review which sets out 129 recommendations and calls for accelerated climate action from Government.

This chimes with the key findings of LCRIG’s own report which highlights a range of actions needed to help local councils achieve net zero.

As local council highways teams come under pressure to reduce their carbon emissions and achieve net zero, LCRIG carried out an exclusive survey to find out more about activity levels, barriers and the actions that are needed to drive this agenda forward.

LCRIG Content Director Alec Peachey said: ”Reaching net zero is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry. The public and private sectors must work closely together to ensure they keep on track to hit climate targets. Through our webinars and wider work LCRIG will continue to deliver news and updates around this important subject area – with net zero one of four key pillars which the organisation focuses its activities and initiatives around.”