11 November 2021 | Environment | Our Work

View from the top: Net Zero challenge

I’m currently drawing up a draft Terms of Reference for the Net Zero Working Group we are hoping to establish in due course and I need to do this first before looking at potential membership as individuals will want to know ‘what they are signing up to’.

The challenge that Net Zero poses to Members and to the United Kingdom is becoming more apparent day by day and ‘do-nothing’ is not an option. I believe that at this moment in time, our leaders and practitioners in the Highways and Transport Sector are not joined up or fully sighted on the practical elements which can be undertaken to reduce their climate impacts whilst reducing the cost of asset maintenance.

I therefore believe it will be necessary to bring together Councils, Government, Innovators, and the Supply Chain to address practical steps to help Members accelerate their journey to Net Zero by informing Transport and Highways Leaders who operate the transport infrastructure within the United Kingdom how to develop and maintain their assets with the least amount of climate impact as possible, also known as Net Zero referring to the amount of carbon expended.

Most Member Councils have already set targets to change the amount of climate impact that their activities generate. The Working Group should be able to inform the required transformation that will be necessary so that Supply Chain Partners and Innovators can join to design meaningful and timely interventions that have no or little negative impact on the environment.

The reason we want to press ahead with this initiative is because it is simply too important to wait for others to go first just so we can follow in their footsteps and we know that this is what our Members would want. I realise this might mean making the odd mistake along the way but we shouldn’t be afraid of that – if no one ever went first, nothing would change!