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ICE’s new reports pave the way for decarbonisation and productivity

11 May 2022

Two major reports, launched within a week, have set a strong agenda for ICE’s knowledge programmes for the next 12 months and beyond.

ICE’s new reports pave the way for decarbonisation and productivity
ICE has launched two very different reports, but each with the opportunity to transform our industry. Image credit: alice-photo/Shutterstock

The Low Carbon Concrete Routemap

Earlier this month, ICE proudly launched the new Low Carbon Concrete Routemap at One Great George Street (OGGS).

The routemap launched in front of an in-person audience of almost 100 people, and a virtual cohort approaching 300 spectators.

The routemap is the culmination of more than two years of work by the Green Construction Board’s Low Carbon Concrete Group (LCCG), supported by ICE.

Read the routemap

Decarbonising our industry

We believe it could be transformational in efforts to decarbonise our industry.


Simply because concrete is the most used material on the planet, after water.

It’s strong, durable and the components are abundant almost everywhere.

It's an incredible material that has supported the development of our societies and improved the quality of life of billions of people.

However, the active ingredient in concrete – cement – is a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions.

The typical UK consumption of cement per year is equivalent to the emissions of 7.2 million cars.

Reducing concrete’s carbon impact

The routemap sets out a clear path for dramatically – really dramatically – reducing concrete’s carbon impact.

ICE is determined to make sure the routemap is actioned. A new UK Concrete Decarbonisation Taskforce, convened by ICE, will oversee its delivery.

The taskforce will use ICE’s position at the heart of construction and infrastructure, working collaboratively with stakeholders across the sector to significantly decarbonise concrete.

This is why it could be transformational.

Systems Approach to Infrastructure Delivery (SAID)

Infographic depicting the principles of SAID
Infographic depicting the principles of SAID.

Part two of the Systems Approach to Infrastructure Delivery (SAID) launched only a few days earlier, also at OGGS.

We presented it to a live audience of almost 100 people and an online group of over 300 viewers.

This marked the completion of a second phase of an ICE review into why so many infrastructure projects disappoint their owners. Whether it’s in time and cost overruns, or through a failure to deliver the anticipated outcomes.

The first report from the study was published in December 2020 and identified eight themes, including:

  • Focusing on the outcomes of investment.
  • Noting actions for owners (including appetite for innovation and the importance of data).
  • Applying systems thinking (including systems engineering and integration) as key elements to consider at the outset of a project, and long before starting delivery.

Going further

In setting out the principles relating to SAID, we recognised the need to go further to ensure that they could be brought to life and integrated in thinking across the industry.

Therefore, ICE supported the second phase, and, with the support of Bentley Systems, we held a series of industry briefings and round table discussions.

These encouraged leaders in our industry to discuss the principles and how to implement them effectively.

The second report is intended to build on these discussions and offer practical examples of the principles in action and their benefits for infrastructure projects, complex or otherwise.

Strong focus on leadership

The second report also clearly identifies the opportunity for transformation in another key area – leadership.

A theme that recurred through both phases and came up at each of the round table discussions was the need for a strong focus on leadership.

Leaders of complex infrastructure projects must be resilient and possess a degree of subject matter expertise.

However, these won’t be sufficient in an environment that is increasingly multidisciplinary, culturally diverse, geographically dispersed and set within a complex web of stakeholders.

Challenging existing models of leadership

To this end, we need to challenge the models of leadership that have served the industry until now and examine the capabilities and competencies of the leaders of infrastructure projects of the future.

It’s this topic that the ICE, with the support of fellow professional engineering institutions, is now investigating as a further phase of work during 2022.

We know that to truly transform infrastructure performance, eliminate the sense of disappointment in asset owners, and offer benefits to communities that deserve it, we’ll be delivering solutions with more interdependent technologies than ever before.

Thus, systems thinking will be a critical tool in our bag.

Get involved

Two very different reports, but each with the opportunity to transform our industry.

To get involved in the next stages of each, please email the ICE knowledge team.

  • Mark Hansford, director of engineering knowledge at Institution of Civil Engineers