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Civil Engineer blog

What makes an ICE Carbon Champion?

20 September 2021

Review panel chair Lara Young reflects on the 27 Carbon Champions confirmed so far, and gives thought to what the panel is looking to see next.

What makes an ICE Carbon Champion?
Transport for London’s Colindale Station Redevelopment, made huge strides to consistently measure, manage and reduce whole life carbon. Image credit: Transport for London

Last week, ICE hosted an event to introduce our first cohort of Carbon Champions. Five champions from around the UK took us through their carbon-saving journey and showcased their projects and what tangible actions had been taken to eliminate carbon emissions.

I’d like to highlight some of the innovative approaches that we’ve seen so far, and give potential applicants a flavour of what the review panel is looking for in future ICE Carbon Champions.

The Carbon Champions – who are they and what set them apart?

The panel was extremely impressed by all of our 27 recently announced ICE Carbon Champions.

Here are a few snapshots of some successful projects and shout-outs to the individuals leading this change:

Transport for London’s (TfL) Colindale Station Redevelopment, put forward by Ben Jonathan Hellawell made huge strides to consistently measure, manage and reduce whole life carbon and cost in all aspects of its design phase, with these opportunities being taken forward into their delivery phase.

  • The changes driven by applying these PAS2080 principles has led to the project reducing its whole lifecycle footprint by 16%, saving over 207 tCO2e.

Arup’s Mohamed Al Deab and Khatib & Alami’s Mohamed Hussein recently shared the results of their work, which is looking at how to reduce emissions from infrastructure projects in the Middle East. Using a systems approach, value engineering principles and a robust emissions calculator methodology, they’ve reduced emissions across both temporary and permanent works.

  • Be sure to check out their case studies on the results achieved on temporary retaining walls for a deep tunnel saving of 2,790tCO2e, the reuse of site-won material from an open-cut tunnel, reducing embodied emission by 86% and the design of piled raft foundations, saving 55,870 tCO2.

Stantec UK’s SouthPoint Business Park project in Chippenham has used warm mix asphalt throughout the design of the project, delivering a 15% reduction from its original carbon baseline.

  • The challenge of specifications, led by Peter Roseff, was pivotal in the decision to ensure the acceptance and use of warm mix, upon identifying that the asphalt contribution was over 70% of the carbon footprint.

The panel

Over the last few months, the ICE’s Carbon Champions Review Panel have designed and implemented a rigorous Champion submission review matrix, and have been assessing all submissions received.

With over 40 submissions received so far, we have already seen some brilliant case studies, and have awarded the Carbon Champions status to nine projects so far, which are made up of 27 individuals and 15 organisations.

Our Champion submission review matrix follows a detailed question set and ensures we identify and recognise the relevant and tangible examples of industry best practice and industry game changers.

We are not looking to recognise great ideas. We are looking to recognise where those great ideas have been taken forward and become a reality.

What makes an ICE Carbon Champion?

To ensure this, we have set out a very clear expectation of what every Carbon Champion must meet to gain the ICE Carbon Champion status.

A submission must include:

  • A clear and concise summary or what has been delivered to actively reduce carbon emissions from a project. These initiatives can be drawn from any lifecycle stage of a project so can relate to a strategy, a design, construction activities or changes to an operational system.
  • Quantified carbon savings with a clear and robust methodology of how this is calculated and compared to a baseline.
  • A defined time period over which carbon savings have been calculated.

We are keen to see more practical examples of how carbon is being eliminated across your project and are eager to share them to encourage others to do the same, so that in time these becomes the new industry norm.

How to apply

For more information on how to apply, please visit ICE Carbon Champions, where you will find guidance and T&Cs.

  • Lara Young, head of esg at Cromwell Property Group