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ICE appoints Useful Projects to help cut its carbon emissions

13 May 2024

The sustainability consultancy will create a carbon management plan for the institution.

ICE appoints Useful Projects to help cut its carbon emissions
The consultancy will calculate the emissions from running ICE offices, including its HQ, One Great George Street in London.

The ICE has commissioned a sustainability consultancy, Useful Projects, to deliver a plan to help the institution reduce and manage its carbon emissions.

This follows the publication of the ICE’s annual report 2023, where it outlined the measures it’s already taken to decrease its carbon footprint, like using 100% renewable energy at its London offices.

Developing a carbon management plan for the ICE was championed by incoming President Professor Jim Hall when he was the institution’s carbon and climate trustee.

The plan has since been moved forward by the member-led decarbonisation community advisory board (CAB).

The plan, due to be released later in the year, is part of the ICE’s commitment to show leadership in the area by cutting down its carbon footprint and reaching net zero by 2050.

“The ICE aims to help the [civil engineering] profession contribute towards the net zero carbon target and mitigate climate change,” the institution stated in its 2023 annual report.

“In light of this, we believe it is important that the ICE is transparent about its own carbon emissions.”

Become a Carbon Champion

The ICE is looking for real-life examples of projects that have achieved – or are projected to achieve - quantifiable carbon savings.

We will share these success stories to encourage others to do the same.

ICE members and non-members are invited to apply for ICE Carbon Champion status as an individual or team.

Apply now

The current picture

The carbon management plan is expected to focus on energy emissions, purchased goods and services and travel (business trips and employee commuting).

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, most of the ICE’s meetings have moved to video conference calls, with most ICE staff working from home and occasionally from the office.

The plan will consider emissions produced from this hybrid mode of working.

Useful Projects is conducting a staff survey to gather this data, the results of which will be analysed and reported in the plan.

The consultancy will also calculate emissions from running ICE offices.

The ICE’s main offices are in London, but there are also small regional offices across the UK. Internationally, the ICE has offices in Dubai, UAE and Hong Kong.

Enabling change

Using its Get Set Zero toolkit, Useful Projects will calculate the institution’s carbon footprint and identify emissions ‘hotspots’, where there are opportunities for big cuts.

This will then be gathered into the carbon management plan, alongside ambitious science-based targets for reducing emissions and reaching net zero.

The consultancy will recommend key actions, supportive policies, and other key enablers, such as staff engagement and training, internal and external communications, and professional development reviews (PDRs).

It will also outline a framework for monitoring and reporting on carbon emissions going forward.

“To cut an organisation's carbon emissions, we first need to understand where they come from. Only then can you develop a plan that is specific to what it can control and influence,” said Jo Dobson, director at Useful Projects, who’s leading the consultancy team.

“We will work closely with the ICE to identify these carbon reduction opportunities and to bring everyone on board to help turn words into action.”

About Useful Projects

Following a competitive tender process, the ICE selected Useful Projects (part of the Useful Simple Trust) to develop the institution’s first carbon management plan.

A B Corp and Social Enterprise, the sustainability consultancy has over 15 years’ experience in producing carbon management plans, broader sustainability strategies and research for a wide range of organisations.

Its clients include University College London, Igloo Regeneration, Allies and Morrison, Central Bedfordshire Council, Zero Waste Scotland, National Lottery Community Fund and Sport England.

Above all, Useful Projects’ ethos aligns with the ICE’s mission of enabling our people and the planet to thrive.

Dr Janet Young, ICE director general and secretary, said: “We know we must take quick action to reduce our carbon emissions and reach net zero by the 2050 deadline.

“Encouraging and enabling our members to decarbonise their work is an important pillar of the ICE’s mission.

“But the institution must have its own house in order and lead by example.

“We look forward to the recommendations in the carbon management plan and working alongside our talented colleagues to implement them.”

  • Ana Bottle, digital content editor at ICE