PAS 2080 is a global standard for managing infrastructure carbon and has been specifically developed to meet the requirements of the World Trade Organisation.
The construction industry plays a significant role in the United Kingdom's carbon footprint, with infrastructure being associated with half of the greenhouse gas emissions. Recognising the urgent need for change, the British Standards Institution (BSI) introduced PAS 2080: 2016, Carbon Management in Infrastructure. This groundbreaking standard emphasises collaboration and aims to manage and reduce the whole-life carbon associated with infrastructure projects. In this article, we will explore the importance of sustainability in construction in the UK, the benefits of PAS 2080 compliance, and how organisations can work together to create a greener future.
Understanding PAS 2080
PAS 2080 is a global standard for managing infrastructure carbon and has been specifically developed to meet the requirements of the World Trade Organisation. Unlike previous frameworks, PAS 2080 takes a holistic approach, considering the entire value chain of infrastructure development. Its goal is to reduce carbon emissions and costs through more intelligent design, construction, and usage. By consistently and transparently quantifying carbon at key points in infrastructure delivery, PAS 2080 promotes data sharing and collaboration along the value chain.
The Impact of PAS 2080
PAS 2080 has the potential to revolutionise the construction industry by bringing together all stakeholders involved in the delivery of infrastructure, including asset owners/managers, designers, constructors, and product/material suppliers. This standard not only sets up management processes and measurements but also encourages innovation to achieve carbon reduction targets. By complying with PAS 2080, organisations can gain an early advantage in global markets, reduce carbon emissions and costs, build an innovative culture, enhance their environmental reputation, and engage stakeholders effectively.
Collaboration for a Greener Tomorrow
Collaboration is key to achieving sustainability in construction in the UK. PAS 2080 encourages organisations to work together, share knowledge, and adopt common protocols to drive industry-wide consistency. By collaborating, infrastructure organisations have the power to tackle climate change, realise economic gains, and promote innovation across the sector. Although they did not employ PAS 2080, the success of collaboration can be seen in the London 2012 Olympics, where a collaborative approach and innovation helped deliver better outcomes. PAS 2080 aims to replicate this success by involving everybody at every stage of the process and engaging with every part of the supply chain.
The Role of the Construction Industry
The construction industry has a significant role to play in achieving sustainability in the UK. According to the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), approximately 40% of the country's emissions are associated with built environment. To address this, construction firms are increasingly adopting low-carbon or carbon reduction strategies. These strategies focus on reducing embodied carbon and improving carbon management practices throughout the lifecycle of infrastructure assets.
The Need for Effective Carbon Management
Setting effective carbon-reduction targets and reporting on performance are crucial for managing sustainability in construction in the UK. PAS 2080 helps construction firms understand the processes behind these targets and reporting, enabling the continual improvement of carbon management practices. By implementing effective carbon management strategies, organisations can reduce their carbon footprint, minimise environmental impact, and contribute to the UK's goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The Benefits of PAS 2080 Compliance
Complying with PAS 2080 brings numerous benefits to organisations in the construction industry. Let's explore some of the key advantages:
- Gain an Early Advantage in Global Markets
PAS 2080 compliance can give organisations a competitive edge in the global market. As sustainability becomes increasingly important, companies that prioritise carbon reduction and sustainability measures will attract environmentally conscious clients and investors. By adopting PAS 2080, organisations demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices and position themselves as leaders in the industry.
- Reduce Carbon Emissions and Costs
One of the primary goals of PAS 2080 is to reduce carbon emissions and costs throughout the entire value chain of infrastructure development. By implementing the principles of PAS 2080, organisations can identify areas for improvement, optimise design and construction processes, and minimise carbon-intensive activities. This not only contributes to a greener future but also reduces costs associated with carbon-intensive practices.
- Build an Innovative Culture
PAS 2080 encourages organisations to foster an innovative culture within the construction industry. By adopting more intelligent design, construction, and usage practices, companies can drive innovation and develop sustainable solutions. This culture of innovation not only benefits individual organisations but also contributes to the overall advancement of sustainable construction practices.
- Enhance Environmental Reputation
In today's environmentally conscious world, organisations with strong environmental reputations have a competitive advantage. By complying with PAS 2080, organisations demonstrate their commitment to reducing carbon emissions and their dedication to sustainable practices. This enhances their environmental reputation, attracting clients, partners, and investors who prioritise sustainability.
- Engage Stakeholders
PAS 2080 promotes stakeholder engagement throughout the entire infrastructure delivery process. By involving all stakeholders, including asset owners/managers, designers, constructors, and product/material suppliers, organisations can benefit from their collective expertise and insights. This collaborative approach leads to more effective decision-making, improved project outcomes, and a stronger commitment to sustainability.
The Bottom Line
Sustainability in construction is a pressing issue, and the adoption of PAS 2080 is a significant step towards a greener future in the UK. By collaborating and complying with PAS 2080, organisations can reduce carbon emissions, lower costs, build an innovative culture, enhance their environmental reputation, and engage stakeholders effectively. The construction industry has a crucial role to play in achieving sustainability goals and contributing to the UK's ambition of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. With the right strategies, collaborative efforts, and adoption of best practices, the construction industry can pave the way for a more sustainable and resilient future.
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