A vision for the future: Balfour Beatty launches roadmap towards a zero carbon construction site

Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, today shines a light on the future of construction by launching its roadmap towards a zero carbon construction site, harnessing the spirit of innovation and demonstrating the art of the possible for the Edinburgh Biomes project at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE).

Balfour Beatty has been commissioned by the RBGE to help deliver its landmark development project, Edinburgh Biomes. The project includes improving the energy efficiency of the Garden’s iconic Glasshouses and constructing new facilities which will help to reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint and provide a safe bio-secure propagation environment.  

Recognising that an estimated 80% of the company’s carbon dioxide emissions are generated from its supply chain, Balfour Beatty will be focusing on reducing scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions associated with the construction phase of the project. In doing so, the company will not only be monitoring its own emissions, but those emissions associated with its supply chains on-site activities, the embodied carbon of materials used, emissions generated from transport vehicles to and from site, as well as waste generated.

Demonstrating its commitment to ensuring the industry moves towards a net zero world, together, the company will be freely sharing its progress – including learnings, opportunities and obstacles – with customers, supply chain partners and government through a dedicated website, to easily share the progress the company is making on its journey.

Today’s launch is one of a number of Balfour Beatty’s activities in the lead up to COP26 as it demonstrates how the company, alongside its partners and customers, can truly shift the dial and help to decarbonise the construction and infrastructure industry.

Wider activities include its Carbon Conscious training programme – helping employees to improve their understanding of the carbon costs and impacts of their behaviours; a Digital Innovation Hub – demonstrating the company’s digital activities including virtual reality, virtual twins and digital project control rooms; and a Sustainable Evolution event – highlighting a broad range of innovative solutions from across the company, from electric plant and vehicles through to modern methods of construction and simulators which help to reduce scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.

Hector MacAulay, Balfour Beatty’s Regional Managing Director of its UK Construction business in Scotland, said: “At Balfour Beatty, we have long been at the forefront of sustainability; driving real, meaningful change across our business, in collaboration with our customers and supply chain partners.   

“In Scotland, we have committed to going one step further, working with the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, to shape our vision for the construction site of the future. We are pleased that we can share our roadmap with others, to encourage those to take up the challenge as we build back smarter, faster and greener – together.” 

Commenting on Balfour Beatty’s innovative initiative, Mairi McAllan, Scotland’s Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform said: “The bold vision shown by Balfour Beatty in plotting a course to a Zero Carbon Construction Site shows real leadership in helping the construction industry and the rest of the economy tackle the climate emergency.”  

For further details on how the company is planning to achieve this, read its paper, “Roadmap towards a zero carbon construction site: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – Biomes Initiative” and follow the online diary. To learn more about how Balfour Beatty is supporting the construction and infrastructure industry in reaching Net Zero Carbon emissions, and how the company is progressing its bold targets and ambitions in its refreshed sustainability strategy, Building New Futures, visit Balfour Beatty’s dedicated COP26 website pages or join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #COP26 #SmarterGreenerFaster #BuildingNewFutures.