Metis Supports Westminster Council’s Carbon Zero Goals

London - Westminster Council's Carbon Zero Goals

Project Background

In September 2019, Westminster City Council (Westminster) declared a climate emergency, committing to becoming a carbon-neutral council by 2030 and a carbon-neutral city by 2040. To align with these ambitious targets, WCC appointed Metis to enhance their highway management and maintenance services, aiming to decrease their carbon and environmental impact.  

Challenges and Opportunities 

Westminster faces some of the UK’s highest levels of carbon emissions and severe air pollution, primarily due to its central location within London. The area itself generates 44,119 tones of CO2e, according to the Zero Carbon 2024 Westminster Climate Action Plan.   

In response, WCC partnered with Metis to develop a comprehensive carbon management strategic approach, evaluating current practices, and aligning them with industry-leading standards in carbon reduction. Additionally, WCC sought expertise to identify key carbon contributors within their operations and opportunities for emissions reduction.  

Solutions 

Since 2020, our collaboration with WCC has focused on devising a strategy to decarbonise their highways service, evaluating existing practices and aligning them with industry-leading standards in carbon reduction. As part of our solutions, our team of Infrastructure Management engineers has implemented initiatives to introduce a carbon management approach aimed at helping Westminster achieve its 2030 carbon-neutral goals within the Highways sector.  

Firstly, we drafted a Carbon Baseline Plan outlining our methodology for quantifying, monitoring, and reporting carbon emissions associated with highway activities. Then, we formulated an initial Carbon Management Plan to identify key areas for carbon reduction efforts.  

Additionally, we designed an Environmental Scheme Assessment Tool (ESAT) to enable WCC’s internal staff to accurately estimate the carbon impacts of various highway improvement schemes, identifying key carbon contributors, crucial in supporting WCC’s decarbonation efforts.  

Central to our approach was the implementation of multiple Carbon Optioneering Assessments, such as for footway materials (e.g., flags, asphalt, yorkstone, granite), and carriageway granite setts maintenance, to evaluate the relative impact of current maintenance practices versus low-carbon alternatives. Subsequently, we conducted Whole Life Carbon Scheme Assessments for prominent WCC projects, including the Oxford Street redevelopment, and recommended low-carbon design options.

 


“Metis has provided invaluable support over the past 4 years in supporting Westminster with their net Carbon zero aspirations, particularly in understanding the whole life carbon costs in footways, but also creating the ESAT carbon calculating tool and assisting WCC in evaluating the carbon baseline calculations and deriving the options to reduce embodied carbon.”

– Andy Foster, Service Manager Bridges & Structures, Westminster City Council



Outcome – Partnering for success

Our expertise in Carbon management strategies played a key role in promoting best practices within Asset Management works, facilitating the implementation of WCC’s carbon management strategy, and providing ongoing support.  

Through collaborative efforts with WCC, its contractors, designers, and other stakeholders, we recommended best practices for implementing a low-carbon agenda. Expanding on our solutions, we enhanced WCC’s understanding of the carbon impact, identifying key contributors, and focusing efforts on reducing emissions.  

Our bespoke Environmental Scheme Assessment Tool (ESAT) has provided WCC with detailed insights to make informed decisions regarding carbon management, surpassing industry-standard carbon assessment tools.  

As a result of our collaboration, WCC has emerged as a leading council in London in terms of carbon awareness and reduction efforts. Continuing our support, we provide technical assistance to WCC and actively participate in carbon working and steering groups, advocating for low-carbon solutions and practices.

Interested in learning more about our work? 

Explore some of our other Metis case studies to discover our recent projects. Or, if you’re seeking an experienced and passionate civil and environmental engineering team to partner with on your next project, please get in touch with us today. 

Project Contact

Dag Sisay

Infrastructure Management Team Lead

E: info@metisconsultants.co.uk

T: 02089480249

Client Contact

Andy Foster

City Highways - Asset Management

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