13 December, 2023

Take a Deep Dive into Metis’s Carbon Management Strategy

Carbon Management


In 2022, we proudly achieved B Corp certification, marking a significant milestone in our commitment to social and environmental impact. Our B Corp status demonstrates our genuine drive to improve and enhance our environment and the communities our  projects impact. 

As environmental concerns continue to grow, organisations are pressed to find ways to reduce their carbon footprint. This urgency is what fuels our carbon management strategy. Continue reading to delve into our approach and how we’re making a tangible difference.

Our approach to Implementing Carbon Management Strategies

The foundation of all the works we deliver is built upon the below three key pillars of sustainability:

Social: The impact the works we do have on people and the communities they live in.

Economic: The cost of the works we do and the benefits these bring to clients and the communities they are responsible for.

Environment: The impacts the works we do have on the natural environment and the health and well-being of the communities that live there.

The effects of climate change and the increase in extreme weather events, such as the heatwaves and flooding that the UK has encountered in the past few years, have highlighted the ever-increasing need to consider the impact that civil engineering works have on the environment. 

How We Consider the Environmental Impact of our Work

At Metis, we consider the environmental impacts of our works across our entire business, from strategic planning through to detailed design works. We consider the impacts our works have on potential flooding and water quality through our Water Engineering and Flood Risk Management teams. We also consider the air quality impacts designing and delivering active travel schemes has on communities through our Highways Design team. Furthermore, we put particular emphasis on considering the whole-life carbon footprint of our works and those of our clients through Carbon Management Strategies led by our Infrastructure Management team. 

How Do Works in the Highways Sector Affect the Environment?

The core impacts of highway works include noise pollution from machinery and plants, air pollution from works activities through the processing of materials and the tailpipe emissions of machines and plants, and, of particular emphasis, the carbon emissions caused through the production, processing, and refinement of raw materials and the construction, maintenance, and deconstruction of works.

At Metis, in line with guidance in PAS 2080:2023 Carbon Management in Buildings and Infrastructure, we conduct carbon assessments to understand the whole-life carbon impact of highway works that we design or manage. The whole-life carbon impact can be broken down into 2 key phases: 

  1. Initial Build Phase: At this stage, we can assess the major contributors, especially in terms of high embodied carbon, and understand the impact of using fewer materials, recycled materials, or switching materials to lower carbon or more locally sourced alternatives.
  2. Maintenance Phase: At this stage, we can assess the impact of replacing materials that meet the end of their design life, including the impacts durability has on materials, the estimated quantity of repair works, and the impact of repeat interventions, alongside considering the potential carbon benefits of installing trees and other sequestering items throughout a scheme’s lifecycle. 

By assessing the carbon impact at both stages, we can identify the major contributors so we can manage or design them out of the works we do by applying the principles of the carbon reduction hierarchy as outlined in PAS 2080:2023. 

  • Avoid: Do we need to complete the works or portion of works at all, or can we achieve the aims and objectives by doing less and therefore causing a lesser environmental impact. 
  • Switch: Can we switch the materials we’re using to lower whole-life lower carbon alternatives, or can we switch the plant and machinery to lower carbon alternatives. 
  • Improve: Can we improve the efficiency of the works, complete the works in a shorter time frame by reducing unnecessary waste in the processes. 

By adopting these principles, we deliver genuine sustainability in the works that we do. In addition, our strategies help our clients to deliver sustainable works and support them in achieving their organisational targets, such as Net-Zero pledges and social and economic goals.

Get in touch

Our team of experts are ready to work with you to develop and implement a customised carbon management plan that meets your needs and helps you achieve your sustainability goals. If you’re interested in learning more, please get in touch with us.

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