The significance of Earth Day has never felt greater than it does this year.

Over the past year, we’ve seen a global shift in the approach to environmental preservation, with more and more organisations joining the Race to Zero and a huge spike in companies offering low-carbon products and services. We’ve seen COP26 and Greta Thunberg consume our news feeds and we’ve seen sustainability initiatives rising to the top of our meeting agendas.

At Bachy Soletanche, we are taking our role in the environment seriously, as we understand that this is a pivotal moment for the future of our planet. We realise that Earth Day is not just a day, but a movement that was established to inspire long-term sustainable change that will protect our planet. So that’s why we want to take Earth Day as an opportunity to share some of the key actions we are implementing this year to reduce our environmental impact, which will continue to benefit the planet for years to come.

Currently, one of our biggest goals at Bachy Soletanche is to achieve 40% less carbon emissions by 2030, which will propel us even further toward our long-term target of net-zero.

The following actions outline some measurable and specific steps we are taking to achieve these goals.

blurred background with high-vis person holding twig with leaves to camera

Our 2022 Climate Action Plan

  1. Carbon calculations in tender submissions

We aim to use our carbon calculator (EFFC) in 100% of our tender submissions. The European Federation of Foundation Contractors (EFFC) is used to calculate and compare the carbon footprint of different techniques when proposing solutions to clients. Its aim is to encourage the use of alternative techniques that provide a more sustainable solution to traditional methods.

In addition to these calculations, we will compare the carbon footprint (Scope 1 and 2) estimated in the tender with the actual carbon footprint of the programme once the work has been delivered. To ensure maximum transparency and to hold ourselves accountable, we include these figures in our end of contract report and feedback presentations.

  1. Low carbon concrete

Wherever possible, we will encourage the use of ultra-low carbon cement mixes such as CIII/C on our projects, which comprises up to 95% GGBS (Ground granulated blast furnace slag). We are also in the process of trialling all the new alkali-activated binders (An even lower carbon option than CIII/C, which is completely cement free) available on the market to identify the possibility of including them in future projects. The mixes are being examined under the most rigorous testing procedure in the industry so that we can safely incorporate these new materials into our structures.

Alongside this, we will continue to promote Exegy to our clients. Exegy is a service run by our parent company, Soletanche Bachy, which specifies bespoke low-carbon concrete and grout mixes consisting of up to 95% substitute binders.

  1. Switch Off and Quiet Running campaigns

We are preparing a campaign to engage our site team in environmental awareness and encourage them to stop plant idling. This will be done through compelling awareness talks and attention-grabbing posters and stickers located around site and on equipment.

We are also investigating the possibility of turning off generators for facilities when they are not in use and we are planning to procure hybrid generators such as the Hussh Pod whenever possible.

Plant Yard - Reducing Idling Emissions and Environmental Impact with Stickers Initiative
  1. Strategic and organisational integration

Our board will be developing systems to ensure that environmental sustainability will be considered a crucial factor in shaping all strategic investment planning and decision-making processes. The board will also make sure that environmental protection is included at every level of risk management across the organisation.

  1. Zero carbon plant and alternative fuels

When hiring external resources, we will always strive to procure equipment that offers low or zero carbon emissions, such as electric vehicles and plant, and solar powered offices and cabins. In line with this, we are going to review and update our fleet policy so that it increases access to zero emission vehicles. We will also explore the possibility of using alternative fuels on our projects, including HVO, methane, hydrogen, nitrogen and fuel cells.

Insights - Bachy Soletanche Reduce Environmental Impact of Piling Rigs - Team photo (1)
  1. Employee training

We will review and update our in-person environmental training that is given to all employees. This includes expanding our +People Programme (Bachy Soletanche’s behaviour and culture change programme) to incorporate more training on environmental awareness and guidance on how employees can contribute to Bachy Soletanche’s sustainability goals.

We are also going to provide environmental training for all Bachy Soletanche supervisors to encourage them to prioritise sustainability when ordering material and equipment, rather than just being guided by price.

  1. Supplier engagement

Our procurement and operations teams will be putting time aside to engage more with our suppliers, which will enable us to keep them informed of our sustainability objectives and ensure we keep up to date with their latest sustainable technologies, innovations, and solutions. This includes inviting our suppliers to visit our sites and giving them the opportunity champion their sustainable products.

  1. On-site monitoring and reporting

We will be integrating environmental audits into our managers’ site engagement tours, ensuring that sites are monitoring and reporting all environmentally related activities. To further aid the reporting process, we are developing the Bachy Soletanche HomeSafe app to include a section on the environment, which will enable employees to report any environmental issues on site. We have also decided to include environmental KPIs in our weekly project reports and carry out daily completion reports for on-site sustainability checks.

In addition to these on-site initiatives, we are dedicated to reducing the emissions produced on our plant and fabrication yard. As part of this strategy, we will be clearly monitoring the carbon footprint and efficiency of our plant yard, as well as targeting a 10% reduction in its energy consumption.

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