Group Energy Manager, Kiro Tamer, talks us through the importance of collaboration when trying to achieve a Net Zero economy

The 22nd April marked Earth Day, which if you’re unfamiliar with the date in the calendar, is the unified response to a planet in crisis. Unsurprisingly, the theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. Although an enormous challenge, the unprecedented times we’re currently living through has demonstrated that when something is required, we will achieve it. The coronavirus pandemic has forced our economies to slow down and as a direct result, we have burned less fossil fuel and generated less waste and the natural world has demonstrated its ability to clean and rebuild itself.

Some countries are already coming out of the coronavirus crisis, and although it will take some time for the economy to recover, there’s no doubt in my mind that this will be achieved. However, when all goes back to normal, whatever that means, the world’s pollution will still linger and carry on affecting our health and our natural environment.

When it comes to climate action, the biggest talking point at the moment is Net Zero and the UK’s obligation to achieve a Net Zero economy by 2050. Many principle contractors and developers have set themselves very ambitious targets to achieve Net Zero. However, as this is a national objective, everyone will have to do it, and in many cases Principle Contractors are the minds behind the projects but not necessarily the hands. Therefore, in such scenarios, for a company to achieve this objective the contractors and the entire supply chain will have to be involved and play its part – this is where the biggest change is required.

Currently the industry is working in a very singular manner, most contractors and clients have their own procedures, whether it be a reporting procedure or an operating one. However, this means that when the different contractors commence work and provide their specialist services, they have to adapt the way they work to satisfy a client’s individual requirements. This in itself brings about a set of challenges because sometimes, this is to drive the best efficiency but also drives a contractual obligation.

The biggest immediate change that the industry can make which will directly and significantly benefit our climate is to collaborate from the start to the end of a project. This will allow each party to look at every component and each operation from a projects life cycle perspective, instead of the contractor’s scope. Such an analysis will allow for a longer period of investment and payback period, and will also allow time to review the environmental impact of each section of that project in a holistic manner.

As Keltbray is a specialist contractor, we fall within the category (the doers) that needs to decarbonise our operation in order for our clients and the country to achieve Net Zero. In order to achieve this, the business has taken significant steps into understanding our requirements and drawing our own road map to achieving Net Zero. We started with understanding and reducing what is directly within our remit, for example, all of the electricity we buy is from renewable sources, we are in the process of changing all lighting to LED and have implemented the use of telematics in our heavy machinery and HGVs in order to engage our staff and bench mark our performance.

We have now started the next phase, which is to carry a gap analysis of all the operations carried out by the different divisions across our group, and understand which opportunities we can influence, and what long term goals we will have to set ourselves in order to provide Net Zero services to all of our clients.

Ultimately, we’re all in this together and collaboration is vital if we’re going to reach our goals and achieve a Net Zero economy by 2050.