Carbon Emissions Performance and the UK Highway Maintenance Sector: a Review of the Issues
E Itoya, Balfour Beatty Living Places Ltd and Loughborough University; S Ison, M Frost, A El-Hamalawi, Loughborough University, UK
This paper presents a state-of-the-art literature review focusing on carbon emissions performance as an issue within highway maintenance operations
Currently in the UK, highways infrastructure maintenance investment decisions are examined not only from an economic and technical perspective, but also from an environmental performance perspective (Hoang et al., 2005;Zhang et al., 2008). The reason for this is that the sector consumes large amounts of natural resources and is responsible for a significant amount of emissions. Carbon emissions performance and other sustainability issues are now being considered as contractual requirements and a major part of the tender selection criteria, with intention of delivering a sustainable maintenance service, which inherently presents the sector and its suppliers with major business opportunities and challenges; imperfectly understood by the highway owners, managers and maintainers. This paper presents a state-of-the-art literature review focusing on carbon emissions performance as an issue within highway maintenance operations, and existing tools within the public domain to support the agenda. The review further presents how various construction businesses are responding to the need for carbon emissions performance within the remit of their business operations. Existing carbon emissions assessment studies within the context of their methodologies, emissions assessment capacities and inherent drawbacks are also presented. Having an in-depth understanding of the carbon emissions reduction performance from business operations within the context of their drivers and business benefits, can provide highway providers, managers, maintainers and contractors with a robust knowledge framework in order to support business investment decisions. In addition, it can aid in developing a robust cooperate strategy to manage the risks and business opportunities presented by the agenda, and enhance their business competiveness. Although, emphases within the paper focus on highway maintenance business sector, the knowledge framework can also be utilized by other sectors within the built environment so as to improve their carbon emissions performance.
Association for European Transport