Where we can improve
In general, the nature of BAM’s business means that greenhouse gasses are emitted, for instance in the production of asphalt. BAM can further reduce the emissions from its asphalt plants by producing more low-energy asphalt (LEAB). Furthermore, BAM should intensify its engagement with suppliers on responsible sourcing, for instance on the use and disclosure of sustainable timber and concrete.
In a circular economy, there is the potential for one hundred per cent of all construction materials to be re-purposed or reused throughout the value chain. In 2016 BAM managed to reuse 91 per cent of its waste as construction materials. By working with its supply chain, there is an opportunity for BAM to find more useful purposes than landfill or incineration for the remaining 9 per cent of BAM’s waste.
The construction industry has many fuel-intensive processes. To monitor its emissions, BAM measures its carbon footprint using the greenhouse gas (GHG) protocol. The Group’s carbon footprint and its carbon intensity depend largely on the type, the phase and the location of projects in the reporting year. The largest impact on climate change of BAM’s activities occurs in the operational phase of its products, after completion of construction.
In 2016 BAM developed a new sustainability strategy for the years 2020 and beyond. The vision of BAM is to have a positive impact on climate change. To measure progress, the Group’s new 2020 reduction target on CO2 emissions intensity is 25 per cent compared to 2015 levels (scope 1, 2 and 3). BAM’s carbon footprint in 2016 was calculated based on energy consumption of all operating companies worldwide as a consequence of direct and indirect CO2 emissions from business activities. In 2016 BAM emitted 203 kilotonnes CO2 (2015: 230 kilotonnes). BAM’s carbon footprint fell by 12 per cent compared to 2015. The CO2 intensity, decreased by 6 per cent to 29.1 tonnes CO2 per million euro (2015: 30.9 tonnes CO2 per million euro). BAM's energy intensity was 0.43 TJ per million turnover (2015: 0.45 TJ/mio).
The GHG protocol differentiates between three scopes, namely emissions directly resulting from a company’s own activities (scope 1), indirect emissions from purchased electricity, heating and cooling (scope 2) and indirect emissions in the value chain (scope 3). BAM measures all material scope 1 and 2 emissions, and just a few scope 3 travel related emissions. Scope 1 CO2 emissions form the majority of BAM’s total CO2 emissions (82 per cent). BAM aims to start measuring a wider range of scope 3 emissions. In 2017 an assessment will be made to understand more fully BAM’s wider CO2 impacts (via supply chain) on projects and where the Group has the greatest opportunities to make reductions.
BAM initiates energy reduction measures to constantly reduce its footprint. This is also driven by the European energy efficiency directive (EED). This regulation establishes a set of binding measures to help the EU reach its 20 per cent energy efficiency target by 2020. Individual EU countries have set their own indicative national energy efficiency targets, which also impact BAM. In response, BAM made several studies of its energy consumption to identify ways to reduce it. In 2016, emissions from BAM’s offices decreased by 8 per cent compared to 2015 as a result of an almost complete shift towards renewable electricity use in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, the merging of offices throughout BAM and continued energy efficiency improvements. BAM has rebuilt the majority of its Dutch offices into open plan shared office spaces using the latest energy-saving measures. In 2016 BAM used 123 kWh per square metre in its buildings in the Netherlands (2015: 117 kWh*). The CO2 emissions intensity of BAM’s office buildings in the Netherlands was 15.1 kilograms CO2 per square metre (2015: 12.6).
* correction from 2015 Integrated Report
There has also been a decline of emissions at BAM’s vehicle fleet, which attributed to 29 per cent of total emissions, and decreased by 5 per cent compared to 2015. This is the result of a reduction of leased vehicles, an increase of fuel-efficient cars and continued programmes for fuel-efficient driving. In 2016, BAM introduced a CO2 limit of 120 grams per kilometer for all new cars in its leased vehicle fleet. In addition, employees are financially incentivised to choose smaller and more fuel-efficient cars below 90 grams per kilometer. In April BAM signed the pledge for Cleaner Car Contracts. By signing this pledge, BAM underpins the ambition for more sustainable mobility. The total current vehicle fleet of BAM in the Netherlands consists of 92.5 per cent A or B labels, compared to 94.2 per cent in 2015. BAM also deploys electric vehicles to reduce fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and air pollution. In 2016 more than 5.4 million kilometres were driven with the Group’s fully electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid cars.
Emissions from BAM’s construction sites fluctuate heavily due to the phase and type of work. Emissions from BAM’s construction sites fluctuate heavily due to the phase and type of work. Most CO2 emissions are due to civil engineering projects. In 2016 emissions decreased due to completion of major projects and continued energy efficiency measures. An efficient designed construction site typically use energy less energy. Innovative solutions like smart meters, an early connection to the grid and more efficient equipment help to reduce the CO2 output.
In 2016, 20 per cent of BAM’s revenue, approximately €1.4 billion, came from projects that have been registered with third-party green building or sustainable construction rating organisations, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, the UK’s Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), Germany’s Passivhaus standards and other objective and third-party standards or BAM’s green building products.
For its actions to reduce CO2 emissions and mitigate the business risks of climate change, BAM has been awarded with a position on the CDP Climate A List 2016: The CDP Climate Performance Leadership Index 2016. The index has been produced at the request of 827 investors – who represent more than a third of the world’s invested capital – by CDP, the international NGO that drives sustainable economies. Information provided by nearly 5,800 listed companies has been independently assessed against CDP’s scoring methodology and ranked accordingly. BAM has been awarded an A grade for its climate performance, earning a position on this global ranking of corporate efforts to mitigate climate change. Since 2012, BAM has been one of the leaders regarding transparency on impact on climate change. Only some of these companies also show improved climate performance. BAM has been on the A list in the last three consecutive years, evidence to being among the best performing companies.
BAM is the only major construction member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE100 programme. The Group actively works with clients to develop business models for ‘circular buildings’, including the ABN Amro pavilion in Amsterdam, of which construction began in 2016.
BAM also has a strategic partnership with Autodesk and is actively involved in developing BIM applications to help manage thelife-cycle of buildings.
BAM’s activities in getting to grips with the circular economy in 2016 involved:
- Working with Horizon 2020’s BAMB (Buildings as Material Banks) on the prevention of construction and demolition waste, the reduction of virgin resource consumption and the development towards a circular economy through industrial symbiosis.
- Circular Economy Supply Chain workshops - BAM Construct UK and BAM Nuttall held a series of workshops. BAM Construct UK has also been commissioned as part of a consortium to work up circular economic opportunities for the HS2 rail development in the UK.
- Circular Building - BAM was involved in designing and building a circular pavilion in London, the initiation of a 'Circular Building Platform' and the development of a portal to enable reuse in the built environment.
- Involvement in committees and programmes:
- The development committee for a circular economy standard with the British Standards Institute (BS 8001);
- The Ellen MacArthur Foundation CE100 programme.
- London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) - Circular economy steering group engaged in setting a roadmap to 2036 for circular economy in London (for the London Mayor's office).
- The Green Construction Board Circular Economy working group.
BAM’s waste typically consists of excavation, demolition, construction and office waste. BAM focuses on construction and office waste as indicators of operational performance, since these outputs are based on the Group’s own processes and procurement. All construction and office materials are initially brought to BAM’s sites and offices on its behalf, in contrast to excavation and demolition waste. Excavation and demolition waste are initially present at sites before BAM takes on a project and therefore less relevant as indicators of operational performance or sustainability; it is merely a part of BAM’s business model to efficiently remove these from sites.
Much like CO2 emissions, trends in removed waste depend heavily on the phase and type of a project. This can give rise to major differences among civil engineering companies in particular. It can therefore be a challenge to understand the relationship between BAM’s turnover, the type of activities and the level of waste produced.
In 2016, BAM reduced its construction and office waste by 8 per cent compared to 2015, from 161 kilotonnes to 148 kilotonnes. A large contribution to this year’s reduction of the volume of construction waste was due to termination of large construction projects. Efficiency in BAM’s production process is further gained from prefabrication and the use of BIM, which reduces the amount of waste produced at construction sites.
To promote appropriate recycling, BAM has the objective to improve the separation of construction waste. In 2016, 25 per cent of the Group’s construction waste in the Netherlands was separated, compared with 29 per cent in 2015. BAM’s efforts to separate construction waste on site have resulted in improved performance. In 2016, large volumes of timber, metals and cardboard were separately diverted. A proactive approach of project managers to separate these materials has resulted in a significant increase of the separation rate.
In 2007, BAM signed a covenant with FSC Netherlands committing to using only certified timber to support forest conservation and biodiversity. BAM’s experience has been that it is difficult for some suppliers to provide information on the amount of certified timber in products which are composite materials, partly made from timber (e.g. doors and window frames). Working with FSC Netherlands, BAM’s suppliers have been encouraged to improve the measurement and reporting of certified timber and BAM has developed a simple system to record supplier data.
BAM requests information on the application of sustainable timber twice a year. BAM asks its suppliers to report on categories of timber, which represented an estimated 85 per cent of all timber usage in the Netherlands for all construction works performed directly by BAM. The data used in this analysis therefore does not include any timber consumption for subcontracted projects. BAM approached 44 Dutch suppliers to report the amount of certified timber used in products. Based on their responses BAM estimates that 98 per cent was certified timber, 88 per cent was FSC- and 10 per cent was PEFC-certified.
In the United Kingdom, the source of certified sustainable timber from both FSC and PEFC sources is recorded in BAM’s on-line data monitoring system BAM SMART. In 2016, 98.4 per cent of timber in the United Kingdom was from verified legal and sustainable sources, of which 92 per cent (2015: 90%) was delivered with full FSC or PEFC Chain of Custody certification or reused from other sites.
Since 2011, BAM has identified the quantities of materials used in its construction projects in the Netherlands. The Group has identified the main categories of procured materials, as shown in > table 48 in the Netherlands. Depending on their nature, most used materials can be recycled. Based on this analysis and supplier data BAM believes that the recycled percentages correspond with the figures shown in this table. In cases where BAM applies recycled materials, nearly all materials are processed before they can be reused for construction. Therefore BAM chooses to report all materials to be recycled instead of partly reused.
In 2016, BAM consumed 101,000 m3 potable water in the Netherlands (2015: 69,000 m3; 2014: 92,000 m3; 2013: 390,000 m3; 2012: 147,000 m3). In 2013, water consumption at construction sites was strongly influenced by tunnel drilling operations.
Asphalt production is typically high in natural resources and energy intensive. Already back in 1998, BAM started with the development of low-energy asphalt concrete (LEAB, after the Dutch name: laag energie asfalt beton), an innovative type of asphalt that uses less energy and less scarce natural resources and has lower CO2 emissions than conventional asphalt.
In order to investigate the potential of this new type of asphalt to create value for society, BAM commissioned a study by True Price. The study shows the difference in environmental impact between applying LEAB and conventional stone mastic asphalt (STAB). It indicates an estimated environmental saving equal to €257,000 per kilometer of highway. This equals the monetised environmental externalities (often referred to as ‘environmental cost’) of energy use of about 120 Dutch households per year. To calculate the true price, the main environmental impacts of asphalt production were measured and translated into societal costs. The results show that the production, use and end-of-life treatment of LEAB asphalt is associated with 30 per cent lower environmental costs than conventional asphalt. Coincidentally, this equals the reduction in energy and CO2 reduction, but is built up of other factors. This makes LEAB an undeniable proposition for, for instance, government procurers, since it is of a similar quality to conventional asphalt, but comes at a price equal to or lower than that of competing products and offers better environmental performance.
BAM continued its research on sustainable asphalt with LE2AP (Low Emission² Asphalt Pavement). This asphalt is produced using an innovative way of recycling porous asphalt. The goal of the project, sponsored by the European Commission’s LIFE programme, is to use over 80 per cent recycled materials, mixed at 80˚C and providing a 7dB noise reduction. Two pilot projects have been completed in 2016.