Traffex: Highways England procurement power will drive zero carbon agenda

16/06/2021
Chris Ames

Highways England’s forthcoming net zero carbon plan, currently awaiting Whitehall sign-off, will place significant emphasis on the company’s procurement power to drive low carbon approaches from its supply chain.

In a live online seminar at Traffex, Dr Adam Simmons, the government-owned company’s director of future road investment strategies and government relations, said it was working to co-ordinate the release of the plan with government.

In terms of reducing carbon from maintenance and construction work on the strategic road network, Malcolm Dare (pictured), Highways England’s executive director, commercial and procurement, said: ‘We’re only going to achieve this in conjunction with our supply base. So we have to work very closely with, and support and change, as rapidly as we are asking others to change.

‘Where Highways England can really catalyze change [is] we do spend a lot of money; we’re spending in the region of £4.5bn to £5bn a year and in some areas we really can help support and take the change forward in that particular supply arena.

‘There’s going to be some areas where we’re going to look at our supply partners and say, well fundamentally you need to invest your money in developing products to meet the needs.

'And in return, what we would have to do is provide an accuracy of demand that maybe we haven’t done in the past, so that companies have a certainty of investing to develop those products, knowing that we will be taking those products as soon as they become available.’

He added that, in the case of concrete and cement, something of which Highways England buys a vast amount: ‘If other major infrastructure schemes like HS2 are already using, have selected and standardized low carbon concrete, we would look to adopt similar approaches.

'We do not want to go out and have a Highways England unique product which is effectively identical to a product made on HS2. We really want to help stimulate and catalyze a British low carbon concrete capability.’

On the issue of fuel for plant, Mr Dare said that Highways England should, in conjunction with the supply base, have discussions with manufacturers.

‘Because at the moment it is harder to see what the alternate power technology is to diesel fuel. But if we can understand by working with the sector and working with plant manufacturers in a triangle when credible alternate power sources come through, again what we can then do is stimulate that demand by saying by a certain date in time we would expect to see non fossil-fuelled plant being used on the network.’

In response to a question from a visitor as to whether in future the supply chain’s approach to carbon reduction will be a large part of tender assessments, Mr Dare said: ‘It definitely will.’ He compared this to the Government’s approach to building social value into tenders.

He added that he would like to see hard evidence of what bidders were actually doing, rather than ‘glossy brochures'.

Content from Traffex and the the British Parking Association's Parkex is still available on demand online. Registration for both events is available here.

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

INSIDE:

  • Traffex 2021 news round-up
  • Safety enforcement with a difference
View the latest issue


Highways jobs

Road Safety Assistant

Up to £9.31 per hour + PAYE
Road Safety Assistant Temporary, Part Time £9.31 per hour PAYE Location
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Highways Road Safety Engineer

Band F, SCP 26 (£30,451 - £34,728 per annum) (£15.78 - £18.00 per hour)
We have an exciting opportunity available within the Highways Service at Sandwell Council. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recruiter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Highways Development Engineer

Band F, SCP 26 (£30,451 - £34,728 per annum) (£15.78 - £18.00 per hour)
We have an exciting opportunity available within Highway Services at Sandwell Council. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recruiter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Business Technical Officer

£34,728 - £39,880
Working as a Business Technical Officer within Operational Services will be a dynamic and flexible role. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Senior Technical Officer

£23,080 - £30,451
Our Senior Technical Officer is responsible for providing effective technical support to our services. Honley, Holmfirth
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Assistant Estate Roads Engineer

£25,991 to £29,577
We have an exciting opportunity for enthusiastic and committed individuals to join our Highways Development Management Team. Taunton, Somerset
Recruiter: Somerset County Council

Programme Coordinator

£34,728 to £38,890
We’re looking for a Highways Programme Coordinator to join our Highways and Transport Asset Management team. Taunton, Somerset
Recruiter: Somerset County Council

Head of Air Quality Measurement

£58,528 – £67,004
The Environmental Research Group (ERG), part of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London. Imperial College London, White City Campus, London W12 0BZ
Recruiter: Imperial College London

Senior Traffic Technician

£25,481 - £28,672
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Senior Traffic Technician working with the forward thinking Traffic Team of Pembrokeshire County Council.  Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)
Recruiter: Pembrokeshire County Council

Definitive Map Officer

£27,049 - £30,564
We are currently recruiting for a Definitive Map Officer to work within our Public Rights of Way and Highway Records team. Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Recruiter: Doncaster Council

Senior Finance Business Partner - IDB Property

£53000 - £62364 per annum + + Flexible Working & Local Gov Pension
This position will initially, in line with current government guidance be based from home, with an expectation of being home based for the foreseeab England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Senior Finance Business Partner - Waste and Green Space

£53000 - £62364 per annum + + Flexible Working & Local Gov Pension
This position will initially, in line with current government guidance be based from home, with an expectation of being home based for the foreseeabl England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Senior Engineer

£35,745 - £39,880
Are you an experienced Engineer looking for a new challenge? Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Highway Network Officer

£31,346 - £32,234
Are you looking to progress your career within the Highways and Transport sector? Workington, Cumbria
Recruiter: Cumbria County Council

Head of Highways & Transport

£58,568 - £66,923 per annum
This is hugely exciting time to join the Council in this new role as the strategic lead for our Highways and Transport service. York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

Apprentice Project Support Assistant

£12,656.10
Looking for a new challenge or your first steps along your career?  Your next adventure starts here!  York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

Development and Flood Risk Officer

Up to £141.50 per day + PAYE
Development and Flood Risk Officer Temporary, Full Time £141.50 per day PAYE Location
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Principal Local Engineer

£35,745 - £43,857
The Principal Local Engineer role is to provide service at principal level to deliver Local Engineering duties as set out. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recruiter: Birmingham City Council

Vehicle Technician

£24,982 - £29,577 per annum
This position is a fixed term contract for 12 months with the prospect of a... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recruiter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Project Engineer

£32,234 - £34,728 per annum
We are looking for degree qualified candidates with relevant post graduate experience in the sector. Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Highways Presents

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Video