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:

  • COP26: The sector reacts
  • Road pricing: Putting the theory into practice
View the latest issue


Highways jobs

Environmental Data Officer

£26,592
In this role you will collect, maintain and manage high quality energy and environmental data, and providing... Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Senior Engineer - Highways Asset Maintenance

£39,854 to £43,741 (Pay Award Pending)
There’s never been a more exciting time to join Doncaster Council. Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Recruiter: Doncaster Council

Director of Environmental & Community Services

Up to £90,096 per annum
We seek an energetic and committed Director who has the right motivations and values; someone who is... Long Eaton, Nottingham
Recruiter: Erewash Borough Council

Transport Infrastructure Commissioning Officer

£30,451 to £34,728 per annum
We have a great opportunity in Somerset to join our Highways and Transport Service. Taunton, Somerset
Recruiter: Somerset County Council

Team Manager Band 3 – Environment Strategy & Change

£46,845 - £48,849 per annum
This is the perfect time to join St Helens and become part of our exhilarating journey and help build our legacy for the future. St Helens, Merseyside
Recruiter: St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council

Noise and Nuisance Officer

£32,301 - £35,949 per annum
To be successful in the Noise and Nuisance Team you will need a genuine commitment to... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recruiter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Team Manager Band 3 - Fleet, Depot & Security

£46,845 - £48,849 per annum
This is the perfect time to join St Helens and become part of our exhilarating journey and help build our legacy for the future. St Helens, Merseyside
Recruiter: St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council

Minibus Driver

Hourly rate
North Yorkshire County Council
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Minibus Driver

Hourly rate
North Yorkshire County Council
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Minibus Driver

Hourly rate
North Yorkshire County Council
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Minibus Driver

Hourly rate
North Yorkshire County Council
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Minibus Driver

Hourly rate
North Yorkshire County Council
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Asset Manager

£42,821 - £46,845 per annum
The Highway Asset Manager is responsible for the strategic management of all the council’s highway assets... Blackburn, Lancashire
Recruiter: Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Digital Evidence Officer

£25.137 - £26.520
The Digital Evidence (CCTV) Team are responsible for improving community safety outcomes throughout the Royal Borough of Greenwich by... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Guaranteed Relief Cleaners North and South Kirklees Area

£9.25 per hour
Some of the key features and benefits of being part of the Kirklees Cleaning Service include... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Group Engineer - Safety Design

£40,876 - £45,859
We are looking for an experienced engineer to join our Highways Safety Design team. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Group Engineer - Highways Network Management

£40,876 - £45,859
Are you experienced engineer looking for an opportunity to improve the lives of the local people of our towns and village centres? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Energy and Sustainability Officer

£37.722 - £40.869
The role will be key to successful progress of the Carbon Neutral Plan and setting the borough on the path to reaching the net zero target.  Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Transport Development Team Leader

£53,018 - £59,964 per annum + Staff Benefits
We're looking for an experienced and innovative engineer. Woking, Surrey
Recruiter: Surrey County Council

Principal Transport Planner

£43.860 - £46.839
We are looking for an experienced transport planner to lead crucial sections of the Transport Strategy Group’s work. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Highways Presents

 

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Video