Amey is a large consumer of increasingly scarce natural resources, primarily petroleum products, aggregates, water and energy. Our aim is to reduce our resource consumption and use resources efficiently by ensuring we promote sustainable, whole-life design solutions and source local and recycled materials as well as proactively plan and manage the materials, soils and waste elements of our activities. We promote and support a circular economy, one that fully understands and assesses the life cycle environmental impacts of our resource use.
Throughout 2020 we have continued to eliminate unnecessary waste, moving it up the waste hierarchy of reduce, reuse, recycle and recover. We have focused our efforts on identifying sustainable low carbon alternatives for the materials we use in our design and operations. Importantly, we used our Supply Chain Social Value Charter in making procurement decisions to ensure carbon and circular economy principles are driven through the supply chain. We are using the following opportunities to design out waste:
- Identify design phase opportunities may include reducing waste through the retention of existing assets, value engineering during design phase to reduce excavation waste
- Construction phase opportunities include ensuring materials are not over-ordered and correctly stored and may also include innovative construction techniques such as off site or modular construction and use of secondary materials
- Operational phase opportunities may include designing for longevity in use, considering future needs, flexibility and passive provision
- As part of the efficiency workshop we will look for opportunities to reuse, recycle and recover assets, with landfill used as a last option
We have also continued our commitment and contribution to Business in the Community’s Circular Economy Taskforce. As part of this, we have continued to contribute to the Waste to Wealth Commitment, which sets targets to improve the productivity of the resources that are key for our business. Waste to Wealth brings businesses together to work towards doubling the nation’s resource productivity and eliminating avoidable waste by 2030. It aims to support business to redesign how resources are used in their products, services and operations and collaborate across our organisations, value chains and sectors.
Key progress in 2020
Sustainable asphalt trials - Amey is working in collaboration with Iterchimica to trial the use of Gipave in Kent. Gipave is a polymeric asphalt supermodifier, containing sustainable graphene nanoplateletes and technically selected waste plastics (which would not normally be recycled and ending up in waste to energy plants). The product is sustainably produced, natural and chemical-free and certified as non-toxic. On average Gipave has a 70% less carbon footprint than conventional asphalt concrete. It will also lower the whole lifecycle of the asset costs and reduce the requirement for maintenance; the service life can be up to double that of conventional asphalt concrete.
Office stationery - We used the charter to access tenders for the appointment of our stationery supplier, for which Office Depot and Ethstat Ethical Stationerwere successful. Partnering with Office Depot has transitioned us from daily to weekly consolidated orders, creating huge environmental and carbon reduction benefits; saving the equivalent annual energy usage for 10 average UK homes. In addition, 66% of our spend on office depot products and services will now have green credentials. For instance, we have switched to EcoPerformance paper, reducing wood usage by 32% and waste by 6%. The partnership with Ethstat Ethical Stationery sees the supply to offices of 100% Fair Trade tea and coffee, and a range of vegan ink printing, branding and other supplies all carbon neutral in delivery. In 2020 we saw over 37,000 single use plastics items removed from our deliveries.