Sustainability in Infrastructure Projects – Leave Nothing to Chance

Like any other desired outcome, sustainability has to be positively managed. This is particularly true for construction and infrastructure projects. Construction, by its very nature, consumes energy and resources and produces carbon emissions. The potential to pollute or harm the environment is real and significant.

It’s easy for any contractor to claim that they care about the environment. And nobody is going to win many infrastructure projects these days without having something positive to say about sustainability. But how can you tell if there is a real commitment and whether sustainability and environmental protection are core values and are allocated for in the agreed project budget submissions?

The answer, as always, lies in what people do rather than what they say.

Osborne can show potential customers all of the policies we have in place for responsible sourcing of materials, waste management and environmental protection. We have held BS EN ISO140001 accreditation for over ten years. More importantly we can also demonstrate how our policies are policed and implemented on specific projects.

Greener by Design

We use our environmental management system and BREEAM sustainability methodology to identify our impacts. We work with our supply chain to reduce or mitigate them. Design and specification is the critical phase of every project. Risks identified at this stage can be actively managed. Control measures can then be put in place before the event.

In terms of our commitment we can point to many infrastructure projects where we worked with wildlife experts to create additional habitats for threatened species such as newts and bats. We frequently use measures to support green infrastructure such as green hoardings, bug hotels and wildflower planting to increase biodiversity on sites.

Our standard construction site set-up includes energy and water efficient cabins that are powered through hybrid or renewable energy where possible.

We also prioritise waste segregation and are piloting programmes to reuse waste or reclaimed materials, using the Loop and BRE SmartWaste portal. 97% of waste from our sites is now recycled or reused.

While we are proud of our performance to date we know we don’t have all of the answers. So we work actively with the industry through UKCG and CECA to share knowledge and ideas about better ways to pursue the sustainability agenda. Because we’re committed to sustainability we leave nothing to chance.