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Measuring the carbon load: @one alliance

The first stage in reducing those emissions - predominantly carbon - is to find out how much their current activities generate.

Anglian Water told a supply chain conference in January that any supplier wanting to do business with it must measure its own carbon footprint by March 2009. One of the company’s biggest suppliers is the @one alliance, a group of seven companies responsible for designing and building Anglian Water’s £750M capital expenditure programme under AMP4 - half of the water company’s planned spending during that four year period.

In May the alliance appointed Davide Stronati from the Grontmij/Mott MacDonald jv as its sustainability manager. His first priority has been to develop a carbon footprinting tool to measure the carbon load of all the alliance’s construction and maintenance activities.

Stronati wants the tool to be innovative - going beyond the UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) guidelines for reporting carbon that are standard in the industry. "They are excellent," he says, "but I want to move on and raise the bar in finding the real value of carbon for the entire supply chain."

The tool Stronati and his team have been developing will measure carbon at every stage of the development of an asset, from choosing the optimum design to completion and operation. "That process involves dealing with the suppliers and contractors and going on site to see how it works," he explains. "It will require feedback and updates, making it a living tool, a developing tool."

Equally important is that the tool is presented in a way that makes it relevant to engineers and project managers.

"We don’t want this to be something that’s imposed from the top down,” says Stronati. "We want to have on board the engineers who will be using the footprinting tool, and who will be using it for minimising and cutting carbon. We need to engage with the engineers so that they start thinking carbon."

The alliance uses a seven-step design process, with the risks and values of all the design options compared at each stage.

"The carbon footprint will be part of that risk/value analysis at each stage, both for embedded and operational carbon," says Stronati.
"The operational carbon is much bigger than embedded, so our priority will be to reduce operational first."

The @one alliance is made up of: Grontmij/Mott MacDonald JV, as well as Aker Kvaerner Skanska, Balfour Beatty Utilities, Biwater, Barhale and Black & Veatch.

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