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There's more to cutting carbon emissions than cycling to work...

I cycle to the station, saving a few hundred kilograms of carbon emissions, but this is not where I make most of my saving.

Similarly, most of the firms in your first carbon survey have the potential to save far more than their measured footprint.

I design bridges and other heavy civil engineering structures. By considering the materials and the form of the structure I can potentially save thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions.

Some guidance was published in my paper An Environmental Comparison of Bridge Forms, published in last years ICE Proceedings (Vol 159, BE4, December 2006).

There has been discussion in NCE of new Forth and Mersey crossings. Taking these as examples; the footprint of the designers for their whole operation is some 5,000 tonnes, but the potential difference between a cable-stayed bridge, considering environmental issues, and one that is not is more than 50,000 tonnes.

A whole order of magnitude bigger.

Yes, we as individuals and firms must look at our own carbon footprint, but we have the potential to save much more.

DAVID COLLINGS, TECHNICAL
DIRECTOR, BENAIM GROUP, DAVID.COLLINGS@BENAIMGROUP.COM

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