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Carbon calculator from the Environment Agency

01 November 2007

The carbon calculator calculates the embodied carbon dioxide of material plus CO2 associated with their transportation, plus personal travel, site energy and waste management could help in decision making on the the sustainability of your construction activities.

The Environment Agency has a broad interest in construction and the associated environmental impacts. We are also a significant construction client. Our construction spend (~£200 million for 2007-08) accounts for approximately 3% of the construction civil engineering sector.

As a construction client, our role is to lead by example and demonstrate what sustainable construction means in practice. Improving resource efficiency and reducing carbon emissions from our construction projects is an important part of that.

Working with Jacobs we have developed a carbon calculator aimed at our construction activities. We will be using it on all of our major construction projects from November 2007.

The carbon calculator is an Excel spreadsheet that calculates the embodied carbon dioxide (CO2) of materials plus CO2 associated with their transportation. It also considers personal travel, site energy use and waste management.

This tool will help us to assess and compare the sustainability of different designs (in CO2 terms) and to influence option choice at the options appraisal stage. It will help highlight where we can make 'big win' carbon savings on specific construction projects. We can also use it to calculate the Environment Agency's total carbon footprint from construction and help us to reduce it.

The tool was developed with our own construction activities in mind (predominantly fluvial and coastal construction projects). However, other construction clients, contractors and consultants may find it useful when assessing their own activities and therefore we are happy to share it.

www.environment-agency.gov.uk


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