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National Highways sets up new sustainability division

Nationwide Highways has created a brand new division for environmental sustainability as a part of its purpose to chop carbon emissions.

The division will work with Nationwide Highways’s govt administrators to ship targets that embrace achieving net-zero for its construction and maintenance activities by 2040.

Stephen Elderkin (pictured), previously venture director of the £1bn A12 improve scheme in Essex, has been appointed to guide the division and named because the physique’s first director of environmental sustainability.

Previous to becoming a member of the government-owned firm, then often called Highways England, in 2015, Elderkin labored in numerous Whitehall roles together with for the departments of Power & Local weather Change and Atmosphere, Meals & Rural Affairs. His roles included main the federal government evaluation for the Local weather Change Act, carbon budgets and energy-efficiency insurance policies.

He stated: “It’s a privilege to tackle this position at such a vital time. We’ve seen how COP26 has introduced heightened public recognition of the necessity for motion on local weather change. Nationwide Highways connects the nation, taking part in a significant position in nationwide prosperity. However we should do this sustainably, making our contribution to attaining a net-zero economic system and exhibiting ambition and management to depart a optimistic legacy by means of our method to the atmosphere.”

Amongst his division’s duties shall be creating a long-term environmental technique, engaged on biodiversity enhancement and lowering native environmental impacts from the Nationwide Highways community.

Final summer time, the government-owned firm announced its net-zero targets, which included achieving net-zero for its own operations by 2030 and from road users by 2050.

In October, chief executive Nick Harris told an online conference: “Over the subsequent 5 years we’ll see a giant change in emissions due to [electric vehicles]. We speak in regards to the provision of charging factors and so forth – it’s actually vital we proceed to help that.

“We’re now centered on ‘can we construct and keep roads in a carbon impartial manner?’ I feel it’s important that we display we will construct roads and function roads in a sustainable, carbon-neutral manner in any other case the long run needs to be questionable.”

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