CCC research develops tool to promote low carbon construction supply chains

Created: December 12, 2017. Updated: January 24, 2018.

The CCC has initiated an innovative project, CITT, to enable construction contractors to manage their supply chains so as to minimize carbon use.

The CITT project has brought together Costain, Skanska and the University of Edinburgh Business School to develop an automated, integrated tool that can be used by contractors in infrastructure and construction projects to align their supply chain to ensure low carbon outcomes.

Talking to CCC Insight at the London Seminar on ‘Implementing PAS2080:  Supply Chain Collaboration to reduce the Carbon Footprint and Cost of major Infrastructure Projects’*, Costain’s Damien Canning stressed the importance of the CITT project saying that:

“Without understanding where your carbon is and, at what point in the value chain the carbon is going to come into a project, i.e. who is best placed to get the reductions , chances are you are only going to get a reduction ‘by chance’, he stressed.

“This level of carbon management is a fundamental step change in how contractors and their supply chains engage with carbon and manage it.”

Central feature of designing projects

The CITT (Carbon Infrastructure Transformation Tool) project has been specifically designed to meet the needs of major infrastructure projects.

“It is very important that we have something that is integrated and automated. The reason for that is that we want carbon management to become a central feature of how contractors deliver projects and how designers design projects. “

Behind the project are four other work packages designed to help understand how incentive mechanisms can be developed, how any social barriers to the adoption and use of the tool can be avoided, and also how decisions can be made under conditions of uncertainty, Canning said.

Industry cooperation

Costain has already worked quite closely with Skanska on a number of big projects, Canning explained, and the new tool is being implemented on a lot of joint projects to gain an understanding of the benefits are and how to develop it further.

As part of this initiative Costain is talking to its strategic supply chain. “We are getting in our suppliers who we have the biggest spend with and we are asking them to help us on the journey by changing the data that they give us so that we can have a very granular insight into what exactly makes up the work packages that they will be delivering on our project.

“There are lot of issues around data, structuring of data sets, coding data so that it aligns between disciplines,” he said.

At the end of the three year long project, the CITT team expects to have a tool that is open source and free for everyone to use.

See interview with Damien Canning


*PAS2080 was launched in 2017 and issued by the UK Government’s Construction Leadership Council and the Green Construction Board. It is the world’s first specification aimed at managing whole-life carbon in infrastructure. The London Seminar brought together leading experts and the supply chains of major infrastructure clients and contractors to discuss its development and potential.

See Seminar Roundup here

Further information on CITT project