Costain Moves Up Carbon League Table

18 March 2013

Costain’s carbon emission management and performance have improved significantly over the past year, resulting in a higher position in the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) league table.

The Group has leapt up the league table for CRC, from 1218th place in 2010-11 to a remarkable 12th place in 2011-12. Almost 2100 companies, councils, government departments and educational establishments were ranked.

The CRC ranking is calculated using three measurements: Early Action Metrics (comprising 40% of the total score); Absolute Metrics (45%); and Growth Metrics (15%).

The Early Action Metric rewards organisations who take steps to achieve better management of their carbon emissions, such as achieving a Carbon Standard such as Certified Emissions Measurement And Reduction Scheme (CEMARS) certification.  Absolute Metrics is scored on the reduction in the actual amounts of carbon a company emits in a year. And the Growth Metrics adjust a company’s carbon reduction in relation to growth (or shrinkage) of turnover over a year.

There were two main reasons for Costain’s dramatic improvement, said Group Environmental Manager, Amy Shuffleton.

Achieving CEMARS certification in 2012 qualified Costain for a 50% gain in points earned in the Early Action Metrics category.

And the Company scored well in Absolute Metrics (based on 2011-12 data) through a remarkable 65.5% reduction in electricity and fuel used through a combination of actual physical reduction, a shift in the types of work undertaken and project completions. Growth Metrics also saw an almost 50% improvement as the Company grew but emitted proportionately less carbon.

Amy also congratulated the overall team and, in particular, Graduate  Environmental Adviser, Claire Baker, on their efforts in carbon reduction and management and reiterated the Company's commitment to further enhancing its performance in future years.

Construction companies generally scored well in the CRC rankings. BAM Group and Skanska were first and second respectively, while Carillion was seventh.  In addition to the positive action taken by these companies including Costain, one of the reasons for this is due to the inclusion of bulk fuel in the CRC scheme which can see great variance in use year to year in construction. This has led to reductions across the industry being inflated and criticisms in the accuracy of the league table. However, Costain was still well ahead of other construction sector companies such as Taylor Wimpey (807th place) and Kier Group (832nd).

The Government has decided that the CRC league table will be scrapped in future. However, Costain will continue to make its carbon emission figures publically available so that staff and the wider community are aware of its continuing performance in the field.