Comment and opinion
The decision by the UK government to set up the National Infrastructure Commission in October of last year is a strong signal that the country is taking a longer-term view in terms of improving nationally significant infrastructure while at the same time providing greater certainty for those of us involved in making those improvements happen.
Identifying major hazards and managing their associated risk is a significant challenge for organisations operating in industrial sectors, and this includes Costain. As a designer, constructor and operator of plants and processes in high hazard sectors such as oil and gas, nuclear, chemicals and rail, Costain has a responsibility to ensure that we do not cause major or significant harm to people or the environment.
Every Costain office and site is part of a local community. And, whether we are there permanently or for a few years over the lifetime of a project, it is really important that we treat that community with respect, and that our impact on the community is positive.
The infrastructure sector accounts for more than 50% of the UK’s CO2 emissions, and if we do not adopt low carbon best practice, the UK will not meet its commitment of an 80% reduction by 2050.
Our sustainability strategy includes a commitment to provide better solutions for the marketplace. But what does that mean?
For us, it means trying to stand in our customers’ shoes and understand as best we can what their needs are – and the needs of their customers.
At Costain we understand that for our business to be successful it has to operate sustainably over the long term. To do that, we need a workforce that is safe, well-motivated, productive, and who feel enthusiastic and passionate about what we do.
By this April all public sector construction bids will have show they can meet the technological requirements demanded by the next level of the Business Information Modelling programme described as Level 2 BIM. It calls for all project and asset information, documentation and data to be electronic to bring costs down and speed up delivery times to increase value for money. The big question for our industry has to be: are we ready?
Innovation should continue to play a vital role throughout the life of a project, from initial discussions through to completion. How, however, can we ensure that a healthy attitude towards innovation runs throughout the life of the contract? We have started to tackle what is a very complex subject through a new consortium consisting of Costain, international law firm Pinsent Masons and the University of Cambridge, with funding from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.
When the Highways Agency announced its Collaborative Delivery Framework in November 2014, it emphasised collaboration among all partners as the key ingredient in the successful delivery of the £24 billion investment to transform England’s major road networks up to 2021.