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Thames Tideway shaft

Decarbonising delivery of a super sewer

The Thames Tideway Tunnel is a £3.8 billion, 25 kilometre super sewer being built under the River Thames from the London Borough of Ealing in the west, to the London Borough of Newham in the east.

  • Service 1


  • Service 1

Complex programme delivery

  • Service 1

VINCI Construction Grands Projets and Bachy Soletanche

Benefits realised

145 tCO₂eq

carbon emissions saved due to the redesign of the drop shaft at Chambers Wharf site


tCO₂eq of carbon savings delivered at Deptford Church Street site enabled by redesign

A detailed and accurate carbon baseline was established

- helping our client to gain and maintain access to the first UK public green bonds for the industry


single-use plastic waste across the project


idling and fuel consumption of plant and equipment

Costain has been working alongside client, Tideway, and in joint venture with VINCI Construction Grands Projets and Bachy Soletanche on the East section of tunnel.

The team has been committed to embedding sustainable development principles across the contract and to maximising the associated cost and carbon reduction efficiencies delivered at various lifecycle stages of the project.

Highlights include:

  • At the Chambers Wharf site, numerous carbon saving opportunities were identified and delivered within the design. This was driven by the team’s ambition to challenge specifications and reduce materials and waste, an example of this is the redesign of the drop shaft resulting in a significant carbon emission saving of 145 tCO2eq. This innovative design also reduced steel requirements by 99 tonnes.
  • At the Deptford Church Street site changes to the design, along with a reduction in steel reinforcement, delivered carbon savings of 385 tCO2eq.
  • From the inception of the project, a detailed and accurate carbon baseline was established to benchmark and measure the contracts performance against. This industry step-change not only informed carbon reducing decisions but also helped our client, Tideway, to gain and maintain access to the first UK public green bonds for the industry. These bonds have the potential to revolutionise infrastructure funding and financing.
  • A dedicated programme, funded by Tideway, was created to monitor and measure fuel reduction behaviour changes and the effectiveness of training on reducing idling and fuel consumption of plant and equipment.
  • A highly successful campaign to eliminate plastic, enforcing the use of reusable bottles and even have milk delivered in bulk to reduce single-use plastic waste.
  • The world’s very first electric hydrofraise (a rotary trench cutting machine used to dig the shaft for the main tunnel) was developed by Bachy Soletanche, which has resulted in significant reductions in carbon emissions and noise and air pollution.

At the end of 2019, the first ever Costain Resource Efficiency Matrix (REM) Gold Award was awarded to the joint venture team Costain, VINCI Construction Grands Projects and Bachy Soletanche working on Thames Tideway Tunnel East.


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Contact and social


Gerard Shore, Sector Director
0161 910 3444
[email protected]