By reducing our own emissions, we’re ultimately reducing the costs of construction and helping our customers reduce their impacts by delivering buildings with a lower carbon footprint. We continue to improve efficiencies in our business through rigorous management as well as using new technologies for construction sites. Working with our clients and supply chain, we are tackling wider emissions from materials and energy used in buildings over their life cycle.

Normalised CO2 emissions reduced since 2008

Our Performance

We have been measuring our carbon footprint since 2007 and are certified to the international carbon standard, CEMARS. We also authored the ENCORD CO2 Measurement Protocol, which helps the construction industry across Europe to measure carbon in a standardised way. We have surpassed our 2015 target, achieving a 34% reduction in our emissions intensity compared with 2008 (based on a three year rolling average). Our total emissions for 2015 were 14,486 tCO2e. Our normalised emissions were 17.9tCO2e/£1m turnover.

By reducing emissions from energy use, gas oil and transport we estimate we've made a relative saving of around £4.3 million since 2008. Put another way, if we had the same emissions intensity in 2015 as in 2008, we would have spent £1,000,000 more on energy and transport.

See below for our full carbon footprint.

34% reduction in emissions compared to 2008,
surpassing our to 25% target

Lower Carbon Construction

Construction projects are the largest source of BAM's direct emissions, so we set CO2 reduction targets for every project. In 2015 average emissions from our projects (including our subcontractors emissions) reduced to 14 tCO2e/£m project value, a drop of 29% since 2008 levels (19.9 tCO2e/£m). This is a result of using energy monitoring and management tools, and using more efficient equipment. In 2015 we continued to improve our standards on site, for instance introducing new modular energy efficient accommodation which saves energy and reduces transport as it is a flat pack system. Our central energy management team continues to work with sites to help plan, manage and reduce energy and fuel use.

38% improvement in energy efficiency
since 2010, saving £800K

Lower Carbon Transport

Transport is vital to our business but excess travel leads to emissions, higher costs and affects employee well-being. Since 2008 we've worked hard to reduce these impacts. Our staff now spend less time on the road, which is good for the environment and their wellbeing. In 2015 both total business miles and average business miles per employee reduced. Employees are driving 2,580 fewer miles each per year for business than they did in 2008.

The average efficiency of our company car fleet is now 104gCO2/Km and our goal is to reduce it to below 100g. In 2015 we re-assessed our car allowance fleet, which has now reduced to 144g/km, a big improvement.

Find out more on our progress and the savings we've achieved from our case study.

3.4 million business miles less since 2008

Lower Carbon Buildings

We work with our customers and design teams to deliver low carbon buildings. Increasingly, this means looking beyond design targets towards actual performance of buildings in use (e.g. achieving Display Energy Certificate ratings). In 2015 we completed work on Cornwall Council's office in Bodmin which had a target to achieve a DEC rating of B and we are working with them to ensure the building is as efficient as possible.

We work with our clients, through a soft landings approach and by carrying out post occupancy evaluations, to ensure their buildings perform as well as possible.

In 2015 we launched BAM Energy, which finances, installs and runs renewable technology and manages energy efficiency for clients. See our case studies on low carbon buildings that we’ve helped our clients to deliver.

BAM Energy launched in 2015

The wider Picture

Our current targets are largely based on the carbon emissions BAM creates directly from our own business activities. Now we are starting to work with clients and suppliers to take account of the wider impacts that buildings have, for example, from embodied carbon (find out why it’s important here). As well as working with suppliers to reduce embodied carbon impacts (as we’ve done with Hanson, see here) we’ve also worked with WRAP to calculate the embodied carbon associated with waste (learn more here). Ultimately we want to deliver buildings that are low carbon throughout their life cycle, like our recently completed Sir Charles Kao UTC (see here for the case study). 

5,103 tCO2 saved by reducing waste since 2008

2015 Carbon Footprint

Our 2015 emissions were 14,486 tCO2e, an absolute reduction of 51% compared to our 2008 baseline. We track emissions by key activity. This includes premises (fixed offices and depots), construction sites (electricity, gas and fuel), transport (cars, commercial vehicles and air travel) and waste sent to landfill. We’ve reduced emissions consistently in each area since 2008.

Emissions by key activity area


The chart shows BAM's emissions from each individual source. We measure emissions from all our operations and report the most significant sources. Our emissions are calculated in line with the greenhouse gas protocol and with the international CEMARS standard and ISO14064.

Emissions by individual source

We’ve surpassed our 2015 target to reduce emissions by 25% (compared with 2008), achieving a 34% reduction. Our target is based on reducing normalised emissions and we track this using a three year rolling average, following best practice. Doing this helps to take account of inconsistencies that are caused by changes to our business or operations in a given year.

We include scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. While we have exceeded our target, we know this can change over time given the nature of our business. Also our reductions in scope three emissions from waste have made a significant contribution. However, if we strip waste out, we have still achieved a 25% reduction against our 2008 baseline. If we focus only on our direct sources of emissions from scope 1 and 2, we have achieved a 28% reduction.

Performance against target


While we want to reduce our absolute or total carbon footprint, it’s important to measure and also reduce our normalised emissions (or our ‘emissions intensity’). We measure this against our annual turnover to take account of any decreases or increases in emissions related to our business growing or shrinking (we exclude property sales related turnover as this is not related to our emissions). In an ideal world, we want to achieve growth while decreasing our emissions. Turnover is not always an accurate measure of emission intensity so we have to look at other things too, such as the kind of projects we’re delivering. The continued downward trend of our normalised emissions shows we are performing well.

Emissions normalised against turnover

BAM reports emissions in ‘Scopes’ to comply with the Green House Gas Protocol and ISO 14064. Scopes are a way of defining emissions as direct or indirect. Direct emissions are those from sources that are owned or controlled by an organisation and indirect emissions are those that are linked to the activities of an organisation, but actually occur at sources owned or controlled by someone else.

Scope 1 includes all purchased fuel (e.g. gas oil, natural gas and diesel purchased and then used by BAM).

Scope 2 includes all electricity which has been purchased by BAM.

Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions. We have included emissions from cars driven by employees for commuting, air travel, waste sent to landfill and electricity used on our sites that is provided by our clients. We will expand our scope three footprint over time.

Emissions by scope

Case studies relating to this topic

The Bridge, Scottish Water Head Quarters

The Bridge, Scottish Water Head Quarters

The new Scottish Water national headquarters is a three storey, 7,300m2 building accommodating 600 staff. This ultra-sustainable building incorporates office space and meeting rooms around a large central atrium. The building is being hailed as the most environmentally friendly building of its kind.

Nottingham Orchard Hotel

Nottingham Orchard Hotel

The new £20 million Orchard Hotel incorporates a business lounge, restaurant, bar area, outside terrace, gym and four meeting rooms. Other features include floor-to-ceiling windows, bespoke furniture and unique decor throughout.

One Angel Square, The Co-operative Group Headquarters

One Angel Square, The Co-operative Group Headquarters

This iconic building is a leading example of our ability to integrate sustainable features from inception to delivery of the project, and beyond.

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