BAM's long term ambition is to have a net positive impact, and reducing our own emissions is just part of this journey. By working with our supply chain and our clients, we hope to reduce their emissions too, helping to combat climate change and reduce the costs of constructing and operating buildings. We continue to improve efficiencies in our business through rigorous management as well as using new technologies for construction sites and are starting to calculate and set targets for reducing our wider impacts.

Normalised CO2 emissions reduced since 2008

Our performance

In 2016 our emissions were 15,242 tCO2e and our normalised emissions were 14.6tCO2e/£m turnover. We track performance using a three year rolling average and have reduced our emissions intensity by 39% since 2008 on this basis. We’ve now set a new target for 2020 against a new 2015 baseline, to reduce normalised emissions by at least 15%. Our baseline is now made up of a three year rolling average to follow best practice. We have also worked with the carbon trust to carry out an assessment of our wider emissions (from supply chain and other sources) and plan to set reduction targets for these.

See below for our full carbon footprint.

BAM's CO2 reduction journey

Being more efficient

Construction projects are the largest source of BAM's direct emissions, so we set CO2 reduction targets for every project, focusing on using less energy and fuel. In 2016 average emissions from our projects (including our subcontractors fuel use) reduced to 12.9 tCO2e/£m project value, a drop of 35% since 2008 levels (19.9 tCO2e/£m). This is a result of using energy monitoring and management tools, and using more efficient equipment. Our central energy management team continues to work with sites to help plan, manage and reduce energy and fuel use and to test new technologies which offer greater efficiencies.

We're using 6,218 kWh per £1m turnover less than in 2010

Lower carbon transport

Transport is vital to our business but travel leads to emissions, and unnecessary travel leads to 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 2016 both total business miles and average business miles per employee reduced. Employees are driving 1,959 fewer business miles on average each year than they did in 2008.

The average efficiency of our company car fleet is now 102gCO2/Km. This figure is set to rise in the short term due to real-world emissions tests. However in the long term we continue to aim for reductions by introducing more electric and hybrid vehicles onto our car fleet. In 2016 we re-assessed our car allowance fleet, which has now reduced to 144g/km, a big improvement.

3.6 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).

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.

BAM Energy finance, install and manage renewable energy installations and carry out energy efficiency improvements for our clients (on new and existing buildings). See our case studies on low carbon buildings that we’ve helped our clients to deliver.

Delivered DEC B rating for Bodmin Council Offices 2016

Reducing wider impacts

Our targets have been largely based on the carbon emissions BAM creates directly from our own business activities. Now we are working 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.  

5,103 tCO2 saved by reducing waste since 2008

2016 Carbon footprint

Our 2016 emissions were 15,242 tCO2e, this is an increase compared with 2015, but our turnover has been higher. We have seen gas oil use increase due to a number of projects having to use generators at early stages (something not always within our control). 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, as required for our CEMARS certification. 

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

While we ultimately 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. 

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 currently include our grey fleet, air travel and waste sent to landfill. We have now assessed our wider scope 3 emissions and will begin reporting these for 2017. 

Emissions by scope

Case studies relating to this topic

Severn Trent Centre, Coventry

Severn Trent Centre, Coventry

The seven-storey 20,000m2 Severn Trent Centre in Coventry’s city centre is a landmark building, both in terms of appearance and environmental credentials and is the home of Severn Trent Water.

Leeds Arena

Leeds Arena

One of the most sustainable arenas in the UK, set to host more than 140 events each year from rock concerts to ice dancing. With a capacity of 13,500 people, the 30,000m2 venue also provides 4,000m2 of public space and a 100-seat restaurant.

NAMRC, Rotherham

NAMRC, Rotherham

The new research and innovation facility at Sheffield University includes a large workshop, dedicated space for robotics and automation, laboratory and technical support space, a virtual reality ‘cave’ for assembly research and office space.

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