Construction group lays foundations to be Net Zero by 2030

Tim Roberts

Listed construction business Henry Boot has today launched its Net Zero Carbon (NZC) Framework, which provides a long-term guide for the business to achieve NZC for all direct greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

In the UK, the built environment contributes around 40% of direct greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

While Sheffield-based Henry Boot’s carbon emissions have been decreasing since 2013, the company says it recognises the importance of accelerating action and continuing to reduce its environmental impact with a clear pathway to NZC, as part of its wider Responsible Business Strategy.

In 2020, a dedicated team was established comprising people from across the business, led by Ed Hutchinson (managing director of HBD) and Tony Shaw (managing director elect of Henry Boot Construction) to create a Framework to achieve NZC.

The resulting Framework, which has been created in collaboration with specialist environmental consultancy, Anthesis, is guided by three key objectives:

  1. To achieve NZC for directly controlled GHG emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) by 2030
  2. To enhance understanding of the businesses’ indirectly controlled emissions and deliver reduction solutions
  3. To empower our people and partners to take positive action to collaboratively decarbonise

The NZC Framework uses the Group’s 2019 GHG emissions as a baseline for measuring emissions reduction.

The first phase of the Framework (2021-2025) will guide Henry Boot to deliver short term reduction measures for directly controlled emissions. Key initiatives include:

  • An energy and resource audit of all controlled sites followed by the delivery of proposed carbon reduction solutions
  • Launch of fleet renewal programme, with the aim of all fleet cars and vans to be electric by 2030
  • Initial delivery of the sustainable HGV renewal programme
  • Generator decarbonisation programme to replace all generators with sustainable alternatives
  • Rapid introduction of biodiesel to decrease emissions whilst vehicle fleet and generators are replaced
  • Launch of new Agile Working Framework and Sustainable Transport Policy both of which support the targeted 20% reduction in business travel

From 2026, the Group will continue to accelerate its decarbonisation programme to reach its target of NZC for all direct emissions by 2030 whilst delivering its medium-term strategic target of growing capital employed by over 40%.

Tim Roberts, chief executive officer, said: “This is an exciting step for Henry Boot as we continue to enhance our environmental stewardship.

“We have always been a business that takes a long-term strategic view, focusing on authentic delivery – and our approach to tackling climate change will be no different.

“The NZC Framework demonstrates the adaptability of Henry Boot, as we evolve our business model to support a cleaner, healthier planet for all of us – all whilst continuing to grow our business.

“All my instincts tell me that by doing the right thing, and acting responsibly with regards to our stakeholders, we will be creating long term value in the business and of course help create a better planet for us all to enjoy.”