November 15, 2021
There is no doubt that climate change is occurring and is a direct result of human activity. The COP 26 conference in Glasgow objective was to ensure that global heating is kept to below 1.5 degrees above preindustrial levels to avoid a climate catastrophe. This means we must drastically reduce CO2 emissions. The UK government has bold ambitions for the country to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and is expecting industry, institutions, and individuals to make and implement the necessary changes to accomplish this.
According to the UK Green Building Council, around 10% of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions are directly associated with construction activities and this figure rises even further to 45% when the whole of the built environment sector is considered! Therefore, the construction industry must act and as a specialist contractor membership organisation, The British Drilling Association (BDA) must also do what it can to not only help push climate change mitigation up the public, corporate and geotechnical sector agenda, but it must also look inwardly at the drilling sector’s own roles and responsibilities, to help its members make the transition to a cleaner, greener way of working.
The first step for the BDA is to establish a Carbon Reduction Policy. This statement of intent will define the activity that the BDA can implement now, as well as establish goals for carbon reduction going forward. However, it will also be more than this, it will define the BDA’s ambitions to play an active and initiative-taking role in reducing the drilling sector’s carbon emissions, challenging itself through targets and benchmarking itself to deliver a real-world impact.
Establishing a Carbon Reduction Policy for the BDA not only makes good sense environmentally, but economically too. With the government having committed to net carbon zero by 2050, it will push increasing pressure on everyone to play their part, which means increasing pressure will be placed on the construction sector. One way this will may be achieved is by demanding projects declare their embodies carbon, which means companies involved through the construction chain declare and account for their own emissions, with these environmental metrics being used as an increasingly significant component of the procurement / tendering process. In other words, the less carbon we produce, the more work we are likely to win!
Over the next 12 months the BDA will be looking to engage with its membership, as well as with construction trade organisations, such as BuildUK, with a view to developing the Policy document, such that it both promotes as well as motivates us to omit to carbon reduction.
As we progress with the drafting of this Carbon Reduction Policy document, we will keep you updated.