Working Towards Sustainability – BDA Update

September 25, 2023

In April 2023, the British Drilling Association (BDA) took a significant step towards a more sustainable future by establishing its Sustainability Working Group. This momentous initiative has seen five fruitful meetings thus far, driven by a collective commitment to usher sustainability into the drilling sector while keeping pace with the ever-evolving technological landscape.

What initially began as a concept has swiftly taken shape, thanks to the invaluable contributions from members and various facets of the industry. The BDA Sustainability Working Group boasts a diverse membership that encompasses drilling practitioners, suppliers, business owners, clients, and environmental experts. This diversity ensures that a comprehensive and holistic approach to sustainability remains at the heart of the group’s mission.

Recently, under the stewardship of Martin Clegg from MGS, the group embarked on an exciting partnership with Auditel. Their mission? To map the intricate journey of carbon within the ground investigation industry. The fruits of this collaboration are now in hand, with an illuminating report that holds the potential to be a true game-changer.

Currently, the BDA Sustainability Working Group is in the process of meticulously reviewing the Auditel report. Their insights and recommendations will be instrumental in shaping a living document that intends to keep pace with the rapid advancements in technology.

Against this backdrop of active sustainability efforts, the BDA’s Chair, Paul McMann, took the stage at the recent GE Sustainability conference, held on the 21st of September 2023. His presentation, titled: “The Five W’s of Sustainability – A Sector’s View 2023”, formed an integral part of the Thought Leaders panel, titled: “Breaking with Tradition – How Can the Geotechnical Sector Meet Net Zero Targets?”

Paul’s presentation delved into the critical “Five W’s” of sustainability:

  • What is Sustainability: A fundamental question that sets the stage for understanding the essence of sustainability in the drilling and wider geotechnical industry.
  • Where: Examining the geographical and sector-specific contexts where sustainability initiatives must take root.
  • Who: Identifying the stakeholders responsible for driving sustainability, including everyone from site investigators to main clients, and industry bodies like BSi, AGS (Association of Geotechnical and Geo-environmental Specialists), and the British Drilling Association.
  • When: Highlighting the urgency of sustainability efforts, emphasising that action must be taken as soon as possible, given the detrimental effects of climate change and environmental damage. Meeting targets like Net Zero 2050″ is paramount.
  • Why: Exploring the compelling reasons behind sustainability – the benefits it offers to society, the environment, and its economic sensibility.

Paul’s insightful presentation emphasised the critical role that the drilling and geotechnical industry plays in achieving sustainability. He discussed not only what the industry is doing to promote sustainability but also how it can further enhance its efforts.

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