Waka Kotahi to reduce carbon footprint of transport construction

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 29, 2021

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has outlined its new commitment to lowering the carbon footprint created during construction of its New Zealand Upgrade Programme projects.

Projects worth more than $100 million will aim to reduce construction emissions by at least 10%, with suppliers encouraged to look for ways to make even greater reductions to carbon.

“This will be challenging to achieve and we’re at the start of the journey. One of the areas where Waka Kotahi can quickly start to tackle carbon emissions is project construction,” said national manager infrastructure delivery Mark Kinvig

“Construction of infrastructure projects use significant resources. Concrete, steel, asphalt, and fuel used in earthworks are the biggest sources of emissions from building transport projects,” he said.

“We are aiming to reduce these impacts as much as possible and lead the transport sector on reducing construction emissions.”

The contract for the agency’s Penlink project, which has just gone to tender, will include a financial incentive for meeting a carbon-reduction target.

“Empowering the industry to use their expertise to tackle this issue is key, so we will encourage our suppliers to innovate and come up with ways to lower emissions,” Kinvig said.

“This new approach to procurement also encourages design competition and challenge our standards to reduce construction emissions. Changes to standards would still need to deliver essential outcomes like safety.”

Waka Kotahi plans to use a similar approach to reduce construction emissions on other major New Zealand Upgrade Programme projects.