At SSEN Transmission, the journey towards Net Zero is at the heart of our business. Delivering the infrastructure that will enable Net Zero while reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions through a commitment to set an ambitious and stretching Science Based Target are central to our RIIO-T2 Business Plan – A Network for Net Zero. However, this is only part of the puzzle and our stakeholders expect us to go further and look at the wider impacts stemming from waste and resource use on our infrastructure projects.

We believe that building a circular economy is an important step in the wider transition towards Net Zero. A circular economy is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. As a member of the Scottish Infrastructure Circular Economy Forum (SICEF), convened by infrastructure firm AECOM together with Scotland’s key infrastructure owners and operators, we are happy to announce the publication of the forum’s inaugural White Paper. The paper spells out how the infrastructure sector should begin a concerted drive to use less materials, prioritise re-use or recovery of materials and eliminate waste. Not only would this avoid the negative local impacts of extracting new virgin materials but it would also reduce the carbon footprint of infrastructure construction by tackling ‘embodied carbon’ – the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the extraction, manufacturing, transporting, installing and disposing of construction materials and products.

The SICEF White Paper provides a clear signal to policymakers and supply chains on the areas in which SSEN Transmission and other Scottish infrastructure providers seek collaboration in order to advance the circular economy. This aligns with the commitments in our RIIO-T2 Business Plan to:

  • Achieve zero waste to landfill.
  • Achieve a recycling, recovery and re-use rate of >70%.
  • Implement best practice for managing and reporting on embodied carbon.

Investment in new infrastructure will be a critical part of the Net Zero transition and in the post-COVID economic recovery. This is our chance to build back better and we look forward to continuing to work with SICEF to address sustainable resource use in the construction of infrastructure.

The SICEF White Paper can be found here.

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