Multiplex Senior Sustainability Manager, Joshua Davies, on ‘One Decade to Act’; Multiplex’s plan of action to reduce their carbon footprint and tackle the climate crisis head-on

The world is facing a climate crisis. This crisis is placing people, livelihoods, ecosystems and economies around the globe at grave risk by creating a world that will soon become uninhabitable for humans. It is a global challenge that requires a global effort.

The world is facing a climate crisis. This crisis is placing people, livelihoods, ecosystems and economies around the globe at grave risk by creating a world that will soon become uninhabitable for humans. It is a global challenge that requires a global effort.

 

To help tackle the climate crisis, countries around the world have agreed to limit global temperature rise to less than 2°C this century (compared to pre-industrial levels), and to pursue efforts to limit the rise even further to 1.5°C. This agreement was ratified at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) held in Paris by the United Nations (known as the Paris Agreement).

 

The target to limit global warming to just 1.5°C  by 2050 was established by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC warns that even half a degree beyond this could significantly worsen the risks of extreme weather events, rising sea levels and disrupted weather patterns and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. In 2018, the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC was released, warning that urgent action is required before 2030 to limit dangerous climate change.

 

At the same time in 2018, the construction industry contributed £117 billion to the UK economy, equating to 6% of the UK’s GDP. In 2019, there were also 2.4 million construction industry jobs in the UK, equating to 6.6% of all jobs. Construction is a major source of jobs and revenue, but at the same time, the built environment is responsible for a staggering 38% of global energy-related carbon emissions, which means the construction industry must play a key role in tackling the climate crisis.

 

To respond to the global climate crisis, in April 2021 Multiplex launched ‘One Decade to Act’, our pathway to Net Zero Carbon by 2050 including supply chain emissions.

 

The pathway outlines the actions our European business will undertake between now and 2030 to drastically cut our carbon emissions to put the company on track for our overall 2050 climate target. This includes a public commitment to achieve five carbon emissions goals by 2030:

  1. Zero onsite emissions by 2025
  2. 50% reduction in embodied carbon intensity by 2030
  3. Net zero carbon building operations by 2030
  4. Zero transport emissions by 2030
  5. Zero avoidable waste by 2030

 

The launch of ‘One Decade to Act’ represents the culmination of several years’ work for Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd, including extensive research and data gathering on the sources of the emissions that contribute to our carbon footprint.

 

Recognising that culture change will be integral to achieving these carbon goals and targets, ‘One Decade to Act’ includes a cultural and behavioural change programme for Multiplex’s sphere of influence (our people, clients and supply chain) called ‘Educate, Engage, Empower.’ This approach is vital given that 98 to 99 percent of Multiplex’s carbon footprint is associated with our scope 3 emissions, which includes actions undertaken by our clients and supply chain.

 

Intent on being synonymous with actions and not just words, ‘One Decade to Act’ will be delivered according to a Climate Action Management Framework to ensure Multiplex’s board and management teams govern progress against the carbon goals and targets. One Decade to Act is being embedded into both Multiplex’s current and future pipeline. With all actions that are technically and commercially feasible to be completed on current projects and to be fully embedded on new and future projects.

 

Urgent action is required before 2030 to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change. The situation is changing fast and Multiplex does not claim to have all the answers, but we do know that the climate emergency everyone is facing calls for leadership and action.

 

Multiplex is doing all we can to fill this role, basing our actions on the latest climate science and using our sphere of influence to ensure we have the greatest possible impact.

We hold ourselves accountable for our actions, and we will continue to measure our carbon emissions data, ensure it is third-party verified and disclose this information in our annual Positive Impact Report, along with updates on our progress against this Net Zero Carbon Pathway.

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