The Area South Enabling Works Contract (EWC) is one of the most challenging construction projects ever undertaken. Its ambitious and multidisciplinary programme of works is scrutinised by the HS2 Act which underpins the planning regime, the HS2 Environmental Statement setting out the baseline and predicted environmental impact and the Environmental Minimum Requirements detailing the minimum construction standards and stakeholder commitments. These guidelines are supported by Environmental Management Plans and Specialists’ expertise across all disciplines which have led EWC to become a pioneer in setting a new benchmark for environmental delivery across wider construction industry.
The scale of EWC is vast with 100 work packages covering 27km and 20+ construction sites, including the biggest archaeological exhumation programme in Europe, where over 40,000 bodies were exhumated in one of the most technological and innovative archaeology digs ever undertaken – featuring in the BBC documentary ‘The Biggest Dig’. The EWC project scale has cumulated in over 13-million-man hours worked to date, all within one of the busiest cities in the world, with a vast percentage of the works taking place alongside Euston railway station that supports 145,000 people a day. CSjv have met these huge challenges whilst also delivering extensive Carbon savings and Sustainability efficiencies, leaving a lasting legacy on the construction industry through the realisation of over 50 sustainability opportunities and upskilling of over 15 supply chain members.
CSjv have demonstrated ongoing carbon reduction commitments through a variety of initiatives including the recently launched 2021 Carbon Strategy. The Strategy aims to decarbonise and push forward the culture on the EWC that places Carbon at the forefront of decision-making. Its foundations are built on 5 pillars: Carbon Leaders Forum, Eliminating Diesel, Idling Reduction, Net Zero Sites and Carbon Awareness training for all staff. This has already led to 4,808 tonnes of carbon efficiencies being identified through on-site operations and 100% sustainable sourcing.
Key to achieving the environment successes has been the development of a Culture where environmental factors are at the front line of professional practice, which has been led by an Environmental Management representative being placed at every level in the organisation – from the Senior Leadership Team where the Head of Environment sits, down to the Environmental Advisors who interface with and upskill site operatives and supervisors. This is highlighted through the project’s complete transition from red diesel to a HVO biofuel – achieved without the need to instruct the supply chain. Further to this, the use of hydrogen and solar powered welfare has become the norm, and CSjv has successfully trialled the use of fully electric plant across the project.
An integral part of driving this culture has been the implementation of the Environment & Sustainability Opportunities Matrix which give visibility across the entire lifecycle of an opportunity, from concept to feasibility through to implementation and provide an overview of all Best Practices spanning a wide variety of environment and sustainability themes with the possibility of attributing indirect benefits to other disciplines. These matrices are a key preconstruction and handover document for all work packages – with works unable to start without one in place.