North West regional main contractor Russell WBHO has been certified as a CarbonNeutral® company.
The accreditation is the first major milestone on the Manchester-based construction company’s road to becoming Net Zero by 2038.
CarbonNeutral® company certification is awarded to firms operating in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol, the leading global framework for carbon neutrality. The company has fully audited its greenhouse gas emissions, implemented carbon reduction measures across the business, and offset carbon emissions to compensate for what cannot currently be avoided by providing finance to projects across the globe.
The company has pledged a future reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by a number of methods including transferring to a green energy supplier, installing solar panels at the Trafford Park headquarters and on the roofs of project site facilities, improving office lighting and heating efficiency, and decarbonising further by transferring site generators from diesel to biofuel. This is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 77% by 2030, the half way point in the Net Zero by 2038 strategy.
The company will also continue rolling out existing carbon reduction initiatives which have already helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions since the firm embarked on its road to Net Zero back in 2020. Petrol and diesel fleet vehicles are being replaced on a rolling basis by electric vehicles, and EV chargers are already installed at head office and construction sites. The team will also maintain its long-term commitment to the sustainable sourcing of materials, and employing local labour and sub-contractors.
Gareth Russell, managing director of Russell WBHO, said hitting the first of the Net Zero strategy’s target sent an important message. “As part of our Net Zero by 2038 strategy we set a series of milestones, the first of which was to achieve CarbonNeutral® company status. This provides an audited baseline for our greenhouse gas emissions, sets a standard for us to maintain, and reinforces the framework for carbon reduction over the next two decades.
“We recognise that construction contributes a major carbon footprint and that improving this position is the responsibility of us as a business and of the sector as a whole. Having embarked on our journey to Net Zero we know there is a long road ahead but, by achieving CarbonNeutral® company status now, we are making an immediate impact on tackling climate change and demonstrating a clear commitment to delivering results along the way.”
CarbonNeutral® certification is managed by Climate Impact Partners, specialist in carbon market solutions for climate action. The certification is underpinned by The CarbonNeutral Protocol – a rigorous and transparent framework created to deliver carbon neutrality for businesses and their products and/or activities.
Working with Climate Impact Partners, which supports more than 600 projects worldwide, Russell WBHO is supporting three schemes which align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These include a global portfolio of renewable energy sites that are displacing fossil fuel use, and a project to halt deforestation and protect carbon-storing peat swamps in Indonesia.
Russell WBHO’s Net Zero by 2038 strategy and CarbonNeutral® company certification have been audited and informed by specialists from Turley Sustainability.
James Blake, director and head of sustainability from Turley Sustainability ,said: “Russell WBHO has implemented an ambitious Net Zero strategy with robust interim targets. Our audit supported their own findings and recommended additional activity to help achieve some targets even earlier. The business had also committed to achieving CarbonNeutral® company certification, a voluntary standard which enables organisations to demonstrate the progress they are making towards net zero and aligning with climate change mitigation, and we are pleased to have provided support for them in this process.”