A new joint project aims to develop an open source tool that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the supply chain

An open source tool aimed at driving down emissions forms part of a new research collaboration between the University of Edinburgh Business School and Costain Group.

The project, which is funded by the Construction Climate Challenge (CCC) initiative hosted by Volvo Construction Equipment, seeks to develop a tool that can identify and reduce carbon in the construction supply chain.

The tool was undertaken due to two key issues facing the sector: the need to reduce greenhouse gases and the highly fragmented nature of supply chains. It is hoped the Carbon Infrastructure Transformation Tool project (CITT) will be able to overcome problems relating to these issues.

Fragmented supply chain causes difficulties

Dr Matthew Brander, Lecturer at University of Edinburgh Business School and Project Manager for CITT, explained: “In large infrastructure projects there are large amounts of emissions at stake.

“The supply chain is also very fragmented, with many different stakeholders.

“It’s important to ensure we have a consensus across the whole chain to reduce emissions.”

The projects will looks to develop a tool that can identify opportunities to reduce carbon through innovation and supply chain engagement. It is also hoped it will increase communication.

Damien Canning, Head of Technical Sustainability at Costain Group and Industry Specialist for Carbon Management for CITT said: “The tool will be integrated into current pricing processes and will allow us to have carbon and cost together.

“It will put the data in the hands of the right people at the right time in contractors’ processes which will allow them to make decisions to significantly reduce carbon.

“It will also push carbon further back towards the start of the design processes.”

The project will span three years and will focus on carbon accounting methodologies, stakeholder engagement and social barriers to tool adoption, collaborative frameworks for efficient supply chain management, and decision analytics for project design under uncertainty.

Canning added:  “The way to really drive this is to develop something with as much input from the industry as possible.

“This will help to raise standards significantly, and ensure consistency across the industry.”

Free open source tool

The open source tool will be available for free once the project is finished.

“The key is to get the industry to use this tool.

“Therefore it has to be accessible and easy to understand. You can develop the best tool in the world but if the stakeholders don’t want to use it, it’s not going to have much impact,” says Dr Matthew Brander.

For further information visit http://constructionclimatechallenge.com or contact info@constructionclimatechallenge.com

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