Reducing emissions by 63% in a decade

28th Sept 2023

New report outlines how the highways, transport and infrastructure sector can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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CIHT has today released a new report that shows how the highways, transport and infrastructure sectors can achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. 

The report features many case studies showing how organisations, projects, and programmes across the highways and infrastructure sectors have set themselves up for success and how they have delivered specific actions to reduce emissions through the asset life cycle. It also provides insight into new tools, materials, and ways of working that are being used in the drive to decarbonise the highways, transport and infrastructure sector.

Sue Percy, Chief Executive CIHT said:

“Surface Transport is the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK – responsible for 26% of emissions in 2021.”

“The Climate Change Committee, the government’s independent advisor, has found that to stay on track to reach Net Zero by 2050, our emissions must fall by 63% against 2019 levels by 2035 – this is only just over 10 years away.”

“To make reductions of this scale and at this pace we need to identify quickly what works and if it can be copied in other locations. Our latest report shares real world experience from across the CIHT partnership network about how highway authorities and their supply chain partners have reduced transport related carbon emissions via a wide range of measures including low carbon materials, logistics planning, electrification of construction plant, transport planning, procurement, innovative design, muti-partner collaboration, and reforms to codes and standards.”

This report provides transportation professionals with a collection of practical examples of what can be done, backed up by hard data on the level of emissions reductions that have been achieved.

This is an invaluable resource for individual professionals to develop their knowledge and for organisations to develop credible carbon reduction strategies.

Graham Storrie, Managing Director, Project Centre said: 

‘I am delighted that Project Centre were invited to contribute to the CIHT report on "Reducing emissions by 63% in a decade: lessons from the highways, transportation and infrastructure sector". As mindful decarbonisation and Net Zero remain high priorities on most organisational agendas, this report provides valuable insights around the reduction and ultimately, elimination of those GHG emissions associated with the planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of transportation systems and infrastructure. I am delighted that Project Centre is among a number of other key contributors helping to move this important agenda forward’.

William Bowers, Carbon Advisor, Balfour Beatty Major Projects and Highways said:

“Effective collaboration and knowledge sharing will be critical in accelerating progress towards Net Zero. The CIHT guidance paper on ‘reducing highways emissions by 63%’ will help provide our industry partners with the structure and solutions required to make significant headway on their individual decarbonisation journeys.”

Ed Godsiffe, Head of Sustainability, Milestone Infrastructure (part of M Group Services’ Transport Division) said:

“Milestone Infrastructure is pleased to have contributed to this important CIHT report, showcasing real world examples of how we are working collaboratively and innovatively with our clients to reduce carbon emissions associated with transport. This report shows what we can all do as transport professionals in our industry to drive meaningful change within the sector, delivering significant reductions, at scale and at pace.”

About the report

The ‘Reducing emissions by 63% in a decade - Lessons from the highways, transportation and infrastructure sector’ report contains over 20 real-world examples of work that has delivered significant reductions in emissions associated with:

  • Transport infrastructure – the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of transport assets
  • Mobility – the movement of people and goods

Conclusions and recommendations

  1. No-build and low-build solutions
    Reducing the need for carbon-intensive construction is the most effective way to reduce emissions from all types of infrastructure and should be a priority for future knowledge development and sharing, drawing on examples from across the world. 
  2. Reducing the demand for travel
    A need to engage with the strategic transport bodies and other interested parties to create more learning opportunities about interventions that have delivered reductions in travel demand.
  3. Consistency and comparability of carbon accounting and reporting
    There is a need to explore action that can be taken to deliver greater consistency and comparability of carbon accounting. This should include CIHT identifying if it can use its convening role in the sector to bring together stakeholders to create new guidance or tools to support asset owners and their supply chain partners to make more robust decisions.
  4. Develop a better understanding of wider benefits of carbon action and their contribution to a just transition to net zero
    Many of the case studies identify co-benefits in areas such as local employment, improved air quality, or quality of life improvements for affected communities. We recommend further work to develop understanding of these benefits and the role they could play in addressing fears that the transition to a low-carbon economy will have negative impacts on communities least able to bear them.

CIHT would like to thank the members of the project team that took part in producing this report and all our supporters and members of our Partnership Network who have contributed to the research and case study collection.

A copy of the report is available to access at or contact e: for more information


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