PAS 2080: World’s first framework unites organizations to effectively reduce whole life carbon
It’s well recognized that infrastructure is responsible for the majority of the UK’s carbon emissions. In response, PAS 2080 was published in 2016 to help the whole infrastructure asset value chain reduce emissions and costs. The document has now been expanded to include infrastructure and to help every organization take a whole life view on carbon reduction, as this blog explains.
PAS 2080 was designed to help infrastructure organizations reduce their carbon use and costs throughout the entire lifecycle of an asset. It became the world’s first standard for managing infrastructure carbon in 2016.
PAS 2080:2023 specifies requirements for the management of whole life carbon in buildings and infrastructure, covering the provision, operation, use and end of life of new projects or programmes of work, as well as the management or retrofit of existing assets and networks.
Empowering urgent early collaboration
Like its predecessor, the document is straightforward. It covers setting appropriate carbon reduction targets; establishing metrics, e.g. KPIs, for carbon emissions quantification and reporting; reporting at appropriate stages to enable performance visibility; and continual improvement of carbon management and performance.
A key component is that the standard encourages collaboration between organizations. It shows organizations how to work together to integrate carbon reduction into decision making and procurement from the earliest origins of projects through to end of life. When all parties are using a common framework, it can lead to stronger data sharing, cooperation and complementary and aligned processes.
This collaborative approach incorporates the whole value chain, establishing the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders to ensure the maintenance of low carbon focus throughout the projects. Product suppliers, contractors, designers and asset owners can all participate and share their results.
On a more pragmatic level, adopting PAS 2080:2023 encourages organizations to take urgent climate action to support the UK’s Net Zero targets. It does this by specifying to users how to reduce their carbon, whilst considering the co-benefits of implementing climate resilient processes and nature-based solutions.
Also, because PAS 2080 encourages adopters to challenge how things are done, it also supports carbon-conscious innovation.
Demonstrate commitment to whole-life carbon reduction
By adopting PAS 2080, a business can demonstrate its commitment to whole life carbon reduction across their projects and products throughout their entire life cycle.
This 2023 revision has introduced some important changes to PAS 2080, which all current and potential users need to know about.
An expanded scope to include all buildings as well as infrastructure
An increased emphasis on whole life carbon in line with 1.5°C and circular economy principles
Clarification of the roles that control and influence whole life carbon
New consideration of other demands and benefits such as climate adaptation and biodiversity
A new emphasis on leadership, governance and collaboration
New guidance for government, regulators and financiers
In summary, PAS 2080:2023 has been revised to help reduce carbon and increase value across the whole life of buildings and infrastructure. Its use supports the transition to a low-carbon economy by providing a consistent approach to carbon management in infrastructure projects.
By adopting the guidance set out in this standard, the carbon emissions from built environment projects can be reduced right from the outset. Organizations can also maximize opportunities to achieve climate resilience and restoration, demonstrate their commitment to decarbonization and contribute to the global effort to mitigate climate change.
PAS 2080 has been sponsored by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the Green Construction Board (GCB), enabling the standard to be offered free of charge. The updated Guidance document, offers a range of case studies where the standard has been applied, and provides worked examples to further assist organizations with the application and integration of PAS 2080.