Carbon calculators for six road surface treatment systems will be launched by the RSTA before next spring. The association has been working alongside the University of Nottingham and PhD student Alan Spray for the past three years to develop the online tools.
“The idea of the calculators is to encourage companies to develop carbon friendly products and to give them a way of proving their environmental competence when submitting tenders,” says Dr Robinson of the RSTA. The calculators cover all forms of highway specialist treatments endorsed by the RSTA and have been given the acronym ‘PRoTECT’ which stands for ‘Pavement Road Treatment Embodied Carbon Tool’. The acronym is also synonymous with the role surface treatments play in protecting the existing road surface and underlying asset, he adds.
Users will be able to input embodied carbon data provided by their aggregate and binder suppliers and their transport fuel consumption associated with every stage of a project. The calculator will then produce a carbon footprint for the size of the surface area being treated and it will also help companies to identify ‘hot spots’ in their processes to make changes to reduce their energy consumption and costs.
“The issue of carbon reduction has not disappeared,” Dr Robinson adds. “It is still on the Government’s agenda and will come to the fore once again when the economic upturn begins. By putting the tools in place now we will be ready for when that happens.”
He adds that he wants to see the RSTA’s carbon calculators for surface treatments to become recognised as the industry standard for assessing the carbon footprint of specialist highway maintenance schemes. The PRoTECT tools have already been endorsed by ADEPT (previously known as CSS) and other major client bodies are also considering doing likewise.
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