Civil Engineering Contractors’ Association Calls for Action on Carbon Emissions

The CECA, which represents many of Ireland’s largest and most established Civil Engineering firms, is united in its call for the industry and its clients to take decisive and collective action now, to limit carbon emissions and reduce their impact on climate change.

CECA President and Managing Director of Murphy Ireland, John G Murphy said: “While much work has been done by companies individually to shift towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly work practices – and the majority of our sector’s work makes the world around us more sustainable and connected through the upgrading and improving infrastructure – we cannot escape the fact that the construction process and the materials used throughout contribute heavily to carbon emissions.

“The CECA believe that true change in this area can only be achieved if we make a concerted and collective effort to move away from C02 heavy practices and materials, with the support of clients and designers, making more enlightened, greener choices with sustainability in mind from design to delivery.”

CIF Director of Main Contracting, Paul Sheridan said: “There is a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise within the CECA that can assist public policy to make this shift toward greener, more environmentally friendly solutions, making the industry more efficient and effective. We welcome any opportunity to further engage with Government in this regard.

“The CECA will be a key supporting partner in the Government’s Climate Action Plan. The CECA support the National Development Plan and recognise the importance of the Government’s National Investment Framework for Investment in Ireland, in choosing the right type of infrastructure based on sound criteria. CECA members are working to align their supply chain to the EPA Public Green Procurement Guidelines to reduce embodied carbon. They are also fully supportive of the circular economy and creating the necessary infrastructure to reduce, reuse and recycle construction waste.”

While the Civil Engineering sector acknowledges that it must play an active role in the reduction of carbon emissions emanating from construction works, the sector is unique in that the life cycle emissions of many civils projects (i.e., greenways, cycleways, water, and public transport infrastructure) provide long-term and sustainable benefits to society. 

CECA members regularly encounter carbon emission saving opportunities on sites, but rigid adherence to specifications, programmes, and immediate costs make decisions very difficult. It is past time that the minimisation of carbon emissions is equally prioritised in these decisions.