The Trust is committed to taking meaningful and ambitious action immediately to drive a significant reduction in its impact on the environment for the long term. The Trust will be transparent about its progress, take responsibility for its actions and seek to demonstrate leadership in this field.
A major refurbishment of the bridges was completed in December 2020. The carbon footprint of the project was calculated and the Trust planted 5,500 trees in a new woodland plantation near Detling in Kent, called Wardens’ Wood, to offset the carbon impacts of this major investment in the bridge infrastructure. In addition, a number of street trees have been planted in Rochester. Together these new trees will make the bridge refurbishment Carbon Neutral over the lifetime of the trees.
The Trust delivered Net Zero Carbon status for its routine bridge maintenance by March 2022 by changes in working practices achieving a reduction in carbon of over 88%. It won an award at the national Bridges Awards 2023 for this achievement. Efforts continue to reduce the carbon footprint of routine maintenance further.
The Trust’s own in-house operations by staff and trustees are Net Zero Carbon from 1 April 2023. Significant reductions in carbon footprint were achieved by changes in procurement approach, working arrangements and the move to 100% renewable electricity supply. Work continues to reduce the use of gas in heating systems, and residual carbon from all activities is offset through further tree planting in Wardens’ Wood.
The next targets are to achieve:
In addition, the Trust is committed to offsetting the net embodied carbon in projects and the construction impacts of development on its land.