Environmental management and sustainability form a core part of our Zero Harm philosophy.
We have set ambitious targets for emissions reductions, signed the Climate Leaders Coalition (Downer is the only large infrastructure services company to do so), and committed to managing the impacts of our work through our sustainability governance groupin compliance with the ISO 14001-certified environmental management system that is fully embedded across all our systems and processes.
We minimise the environmental impact of our by:
Under our energy management plan, we monitor our asphalt and Road Science (bitumen and emulsion) plant and production efficiencies, against annual improvement target. Collectively, these initiatives resulted in an energy saving of 49TJ, representing a 7.3% energy and 3.4 Kt GHG reduction.
We started to introduce electric vehicles (EV) since 2015 - as inspection units for urban road maintenance contracts in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington. In their first six months, EVs saved over three tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – equal to the carbon sequestered by three acres of forest in a year. Where EVs are not appropriate, Downer has hybrid petrol electric vehicles (Mitsubishi Outlander Hybrid SUV or similar) available. These vehicles have an electric motor for city driving and a petrol combustion engine to give it range.
We have recently introduced new, state of the art patrol/response vehicles into our roading maintenance contracts, which only require a Class 1 licence to drive (licensed truck drivers are in short supply). 500t CO2 emissions will be saved for each vehicle in its lifetime. They can be used for multiple tasks, hold a variety of equipment, and offer greater response capabilities.
In 2021, we have purchased 10 new MG ZS electric vehicles for our Hamilton Infrastructure Alliance project.
Downer has been replacing its large trucks with more fuel-efficient European light commercial vehicles that generate significantly reduced gas emissions. For every litre of fuel used, the new fleet generates 51% lower levels of CO2 and 94% lower levels of NO2. We are also looking at large electric and hydrogen vehicles from Scania, as alternatives to the diesel truck fleet.