The Green Path to Climate Neutral Roads

For Immediate Release: November 15, 2007

The International Road Federation (IRF) is taking the lead in the road sector’s commitment to green innovation – specifically, in the clear need to control greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). By developing a new tool for calculating GHGs from road construction projects, IRF will help companies in the road industry to remain leaders in green innovation by reducing emissions – and to achieve a competitive edge.

To support and enhance the efforts of its members in pursuit of even better environmental performance the IRF is developing, in collaboration with the Scott Wilson Consultancy Group, the Road Sector Greenhouse Gas Calculator.

This new tool provides an accurate, consistent, and accessible inventory system for companies’ internal management and external reporting. The model can be adapted easily to various types of road and provides the essential data for GHG offsetting projects such as reforestation, and for renewable energy. The model allows for the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions generated during the construction of a road, by taking into account parameters such as road construction materials (aggregate, bitumen, concrete, recyclables), construction machines used, waste materials generated, fuel consumption, and equipment and construction site energy usage.

The new Road Sector Greenhouse Gas Calculator complies with the current International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines for assessing emissions, thus providing a vital opportunity to increase both transparency and consistency in GHG accounting and reporting within the road sector. The IRF also has a close partnership with the Borneo Tropical Rain Forest Foundation (BTRF) and will work with BTRF and other organisations on this project, to develop a reliable and varied offsetting portfolio. The road construction industry is taking the ‘green path’ to become carbon neutral.

In their most recent reports, IPCC has established beyond reasonable doubt that human activity has contributed to the build-up of GHGs, to global warming and, therefore, to climate change. In this urgent context, “business as usual” is not an option. The challenge is how to balance economic growth with responsible energy consumption and environmental protection – and to ensure that current mobility levels are sustainable for the future.

The road sector must continue to play a part in this process. Contrary to popular beliefs, the sector is already extremely proactive in the search for, development, and implementation of new environmentally-friendly technologies and sustainable solutions. The Road Sector Greenhouse Gas Calculator is a vital addition to the inventory of cost-efficient solutions.

“Better Roads, Better World” is a good summation of the continuing efforts of IRF and its members. In the effort to control future climate change, there is no one miracle solution. Better roads must be built by practitioners who are fully aware of the environmental impact of their activities and of the possibilities for reducing that impact. The new IRF tool will enable that. The result will be a better world.

Scott Wilson is an international consultancy providing sustainable, integrated solutions to meet the planning, engineering, management and environmental needs of four principal market sectors: transport, property, environment and natural resources.

Scott Wilson assists in the delivery of multi-disciplinary infrastructure and development projects from initial investment and planning through to design, implementation and ongoing management.

Our services have been developed and refined to meet the business demands of our clients adding value by delivering solutions based upon innovation, sustainability and client focus.

For more information: Bachar Al Hakim, email:, telephone: +44 115 907 70 00

Founded in 1948, the International Road Federation (IRF) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization with members from both the public and private sectors in 90 countries worldwide. IRF promotes the development and maintenance of better, safer roads and road networks throughout the world, using technological solutions and management practices that provide maximum economic and social returns from road investment.


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