Environment Agency to use low-carbon concrete for flood defences

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Low-carbon concrete will be used for flood defences as part of a plan to be greener, the Environment Agency (EA) has said.

The organisation said more than half of its carbon emissions come from the construction of flood defences, and pledged to use more nature-based solutions.

It claimed the move would help reduce emissions by 45% as part of its aim to hit net zero by 2030.

As well as low-carbon concrete, the EA will adopt energy-efficient pumps to help move water away from homes during floods and switch to electric cars by 2023.

Contractors and suppliers will be pushed to follow suit, with large contracts including commitments to reduce carbon footprint year-on-year.

Some staff will receive support to work from home to reduce the emissions from commuting.

Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the EA, said: “Reaching net zero will be one of the biggest challenges the Environment Agency has ever faced. It will require every single one of us to play our part, and to think and act differently.

“We will integrate net zero into every aspect of our work over the coming decade.

“By learning, sharing best practice and partnering with our suppliers, businesses and communities across the country, we will do everything we can to play our part in becoming a net zero nation and tackling the climate emergency that we all face.”

Emma Howard Boyd, chairwoman of the EA, said: “In the flurry of net zero announcements recently, many have questioned how some organisations are going to reach future targets.

“This road map sets out credible short-term and long-term action to bring down emissions in our operations and supply chain.”

The organisation also announced an offsetting strategy to address remaining emissions.