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Managing GHG Emissions

Our GHG Targets

In April 2021, Aecon proudly announced that we set a target to reach net-zero (scopes 1, 2 & 3) by 2050, with an initial interim target to achieve a 30 per cent reduction in direct CO2 emissions (scopes 1 and 2) by 2030 as compared to 2020. These targets are consistent with the transition to a net-zero economy.

Type of Targets

Aecon has chosen to set intensity-based targets. An intensity-based target is relative to economic output, for instance, tonnes of CO2 per million dollars of revenue. We are in a dynamic business environment where the composition of our business fluctuates year-to-year and intensity-based targets will enable us to provide consistent, comparable, and meaningful reporting.

How we set the targets

Climate Change
In 2019, Aecon became the first Canadian construction company to publish a comprehensive inventory of our GHG emissions. The inventory was prepared in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. This data enables us to make better energy decisions, set targets, and identify promising areas for emissions reduction efforts.

The 2019 inventory included emissions associated with our corporate activities (regional headquarters, fleet vehicles and business air travel). We reported those findings in our 2019 Sustainability Report, released in August 2020. In 2020, we took the significant step of expanding our GHG inventory to include our construction projects and production facilities. The findings are included in our 2020 Sustainability Report. The insight we now have into our direct emissions from all sources, corporate and operational, enabled us to set meaningful targets and manage and improve the activities that impact climate change the most.

What we learned from the GHG Inventory

Our comprehensive 2020 GHG inventory shows that over 90 per cent of our GHG emissions result from our construction activities.

Within that category, operation of construction equipment and fleet vehicles is the most significant source of our GHG emissions. We have identified and started to implement several strategies to reduce those emissions, including leveraging technology to improve efficiency and adopting lower-carbon vehicles and equipment as they become more available, reliable and affordable.

2020 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory -  Corporate Activities: 93%; Project Activities: 7%

How we plan on meeting the targets

We plan to meet GHG Emissions targets by Vehicle Conversion, Equipment Conversion, Operational Efficiency, Regulatory Changes

We plan to meet our targets by driving operational efficiency and accelerating the adoption of new technology. This diagram provides an overview of the areas we will focus on to achieve our interim target of a 30 per cent reduction by 2030.

What we are already doing

We continue to maintain a strong focus on making tactical adjustments to cut our GHG output in the near term. These are examples of some of the initiatives we have put into place:

  • Optimizing the management of our fleet
    Vehicles and equipment, powered by diesel and other fossil fuels, are the most significant sources of our GHG emissions. To optimize their use, this year we adopted a new fleet telematics system, technology to help us monitor and optimize the coordination and operation of our vehicles.
  • Moderating the fuel demands of heavy equipment
    In our highway and other civil works, we use crushers to break down stone and other hard materials, often for recycling. In 2020, we pilot-tested a new technology to reduce the fuel consumption of these heavy, generator-powered machines. By retrofitting our existing crushers with an electric capacitor bank, we were able to harness unused energy from low-demand periods and store it for use during spikes, an adaptation that resulted in fuel savings of 15 to 20 per cent — meaning lower emissions and lower costs.

How we will report progress

We will be reporting our progress on the reduction targets in our annual sustainability reports.

What comes next

Here are some of the areas we’re looking into:

  • Expanding our scope 3 GHG inventory to include indirect emissions from materials and subcontractors and developing strategies to reduce those indirect emissions
  • Setting science-based targets
  • Developing a waste-reduction strategy
  • Improving our visibility to emerging technologies that may help us meet our sustainability goals and, where appropriate, piloting and championing those new technologies
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