Oxfordshire County Council picks up three environmental awards

A partnership between Oxfordshire County Council and contractor Milestone Infrastructure is celebrating after winning three prestigious environmental awards at an award ceremony in London on 21 November.

Presented by the Green Organisation, the International Green Apple Environmental Awards recognises projects which have made a positive environmental impact and promote best practice.

 The county council has been working with Milestone since 2015. The three partnership projects that have picked up awards were the North Oxford Corridor  improvements programme, Benson Relief Road and A40 Oxford North projects.

 Receiving a silver award, the North Oxford Corridor improvements programme’s total carbon footprint has already been reduced by 648 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is equivalent to the annual emissions from eight London buses or 130 return flights from London to Sydney.

Using a bespoke and innovative carbon tool, developed by Milestone, to calculate the carbon footprint of this project, a carbon assessment was undertaken to highlight hotspot areas where carbon could be most effectively reduced.

The award also recognised the efforts to significantly reduce the quantity of waste sent to landfill by utilising the county council’s and Milestone’s recycling facility at a nearby highways depot, to create re-usable materials for the base course of new pavements. Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel and solar-powered welfare units will be used to power plant used on site as well as the site compound. HVO reduces carbon emissions by 90 per cent and use of it from the outset will save at least 600 tonnes of CO2 on the NOC project.

The work on the Benson Relief Road picked up a Green Champion of the Year 2022 award, again for the use of bespoke carbon assessment during the preliminary design stage of the project. The initiatives implemented to date have saved a total of 156 tones CO2, which equates to 95 return flights from London to New York and a 15 per cent reduction on the total carbon baseline for the Benson Relief Road project.

Also receiving a silver award, A40 Oxford North has been a leading project in reducing construction carbon emissions. When construction began in 2021, it was the council’s first diesel-free infrastructure project where all construction plant and welfare facilities were powered entirely by HVO.

Councillor Duncan Enright, Cabinet Member for Travel and Development Strategy, said: “We need to lead by example and support climate action in all that we do. We are committed to delivering significant reductions in our carbon production and I am delighted we have been recognised with these awards. They demonstrate how collaborating with our partners early on, across our schemes, brings us closer to achieving our goal of carbon neutrality by 2030.”

 Richard Stonehouse, Contracts Manager at Milestone Infrastructure, said: We are pleased to be working closely with Oxfordshire County Council to deliver their goal of carbon neutrality by 2030. 

 “Milestone Infrastructure is committed to finding the most cost effective and sustainable highways solutions that benefit our client and the local community. We are proud to see that efforts to make our projects more environmentally friendly have been recognised at the prestigious Green Apple Environmental Awards.  Being involved in the design and construction of the county council’s highways means we can implement carbon reduction strategies early on in the projects.”

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