This project is based on an open and collaborative innovation process with HS2, Network Rail and i3P, as well as around 45 organisations and businesses from across the infrastructure sector, to deliver an extensive review of the current state of low carbon innovation in the sector. We carried out a sector analysis to identify barriers and challenges to the development and implementation of new products and services which are needed to transition to a zero carbon sector. One of the outputs is a register of innovation opportunities and ideas comprising over 150 possible initiatives ready to be explored further, implemented or scaled.
Net Zero ambitions necessarily run through the infrastructure sector, as this is responsible for around 54% of total carbon emissions in the UK, and it is an area where the challenges and risks of underdelivering on these targets run high.
Our analysis is undertaken by applying the Tiger Team Approach. This methodology, originated in the 1970s and famously employed by NASA on the Apollo 13 mission, is a challenge-based approach consisting of deploying highly skilled professionals to rapidly assess complex issues and find viable solutions. In our case, the issue is not bringing back astronauts safely, but laying out ground-breaking and elegant innovations to enable substantial carbon improvements in the infrastructure sector, whether in use or in the whole life cycle.
The first phase of the programme involved an extensive desk study, expert interviews, industry surveys and input from over 65 workshop participants. The second phase involves working with a community of specialist practitioners to develop and deliver the opportunities and initiatives identified in phase 1, and to generate and drive change within the sector.
This project is an example of how our engagement approach with specialists and practitioners brings about valuable and scalable solutions. By employing the Tiger Team Approach, we become catalysts of a meeting of minds that leads to an array of real practical solutions to the most challenging issues in the built environment.