Ambitious carbon project by WJ Group scoops Highways England sustainability award
An ambitious carbon reduction project has picked up a top award from Highways England for its work transforming the road markings sector.
Headed by the WJ Group, the project saw the company develop a Product Carbon Footprint Model that provides a quick, efficient, and reliable means of assessing and reducing carbon on its products.
Having been challenged by Highways England at a supply chain sustainability seminar to see what they could achieve, the new assessment model allowed for the WJ Group to measure the embedded carbon in each ingredient of their road markings, production energy consumption and how they could reduce the carbon needed for the manufacture of road safety markings.
The significant project allowed the company to reduce its product carbon footprint by 81 per cent in CO2 emissions and create a more durable road marking that requires less repairs, reducing the need for carbon even more.
Similarly, the project has allowed for a huge 90 per cent reduction in landfill waste via screening and recycling of aggregates contained within the sweepings captured during road marking removal operations.
Dean Kerwick-Chrisp, Highways England Principal Environmental Advisor and judge, said: “How our roads and works impact the environment and communities is really important and this is just one example of how we challenge the supply chain to reduce our impact on the environment.
“This project shows how much can be achieved when companies strive to be better.
“The WJ Group have provided a comprehensive response to sustainability and embedded positive behaviour into their processes and workforce, which we were delighted to see.
“Along with their carbon reduction, they also have extensive training for staff, including leadership training, that is helping to shape their outlook on the environment and take positive steps forward.”
The WJ Group are a specialist road marking business that delivers across Highways England’s network of motorways and major A-roads.
With 217 road marking vehicles and more than 500 staff, they install in excess of 14.5 million metres of road markings every year for Highways England, meaning their carbon foot printing model can lead to huge reductions of C02, with hope the industry will follow suit.
Paul Aldridge, WJ Group Sustainability Director, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this award and encouraged by this level of recognition for our work.
“Embedding sustainability into WJ is fundamental to us. We all chose our actions and they have consequences, so it’s important that those choices should have a positive environmental, social and economic impact.”
WJ Group also collected a Safety Innovation Award for their robotic premarking initiative.
The project was one of 30 initiatives rewarded at the third Highways England Awards, designed to recognise activities which further the company’s imperatives of safety, customer service and delivery. This year the award ceremony was held online.
Other winners in the delivery category included a pilot project to assess cutting edge sensor technology which can measure tyre pressure and tread depth at depots and service areas, an initiative which reviewed Highway’s England asphalt specification, resulting in changes that has significantly increased road surface durability and a campaign designed to attract women returning to work into a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Teams from within Highways England as well as its supply chain partners were among those recognised in the awards.
In total there were 370 entries and 30 awards were presented.