Protecting the environment is a priority for the Group. In 2002, we were one of the first European construction companies to formalise a specific Environmental Policy. Today, we continue to strive for a systemic vision, to protect the world around us.
Some of our projects defined new market standards, winning important awards at a global level.
- In 2015, the Northwest metro in Sydney, Australia, received the IS Leading rating for sustainable design that is resilient to climate change.
- In 2017, the Red Line North project, in Doha, allowed Salini Impregilo to win the Sustainability Award 2017 by the Qatar Green Building Council, in the Best Green Building Contractor category. The joint venture that involved building the metro line also received the Certificate of Sustainability Excellence.
- The Anacostia River Tunnel Project in Washington, D.C. (USA) was given the Sustainability Initiative of the Year award by the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) in 2017.
In Australia, we particularly focus on environmental excellence supporting a circular economy. In recent years we attained significant results with regard to water reuse and recycling (68%), reuse of excavation material (58%) and waste recovery and reuse (over 90%). We improved our carbon footprint, reducing our GHG emission intensity rate in the 2015-2017 three-year period by approximately 40%.
Since the design phase, as required by the project, we considered the climate change risks related to more frequent and extreme heat waves, higher annual temperatures, increased rainfall intensity, flooding, wind, storms, lightning and hail.
For each risk we identified design solutions to make the project more resilient.
Our project team identified a set of focus areas with related sustainability targets, to be included in the design phase and then integrated with procurement, workforce and construction processes. These include: Climate Change; Carbon Management and Energy Efficiency; Community; Water Efficiency; Waste and Materials; Land Use and Biodiversity; Pollution Control; Workforce Development; Sustainable Procurement; Temporary Site Facilities; Innovations.
The targets we set ranged from
- energy saving (-5% of diesel and electricity consumption in comparison with the standard design)
- water (minimum 50% replacement of drinking water with non-drinking water)
- waste recycling (90% of construction waste to be reused or recycled)
- low-carbon steel (60% of reinforcing bars and meshes produced through recognised energy reduction processes)
- carbon reduction (-2.5% of GHG emissions)
In October 2015, Salini Impregilo was awarded the “Leading” IS Design rating by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA).
In April 2018, Salini Impregilo recieved a “Leading As Built IS rating” – the highest on a scale of three ratings - by the ISCA.
From the outset Salini Impregilo’s key concerns were environmental water impact and rainforest as well as its inhabitants' protection.
The consortium solved the problem of the environmental impact and high water consumption of the project thanks to a system called Water Saving Basins. By reusing the water taken from the Gatun Lake, it reduces the dispersion of water in the ocean (60% water saving for each lock).
For the rainforest and its inhabitants, protective measures were taken during the excavation, levelling and opening of the planned path of the canal. Hundreds of species typical of the tropical habitat were rescued in the process.
In carrying out the Red Line North Underground, we implemented a set of innovative solutions to mitigate the project’s environmental impact thereby reducing our environmental footprint. This included the use of “green concrete” developed to reduce environmental impact to a minimum at all the production phases, allowing a reduction of cement consumption of up to 70% (while recycling waste from other industries), and a reduction of 50% of the CO2 contained in concrete. Procedures to reduce energy consumption, CO2 emissions and waste of materials during transport were also defined, as well as optimising logistics, and promoting goods recycling.
Many major Western cities, which have developed over the past centuries, are now home to a growing population, putting a strain on infrastructure and basic services. Salini Impregilo has recently completed the Anacostia River Tunnel in Washington, DC, to support the capital of the United States in reducing the wastewater that flows into its rivers. The hydraulic tunnel, part of the ambitious “Clean Rivers Project”, will channel wastewater and stormwater separately, to avoid polluting the rivers during the floods that occur during periods of heavy rainfall. Once the project is completed in 2025, DC Water estimates that the volume of wastewater in the rivers will be reduced by 96%, from 4.8 billion litres in 2008 to 185 million litres.
Another project in which we are involved is the Dugway Storage Tunnel in the city of Cleveland. It is part of the “Clean Lake Project”, a broader project to store, manage and treat wastewater and reduce the pollution levels in Lake Erie. The Tunnel will allow the catchment and storage of 214 million gallons of stormwater and its subsequent transfer to the Easterly Sewage Treatment Plant. The aim is to reduce the annual volume of sewage poured into the lake by 1.8 billion litres. According to the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, the local water authority, this means that over 98% of rainwater and wastewater that now ends up in the combined sewer system will be treated and made safe.