Press Release

Think Global. Act Local. Make a difference: Balfour Beatty leading the charge against climate change

17 September 2021


In advance of COP26, the United Nations climate change conference in November, Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, today launches the first in a series of innovative solutions and learnings to support the construction and infrastructure industry in reaching Net Zero Carbon emissions.

Building on its 55% carbon emissions reduction since 2010 and its recent commitment to the United Nations Race To Zero campaign, the company is also gearing up for its official submission to the Science Based Target Initiative.   

To kickstart its countdown to COP26, Balfour Beatty partnered with the Supply Chain Sustainability School to undertake a joint survey targeting nearly 40,000 of the construction and infrastructure industry’s supply chain partners, to understand the barriers, issues and opportunities faced by the sector in achieving Net Zero.

In publishing the findings today in its latest thought paper “Greening the chain: Overcoming barriers for a Net Zero Supply Chain” Balfour Beatty is providing access to key recommendations for policy makers, customers, and the wider industry to help it to achieve Net Zero  and play a major role in tackling the global climate change emergency.

Over the coming weeks, Balfour Beatty will demonstrate a wide range of innovative activities that support the bold international targets and ambitions set out in its sustainability strategy, “Building New Futures”.

Following its month-long internal sustainability campaign, in which Balfour Beatty generated over 750 ideas through its employee-engagement programme, My Contribution, the company will launch a number of new initiatives including:

  • A Carbon Conscious training programme to improve employees collective understanding of carbon, supporting efforts in reducing their individual and the business’ carbon footprint.
  • A Sustainability Showcase, demonstrating the significant progress in making its plant and fleet sustainable as well as modern methods of construction at its Shotts depot in Scotland.
  • Opening the doors to its Digital Innovation Hub in Glasgow, displaying the great progress on all things digital and virtual. To register your interest in attending either virtually or in person please click here.
  • Highlighting Balfour Beatty’s international approach to reducing carbon emissions, demonstrating tools, innovations, and activities from across its US and Hong Kong operations as well as those in the UK.

Balfour Beatty’s aim is to be smarter, faster and greener; showing how together, the construction and infrastructure industry can play a key role in tackling the urgent climate change threat through global ambitions and local action.  

Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive, said: “The climate emergency is probably the biggest global societal challenge we have ever faced. It’s a challenge that will require all of us to pull together in the same direction.

“Whilst Balfour Beatty has long been at the vanguard of sustainability having halved our carbon emissions in the last decade, we know that more can and should be done. The United Nations Climate Change Conference is a welcome opportunity to accelerate this process forward, as we work in tandem with businesses across our industry and beyond to drive rapid, meaningful change.”

Commenting on Balfour Beatty’s programme of activities, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said: “I welcome Balfour Beatty’s efforts in supporting the construction sector to reach net zero.

“We’re committed to tackling climate change and, alongside the Prime Minister’s ambitious Ten Point Plan, have set up the UK Infrastructure Bank to invest in net zero and will issue £15 billion in green bonds over the next year to help finance green projects.”

To find out more visit Balfour Beatty’s dedicated COP26 website pages or join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #COP26 #SmarterGreenerFaster #BuildingNewFutures. To understand Balfour Beatty’s carbon emissions reduction journey, so far, view its carbon timeline here.  


Media enquiries to:
Vivienne Dunn
Balfour Beatty
+44 (0)203 810 2345 | follow us @balfourbeatty

All non-media related enquiries should be directed to +44 (0)20 7216 6800 or

Notes to editors:

  • Balfour Beatty ( is a leading international infrastructure group with 26,000 employees driving the delivery of powerful new solutions, shaping thinking, creating skylines and inspiring a new generation of talent to be the change-makers of tomorrow.  
  • We finance, develop, build, maintain and operate the increasingly complex and critical infrastructure that supports national economies and deliver projects at the heart of local communities. 
  • Over the last 111 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including: the £1.5 billion A14 improvement scheme - Britain’s biggest road project; Hong Kong’s HK$5.5 billion world-class harbour theatre project for the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority; and the 12.5-mile $429 million North Metro Commuter Rail line in Colorado, US.
  • In December 2020, Balfour Beatty launched its refreshed sustainability strategy, “Building New Futures”, which sets out our ambitions to achieve net zero emissions, generate zero waste and positively impact over one million people by 2040. The strategy focusses on three specific areas – the Environment, Materials and Communities – with each area assigned a 2040 ambition. To guide us in our journey to achieve these ambitions, Balfour Beatty will be reporting annually on each area, with defined 2030 targets to ensure the Group is on track to achieve its 2040 ambitions.

About The Supply Chain Sustainability School:

  • The Supply Chain Sustainability School is a multi-award-winning initiative which represents a common approach to addressing sustainability within supply chains. With more than 50,000 registered users, the School provides free practical learning and support in the form of sustainability training, events and networking, e-learning modules, tailored assessment, and a library of over 2,900 online resources.
  • The School is part-funded by CITB and industry Partners. It is delivered by an independent third-party consultancy, Action Sustainability. Leadership is provided by a School Board comprising elected representatives of Partners, responsible for fiscal governance and strategic direction. A Code of Ethics is signed by all Partners as part of the School Constitution and Partners lead the direction of the School content and activities through leadership groups.

Vivienne Dunn

Senior Media & PR Manager