COP27 – Together for Implementation. What is M Group Services implementing to help drive environmental change for a greener, cleaner future?

Introduction

 

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly known as the Conference Of
Parties (COP27) is well and truly underway. Governments, charities, community groups, think
tanks, businesses and faith groups from across the globe are coming together in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt in pursuit of one common goal: turning ambition into effective climate action.

 

In April this year, M Group Services wrote to the UN committing to join the UN Global Compact (UNGC), the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. Across our Divisions, we are beginning to embrace this initiative. Membership of the UNGC is an opportunity for the Group to continue to learn, be forward-thinking and consider ways to work with people and protect the environment.

 

We are also members of the Science Based Targets initiative which is helping us design a strategy to reach our targets of 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and net-zero by 2050.

 

In September, we launched our Carbon Reduction Group (CRG), with representation from each Division as well as Group Support. The aim of the CRG is to understand and develop our decarbonisation journey for our own operations and in service to our clients.
Here are some of the measures our businesses are taking to tackle the climate crisis:

 

 

Water Division

 

Morrison Water Services has invested in multiple engineering methods to phase out carbon
intensive operations. ePIPE, originally developed in the USA, is an innovative pipe restoration
lining technology, an alternative to complete pipe replacement. Developed for pin-hole customer leakage, this technology has been adapted for the UK market to address this but also lead water quality issues.

 

ePIPE is a sustainable solution with a significantly lower carbon footprint than pipe relay and can extend the lifespan of pipework by up to 50 years. When used in a major pilot study for Wessex Water in Bath earlier this year, we saw lead levels reduced by 79%.

 

IWJS has been using dewatering screens and centrifuges to separate water from liquid waste.
Most liquid waste contains over 90% water so by separating these, the team can substantially
reduce the volume of waste being transported to disposal sites, reducing its carbon footprint.

 

Dewatering is a process that separates liquid-solid mixtures. Washing and cleaning the waste
leads to a minimum of a 70% size reduction. This method offers the opportunity to recover and
recycle materials such as fine grits which can be processed to produce grey sand and then
recycled to manufacture cement blocks. Additionally, it can be processed further to produce a
clean, uncontaminated sand which can be used as aggregate.

 

IWJS is working closely with leading waste experts and manufacturers to take this further, to find a solution for all wastewater streams delivering our goal of zero waste to landfill.

 

i&c is building protective electrical equipment kiosks made from 97% recycled materials by
reprocessing plastic bottles. Over 5,000 plastic bottles are recycled in each 3m x 3m x 2.4m glass reinforced plastic (GRP) kiosk. The bottles are cut into small pieces, washed down, and processed to be reused as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin and PET foam core.

 

Energy Division

 

Morrison Data Services has secured a contract extension to continue rolling out EDF’s smart
meters across the UK. This rollout is part of the government’s Smart Meter Implementation
Programme (SMIP) which helps consumers in the UK manage their energy consumption. Being able to monitor energy usage means customers can adopt better energy habits, reduce their carbon footprint and have access to more accurate energy bills. These smart meters reduce demand for fossil fuels and lower the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

 

Earlier this year, Morrison Energy Services was awarded a place on Be.EV’s electric vehicle (EV)charging framework and has recently carried out another five charger installation projects. Each project covers the site surveys, feasibility studies, civils and electrical designs and electrical infrastructure installations. Be.EV’s approach focuses on concentrated regional roll-outs of public EV charging, with an even spread across communities and this ensures everybody, not just people in affluent areas, can make the switch to electric. The network has recently announced an investment of up to £110 million from Octopus Energy Generation to fund an additional 1,000 charge points.

 

Transport Division

 

Milestone Infrastructure recently attended the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport’s (ADEPT) Dragons’ Den presentations for the Live Labs programme. Live Labs 2: Decarbonising Local Roads in the UK is a three year, UK-wide, £30 million programme funded by the Department for Transport (DfT).

 

Focused on innovative decarbonisation proposals from local highways authority led ventures, the panel is looking to offer funding to forward thinking projects. Milestone is involved in three of the 10 projects that were invited to attend the Dragons’ Den stage, carefully selected from a field of 30 projects. Collaborating with our partners at Devon County Council, Cambridge County Council and Hampshire County Council, we look forward to hearing whether our partnership projects are going to be offered a share of the £30 million funding.

 

Dyer & Butler recently carried out two beach cleans in Southampton and Cardiff in support of the Marine Conservation Society’s (MSC) Great British Beach Clean. In total, the two teams collected 1,920 pieces of litter including bottles, cotton buds, polythene, pieces of metal and fishing net parts.

 

Supporting MSC is important as it allows them to carry out research meaning they can encourage societal change. For instance, MSC’s influence led to the introduction of the plastic bag charge and the ban of microplastics in personal care products.

 

Telecom Division

 

Morrison Telecom Services’ Leyland Training and Accreditation Centre, which opened in January 2021, uses environmentally friendly power to operate. The centre relies on solar power, rechargeable batteries and a generator fuelled by hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel. Made from a blend of renewable and sustainable feedstocks such as vegetable and animal oils and waste fats, the fuel only uses waste products, not virgin crops. We are repurposing waste, avoiding issues of deforestation and palm oil use, to help the planet. This substitute is more environmentally friendly than petrol or diesel, reducing CO2 emissions by 90%.

 

The centre provides a wide range of underground and overhead safety, civils and technical training opportunities. To date, the centre has trained 4,365 of our people, which equates to an average of 50 people a week.

 

Plant & Fleet

 

As members of the Climate Group’s EV100 global initiative, M Group Services has committed to transitioning its core fleet of over 8,000 vehicles to electric, as well as installing charging points at key locations by 2030.

 

To help us move away from fossil fuels and in time towards a fully electric fleet, M Group Services Plant & Fleet Solutions (MGSPFS) is sourcing HVO fuel.
MGSPFS is also sourcing various battery powered tools and offering over 100 sustainable welfare units for our operatives to use on site. These units can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80%.

 

Conclusion

 

M Group Services recognises that climate change doesn’t just affect the environment, it also
disproportionately affects those in poverty and experiencing other social inequalities. We see
COP27 as an opportunity to learn from others and discuss how climate change is having a
significant impact on communities across the globe.

 

We will continue to operate as sustainably and responsibly as possible, focusing on the
relationship between the environment, social policy and governance in the large and small steps that we take. M Group Services is committed to ESG as a collective. Click here to view our latest ESG Report.