National Highways forms new division for environmental sustainability

In order to cut carbon emissions, National Highways has created a new division to cover environmental sustainability.

This will help to deliver their target to achieve net-zero for its construction and maintenance activities by 2040. Stephen Elderkin has been appointed as the body’s first director of environmental sustainability.

Some of Elderkin’s previous roles include working for the department of Energy & Climate Change and Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, where he led government analysis for the Climate Change Act, carbon budgets and energy-efficient policies. 

Amongst the division’s tasks, there will be a development of long-term environmental strategy, especially influenced by COP26 last year, working on biodiversity enhancement and reducing local environmental impacts from the National Highways network. 

They also have net-zero targets for road users themselves by 2050, and will be supporting the provision of charging points for electric vehicles over the next five years. 

Chief Executive Nick Harris said: “We’re now focused on ‘can we build and maintain roads in a carbon neutral way?’ I think it is essential that we demonstrate we can build roads and operate roads in a sustainable, carbon-neutral way otherwise the future has to be questionable.”