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Reducing our impact on the environment

Portland is keenly aware of the significant impact that the construction industry has on the environment and the opportunities it has to improve upon this. 

We are a signatory of ‘UK Structural Engineers declare a Climate & Biodiversity Emergency’, as an acknowledgement of the true scale of the climate crisis facing us, with the potential for irreversible ecological damage without immediate action to reduce emissions.  As signatories to this declaration we commit to the following: 

  • Advocate for faster change in the industry, with a focus on regenerative design practices
  • Share knowledge and research of climate and biodiversity mitigation measures
  • Where possible, to regenerate existing buildings for extended use as opposed to demolition and new build
  • Adapt regenerative design principles in practice, aiming to provide structural engineering design which embodies the standard of Net-Zero Carbon
  • Accelerate the shift to low-embodied carbon materials in all of our work
  • Collaborate with others such as clients, architects, engineers and contractors to further reduce construction waste. 

To facilitate lower carbon emissions on projects, we have a series of sustainable design principles which we incorporate into all projects. These are as follows:

  • Design for flexibility to maximise a building’s longevity 
  • Minimise the use of virgin and quarried materials
  • Maximise the use of reclaimed or recycled materials
  • Use of modelling technology to design cut and fill balances in earthworks design, minimising vehicle movements off site
  • Design structures with the ability to incorporate passive solar gain and natural ventilation
  • Encourage the use of BREEAM and target ratings of excellent.

We have been working with external partners SmartCarbon to help us develop a framework for monitoring and reporting on our emissions.  Emissions data is collected on a monthly basis and is fed into the SmartCarbon calculator tool, with year-end emissions reports published to our website.  Further work has been done with SmartCarbon to develop a pathway to becoming a Net-Zero consultancy, this work commits us to operate as a Net-Zero carbon consultancy by 2035. 

Our Carbon Reduction Plan can be viewed below: 

PPN0621 – Portland Consulting Engineers Carbon Reduction Plan


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