HS2 project adopts advanced plant emissions scheme

HS2 has become the first infrastructure project to adopt CESAR ECV – a new advanced emissions identification scheme.

The Emissions Compliance Verification (ECV) scheme is said to fit with HS2’s air quality strategy, which sets strict emission requirements for vehicles and plant.

The CESAR ECV system is a ‘bolt-on’ product, complimenting the existing CESAR security system, which allows verification of a machine’s emissions category and helps ensure emissions from plant is reduced where it cannot be avoided.

A unique colour-coded label fitted to each machine carries a QR code that provides full emissions data. The CEA is working with its technical delivery partners, Datatag ID, to deliver the technology behind the scheme, which powers the database and online portal.

HS2 is recommending the use of the scheme to contractors and supply chains across the project.

OEMs JCB and Hitachi have also recently approved the scheme and are now factory fitting the system as standard to all its machines in the UK and Ireland.

Andrea Davidson, HS2’s phase one air quality lead said, “As the country’s largest infrastructure project, we have an opportunity to work with our partners and supply chain to create a greener way of designing and building the new railway. Environmental innovations are at the heart of everything we do – from reducing carbon emissions and using renewable energy on sites; to including eco-friendly features in our designs, creating hundreds of new wildlife habitats along the route, and helping Britain reach our 2050 net-zero carbon emissions target.

“It’s also important for us to provide assurances to local authorities and the public that we’re reducing emissions, tightly monitoring air quality and maintaining national air quality standards. The CESAR ECV system is one of many innovations we are supporting, and it’s now our job to embed it in the industry by encouraging our suppliers to use the new scheme as a tool for compliance assurance across all our sites.”

Rob Oliver, chief executive of the CEA added, “At the start of 2020 I felt it was going to be a big year for focusing on air quality issues in and around construction. Partly because construction equipment has a great record in reducing potentially harmful emissions and we needed to underline our success story. Partly too because there is some great environmentally friendly technology coming through that the sector needs to know about.

“Now we have all had a taste of the world of lockdown with reduced road travel, we are that little bit more conscious about the quality of the air that we breathe. The ECV initiative builds on a stunningly simple idea that those concerned with monitoring air quality need an easy and visible pointer to the rated emissions of machines on their construction sites. There is no bigger site than the national ribbon of development that is HS2, who have shown great interest in ECV since the get go.”