Keller is committed to reducing the carbon intensity of our work and increasing the quality and granularity of our carbon reporting.

Measuring carbon reduction

Keller project manager using carbon calculator

Keller has net zero targets which cover our direct emissions (Scope 1), our indirect emissions from electricity use (Scope 2) and emissions from business travel, waste disposal and material transport (Scope 3 Operational). These targets represent Keller’s commitment to the planet as we build the foundations for a sustainable future.

These absolute targets will help us mitigate future climate-related risks and recognise climate-related opportunities. We divide our emissions targets using the scopes set out in the GHG Protocol. These targets and our current performance are set out in the following section. The timeframe and lagging targets we set for each net zero commitment reflect the size and the level of control we have over each emission scope. To achieve these targets, we have set multiple internal leading targets, built around the carbon hierarchy.

This explains that, after we work through the hierarchy to eliminate, reduce and substitute emissions, we may offset our remaining emissions as a last resort.

Overall performance

This year, Keller’s overall Scope 1 and 2 emissions decreased. This mostly reflects a change in projects, with fewer carbon-intensive projects, like bucket mixing environmental remediation. In terms of the carbon intensity of our operations, emissions relative to revenue continued to fall and even outpace inflation. This reflects the range of carbon reduction and efficiency improvements implemented throughout the year, as well as improvements in revenue. It also means that Keller’s total relative emissions have either remained level or fallen every year since 2017.

Scope 1: direct emissions

Net zero by 2040

Scope 1 covers our direct emissions. These mostly arise from the fuel use of our rigs and Keller vehicles. Keller’s 2023 Scope 1 emissions have decreased since 2022. Scope 1 fuel emissions are highly dependent on the projects completed annually. With fewer projects in the US, as well as a drop off in our more carbon-intensive bucket mixing projects, Keller’s overall emissions have decreased. More importantly, the carbon intensity of our operations has decreased. This means we have continually decreased or maintained our Scope 1 emissions per £m revenue year on year since 2017. This reduction in relative emissions reflects a number of carbon reduction initiatives that were introduced this year. All these initiatives are needed to decouple our growing work from absolute Scope 1 emissions. Our initiatives are focused around the three stepping stones set out in our equipment decarbonisation strategy: efficiency improvements, alternative fuels and alternative equipment.

Read about our Scope 1 progress on page 9 of our sustainability brochure.

Scope 2: Indirect emissions from electricity

Net zero by 2030

Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the electricity we use. These emissions are mostly from office and maintenance yard operations, although 2023 also saw our first large sites run entirely from grid electricity. Nonetheless, Scope 2 is still the smallest of Keller’s three emission Scopes. Since these emissions do not significantly vary with the number of projects carried out, we only analyse absolute Scope 2 emissions. Location-based emissions are dependent on the average carbon intensity of energy generation in the countries in which we operate. Market-based emissions use the specific energy tariff for each of our offices and maintenance yards and therefore captures green energy tariffs.

Read about our Scope 2 progress on page 10 of our sustainability brochure.

Scope 3: All other indirect emissions

Net zero for Operational Scope 3 by 2050

Scope 3 represents all other indirect emissions from Keller’s supply network. This means Scope 3 is the largest proportion of Keller’s emissions. To reflect where we believe we can have the most impact, we have set a net zero target for Operational Scope 3. This covers business travel, transportation of materials and waste disposal.

Read about our Scope 3 progress on page 10 of our sustainability brochure.

Case study

Carbon-neutral excavation pit

We’re driving a greener construction industry by helping our clients reduce the environmental impact of their projects through optimised designs, more sustainable materials and alternative power sources.

Hafenparkquartier project

One such project is Hafenpark Quartier Offices, part of a landmark mixed-use development close to the European Central Bank, featuring luxury apartments, an office tower, hotels and conference facilities. The client, B&L Real Estate, wanted the project to have the first carbon-neutral excavation pit and foundations in Germany and so chose Keller in part because of our sustainability commitments.

“We started by taking the client’s initial design for a secant retaining wall with cased CFA piling and ground anchors, along with micropiling and large-diameter foundation piles – then using our carbon calculator to demonstrate its carbon footprint,” says Eva Reiners, Site Engineer.

The calculator is an app we use not only to work out the embodied CO2e from materials, but also from machinery fuel use, transportation of equipment and people, waste disposal, site electricity and more. It follows the sector-standard approach of the European Federation of Foundation Contractors and Deep Foundations Institute.

“Taking the initial figures, our experts then optimised and value engineered the design,” she adds. “This meant we could reduce the anchor layers required from three to two, by using single bore multiple anchors (SBMA) in the second layer, as well as switching to a lower-carbon cement mix.”

The Keller team was able to make other environmental improvements by changing suppliers to reduce transport distances for materials and waste, using an electric concrete mixer and, at times, operating plant fuelled with hydrotreated vegetable oil. A solar panel was also set up to power the construction site facilities.

Thanks to our efforts, we were able to reduce emissions by 50% from B&L Real Estate’s baseline. They can now build on those savings to achieve full carbon neutrality through investment in certified reforestation and other compensation methods.”