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What is PAS 2080:2023 - carbon management in infrastructure?

Date
05 April 2023

The revised standard for managing carbon in the built environment is now available.

What is PAS 2080:2023 - carbon management in infrastructure?
The scope of PAS 2080, the standard for managing carbon, was expanded to include the whole built environment. Image credit: Pexels/Francesco Ungaro

A revised version of PAS 2080, the standard for managing carbon in infrastructure, has been published to help speed up decarbonisation in the built environment.

An updated guidance document was published alongside the standard. It offers a range of case studies and worked examples to further assist organisations with the application and integration of PAS 2080.

ICE President Keith Howells highlighted the importance of the standard for civil engineers.

He said: "As civil engineers and technicians, we are at the forefront when tackling global challenges, such as enabling a cleaner, greener, more resilient future in the face of the climate and nature emergency.

"PAS 2080 sets out a strategic approach to empowering countries, cities and communities to reduce carbon emissions and reach net zero."

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What is PAS 2080 (2023 version)?

PAS 2080 is a standard for managing carbon in building and infrastructure.

It looks at the whole value chain and aims to reduce carbon and cost through intelligent design, construction and use.

It’s a key reference document in the UK government’s Construction Playbook that’s increasingly becoming the go-to specification for carbon management in the built environment.

Related events

ICE Strategy Session: the new PAS 2080 - carbon management in buildings & infrastructure

Hear from the PAS 2080 technical authors as they discuss the importance of these changes and adoption of the new document.

Watch the webinar

Who is PAS 2080 for?

PAS 2080 is for anyone involved in the delivery of infrastructure.

This includes:

  • Infrastructure asset owners and managers
  • Designers and architects
  • Constructors
  • Material and product suppliers
  • Regulators and financiers

What updates have been made to PAS 2080?

The update incorporates five key themes: 

  • An integrated approach to the built environment: widening the scope of PAS 2080 beyond infrastructure to the built environment
  • Systems thinking and net zero: integrating the transition to net zero into the standard and applying systems thinking throughout
  • Taking a whole-life view: addressing the urgent need to retrofit existing stock and balance capital carbon investment with operational and user benefit
  • Nature-based solutions: reflecting their value to both carbon reduction and climate change resilience
  • Collaboration: highlighting the importance of working together across the value chain

The focus of this unique initiative, expanded beyond infrastructure to now cover buildings, recognises that decarbonisation and climate resilience must all go hand in hand.

Adrian Johnson, who led the PAS 2080 technical advisory panel



Why use PAS 2080?

By becoming PAS 2080 verified, value chain members involved in the delivery of infrastructure projects can:

  • Measure and monitor carbon reduction, and benefit from the associated costs of reducing emissions.
  • Show they are committed to reducing carbon.
  • Provide reassurance that their carbon management has been independently verified.
  • Show they're aligned with the sector's goal to transition to net zero. 
  • Improve their environmental reputation.

Who developed the original PAS 2080?

BSI (British Standards Institution) facilitated the development of PAS 2080 – Carbon management in infrastructure in 2016.  

The update was published by the BSI in its role as national standards body.

Furthermore, PAS 2080 has been sponsored by the ICE and the Green Construction Board (GCB), enabling the standard to be offered free of charge.

In sponsoring this standard, the ICE wanted to remove financial barriers to organisations accessing this important guidance on how they can build decarbonisation into procurement.

ICE President Keith Howells

Why was PAS 2080 revised?

Through The Carbon Project, the ICE identified areas for improvement in the standard.

A steering group, a group of experts representing stakeholders who’ll be affected by the standard, prepared a draft that went through public consultation.

A technical author team, made up of specialists from across the sector, then set out to ensure the standard empowers the behavioural change required to meet to the climate challenge head on.


Related resources

What does PAS 2080 mean for our industry? (Published 2016)

In this lecture, speakers discussed the challenges of adopting the PAS 2080 standard and how to embed new solutions.

The presentations focused on challenges around production and supply of concrete - one of the most substantial CO2 emitters in infrastructure.

Watch the lecture

concrete pour
Concrete is one of the biggest sources of CO2 in infrastructure. Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Anh Nguyen, content strategy manager at ICE