From the magazine, New Zealand, Newsletter, Oil, gas and energy, Relining, Sliplining

ASTT makes calculated steps towards carbon reduction

The purpose of the ASTT is to advance the science and practice of trenchless technology for the public benefit, while promoting education, training, study and research and practice for the public benefit and to publish the useful results of the same.

With this in mind, paralleled with the global goal of reducing carbon emissions, the ASTT formed a Special Interest Group (SIG) of leading industry professionals to create a solution that supports the mitigation of climate change impacts.

Primary purpose

Mott MacDonald Water Sector Lead New Zealand, and Carbon Calculator SIG member Thomas Haarhoff says the carbon calculator “aims to use carbon as a measure for efficiency, encouraging people to innovate and get better results around their carbon emissions”.

“As trenchless construction may not always be the low carbon option, the calculator will help our clients and organisations to make informed decisions about reducing their carbon footprint,” he says.

“The intention of the calculator is just to be a simple tool. For example, contractors can say they have 100 m of sewer to be relined, sliplined, etc., and can use the calculator to determine which of the options will have the lowest carbon output.”

With an impending global need to reduce carbon emissions, the calculator will play a vital role in helping the trenchless sector do its part by acting as a tool for ASTT members to promote trenchless technology usage, allowing informed decision making to occur between various construction methods and driving innovation on carbon reductions.

“The main thing is, people potentially underestimate the carbon impact of construction and the total carbon we emit every year,” says Mr Haarhoff.

“By focusing on the industry, we can make a great change towards carbon emissions and climate change.”

Calculated steps

The ASTT says its Carbon Calculator is not to be relied on to make commercial decisions nor is it a tool that will accurately define Capital Carbon Baselines, noting that there is no specific, quantified carbon goal that the calculator aims to reach. Rather, the tool will be used to promote best practices across the industry.

The three steps the calculator aims to take are:

  1. Reduction – reduce the carbon impact of infrastructure.
  2. Behaviours – improve the behaviours of designers, constructors and entire supply chains to reduce infrastructure carbon.
  3. Union – create a common way of working to calculate carbon reductions across the industry, setting the narrative.

Mr Haarhoff says the calculator will be used on individual projects and tested across various areas, with the onus on contractors and client organisations to use the tool and consider their own impacts.

Ongoing developments

Mr Haarhoff says the calculator is still in early stages, with the ASTT receiving its application approval in June.

At the end of June, four different suppliers had submitted tenders for the calculator’s development, with the winning bid yet to be announced.

During the early days of the Carbon Calculator’s development, the SIG plans to continue promoting the innovation through its usual channels such as the ASTT forums, which are currently taking place as virtual events due to COVID-19 restrictions.

There will also be sessions dedicated to carbon calculator at next year’s No Dig Down Under event, which is the largest conference and exhibition dedicated to trenchless technology in the southern hemisphere.

If you are interested in being involved, please contact event organiser Great Southern Press on +61 3 9248 5100 or email

This article was featured in the September 2020 edition of Trenchless Australasia. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile device, click here.

For more information visit the ASTT website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Assistant Editor Sophie Venz at

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