Arup with the North London Waste Authority

Arup with North London Waste Authority

Sustainability Award

MCA Awards Finalist 2024The North London Heat and Power Project (NLHPP) is North London Waste Authority’s (NLWA) ambitious billion-pound plan to deliver a new sustainable waste hub for north London, which includes building the UK’s most advanced Energy Recovery Facility capable of converting waste from homes and businesses into around 78MW of low-carbon electricity – enough to power up to 127,000 homes – and diverting up to 700,000 tonnes of waste from landfill every year.

Arup has been advising NLWA for more than a decade, helping to realise the NLHPP vision of creating “a waste management facility in which local communities take pride, which demonstrates value and is a model for public sector delivery”. Our multi-disciplinary team, working with project partners, led the preparation of the Development Consent Order through iterative design development, public consultation and stakeholder engagement, and prepared multiple technical documents including environmental and transport assessments, Sustainability Statement, Design and Access Statement and Code of Construction Practice.

Continuing this partnership through construction, Arup is NLWA’s Project and Programme Management Partner, managing the delivery programme. Arup has made a tangible difference to the sustainability of the construction project, driving a ‘beyond-compliance’ approach to environmental and sustainability assurance including establishing a best practice and innovation opportunities workstream. This has made project delivery more sustainable through challenging sustainability issues and identifying mechanisms for delivering positive impacts within construction.

We have worked collaboratively with our project partners to deliver environmental performance that exceeds contractual requirements, for example through promoting circular construction approaches to reduce virgin material use and the associated carbon impacts. Embedding sustainability considerations through project delivery, we promote best practice and innovation across the programme, including a focus on carbon reduction and potential for carbon capture and storage.

Through this approach, 192 environment and sustainability best practice and innovation opportunities were raised on the project by the end of 2023, with 67 implemented to date and many others under consideration. These range from the use of alternative fuels and power across construction plant to the creation of new habitats for wildlife, reuse of materials and assets within the project and beyond, and delivery of a fully off-grid community building, amounting to significant carbon reduction and cost savings across the project.

Together these positive sustainability impacts support many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in relation to good health and well-being (SDG3); industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9); sustainable cities and communities (SDG11); responsible consumption and production (SDG 12); and climate action (SDG 13).

Winner of the ‘Best Sustainable Brownfield Infrastructure Scheme’ and ‘Best Public Sector Brownfield Project’ at the Environment Analyst Brownfield Awards 2023, the impact of this project in terms of advancing sustainability within the waste management sector is clear.

Through our ‘beyond compliance’ approach, we have positively impacted the delivery of the project through making it more sustainable. The new substantially more efficient facility is a major investment in infrastructure for the circular economy and another step towards more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.

View the Arup profile in the MCA Members Directory.