Environmental performance

42 - Ambition: to achieve a net positive impact on climate and natural resources 

Where we can improve

While environmental incidents are always avoided or compensated, they can occur during projects. An example in 2017 being a damaged coral reef in Curacao. BAM always adheres to its environmental management system and takes action to improve its environmental practices following any such incident.
BAM emits greenhouse gases through its operations and often uses virgin materials in its construction activities. The dilemma between sustainable procurement and procurement costs is constantly present. The Group aspires to deliver greater environmental value; transparency and ethical standards through its supply chain. BAM recognises the benefits of working with clients for whom sustainability is important as this improves its reputation whilst decreases its ESG risks.

Sustainability strategy

By collaborating with our supply chain, encouraging innovative and digital thinking through our products, and realising the benefits of circular business models, BAM aims to have a net positive impact in the long term (towards 2050). This chapter describes BAM’s performance towards creating a sustainable built environment from an environmental perspective. The sustainability strategy emphasises both climate change (climate positive strand) and resource constraints (resource positive strand).

BAM acknowledges that the company needs to prepare for a low-carbon economy and needs to reduce its own emissions as well as supply chain emissions. Our company has a large impact on reductions in lifecycle carbon impact of buildings and infrastructure (through material selection, design or asset management), deploying renewable energy systems or energy reduction measures for our clients or communities.

The company works towards a circular economy and believes the industry will be able to leave a positive legacy to the environment if they are able to work from reversible designs that are regenerative. BAM has made progress on reducing construction waste by becoming more efficient, utilising off-site manufacturing and by working with its supply chain to eliminate waste throughout the lifecycle of its projects.

Climate positive

BAM aims to have a net positive impact on the climate by 2050, reducing its own carbon emissions towards zero and helping others to reduce carbon more widely. This means BAM will:

  • Minimise the energy it uses through driving new efficiencies through the business
  • Use as much power, fuel and heat from renewable sources as possible
  • Work with its clients and supply chain to drive carbon out of the whole system

In order to monitor its emissions, BAM measures its carbon footprint using the greenhouse gas (GHG) protocol. The GHG protocol defines three scopes for greenhouse gas accounting and reporting purposes. BAM includes emissions directly resulting from the company’s own activities (scope 1), indirect emissions from purchased electricity, heating and cooling (scope 2) and indirect emissions in the value chain (scope 3). BAM measures all material scope 1 and 2 emissions, and – before 2017 – a limited number of scope 3 travel-related emissions. Scope 1 CO2 emissions form the majority of BAM’s total CO2 emissions (80 per cent).

43 - Total absolute CO2 emissions
(in kilotonnes) 

The Group’s 2020 reduction target on CO2 emissions intensity is 25 per cent compared to 2015 levels (scope 1, 2 and 3). BAM’s carbon footprint is calculated based on the energy consumption of all operating companies. In 2017 BAM emitted 186 kilotonnes CO2 (2016: 203 kilotonnes). BAM’s carbon footprint fell by 9 per cent to 2016 and 33 per cent to 2009 (the year BAM established its first full carbon footprint). The CO2 intensity, decreased by 3 per cent in 2017 to 28.1 tonnes CO2 per million euro revenue and shows against 9 per cent improvement to base year 2015. BAM’s energy intensity was 0.40 TJ per million turnover (2016: 0.43 TJ/mio).

In 2017 BAM established its first full scope 3 assessment and had this validated by a third party. The assessment provided better understanding of BAM’s wider climate change impacts (via supply chain) and the Group’s best opportunities to achieve reductions. In 2018 BAM will further improve its scope 3 assessment by improving measurement and performance monitoring and engage with supplier where BAM has most control/influence over emissions. This approach will have two particular focus areas: ‘purchased goods and services’ and ‘use of sold products’. Another area for improvement is the development of meaningful (and useful) performance targets through the identification and scalable deployment of practical, implementable and measurable project-level best practice initiatives. In 2018 we hope to complete our Science Based Targets; setting reduction targets in line with climate science is a great way to achieve future-proof growth.

44 - CO2 emissions per source 
(in kilotonnes)

To reduce its carbon footprint, BAM continuously initiates energy reduction measures. This is driven by both its own policies and the European energy efficiency directive (EED), a set of binding measures to help the EU reach its 20 per cent energy efficiency target by 2020. In 2017 BAM made several energy studies to identify ways to reduce consumption.

In 2017, emissions from BAM’s offices decreased by 3 per cent compared to 2016, as a result of continued focus on energy efficiency improvements across BAM offices and outfitting with energy-saving measures like. LED lighting, motion sensors and time clocks to switch off devices. In 2017 BAM used 119 kWh per square metre in its buildings in the Netherlands (2016: 123 kWh). The CO2 emissions intensity of BAM’s office buildings in the Netherlands was 13,1 kilograms CO2 per square metre (2016: 15.1).

BAM has also decreased the emissions from its vehicle fleet, which attributed to 30 per cent of total emissions, and decreased by 7 per cent compared to 2016. This is the result of a continued programme to deploy fuel-efficient cars and programmes that stimulate fuel-efficient driving. In 2016, BAM introduced a CO2 limit of 120 grams per kilometer for all new cars in its leased fleet which contritbuted to the reduction in fuel consumption by cars. In addition, employees are financially incentivised to choose smaller and more fuel-efficient cars (below 90 grams per kilometre). BAM also deploys electric vehicles to reduce fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and air pollution. In 2017 more than 4.2 million kilometres were driven with the Group’s fully electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid cars. BAM wants to have a more flexible and sustainable mobility policy, this is currently investigated for the Netherlands.

Emissions from BAM’s construction sites fluctuate heavily due to the phase and type of work. Most CO2 emissions are a result of civil engineering projects. In 2017 emissions decreased by 16 per cent due to completion of international near-shore marine projects and continued energy efficiency measures. Innovative solutions like smart meters, an early connection to the grid and more efficient equipment further reduced the CO2 output.

In 2017, 24 per cent of BAM’s revenue, approximately €1.6 billion, came from projects that have been registered with third-party green building or sustainable construction rating organisations, such as the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, the UK’s Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), Germany’s Passivhaus standards and other objective and third-party standards or BAM’s green building products. Over the past years green revenue has become a larger part of BAM’s turnover due to larger client demand.

45 - CO2 emissions per business line
(in kilotonnes)

BAM has again obtained a leadership status on the CDP climate change benchmark (score A-). The Group is valued for its actions to reduce CO2 emissions and mitigate the business risks of climate change. This global ranking evaluates the corporate efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The index is produced by CDP, the international NGO that promotes sustainable economies, at the request of 658 investors - representing more than a third of the invested capital in the world - Information provided by nearly 6,300 companies has been independently assessed on the basis of the CDP scoring methodology and ranked accordingly. Since 2012, BAM has been one of the leaders regarding transparency on impact on climate change. CDP’s annual assesment on corporate action on climate change shows that companies are stepping up their response to climate change. BAM supports the focus on more ambitious targets to drive longer-term progress towards a low-carbon future.

46 - CO2 emissions intensity 
(in tonnes per €1 million revenue)

Resource positive

BAM’s vision is to have a net positive impact on material resources in the design, construction, and use phase of its developments.

The Group has made progress in reducing waste through becoming more efficient, utilising offsite manufacture and optimising designs. The ultimate goal is to produce zero construction and office waste. BAM is the only major construction member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE100 programme. BAM's long term objectives of becoming resource positive are:

  • Protecting natural capital over the life cycle of the built environment
  • Eliminating waste, using regenerative materials and creating opportunities through its supply chain to retain high levels of material value and utility
  • Using resources which are healthy, natural and safe
  • In 2017 BAM established a Group-wide resource-positive steering group to enhance intercompany collaboration on this theme. This steering group established a set of action plans to achieve strategic targets.

Moving towards a circular economy
The Group actively works with clients to develop business models for ‘circular buildings’, such as Circl Amsterdam, for ABN Amro, which was completed in 2017.

BAM’s activities in pursuing the objectives of the circular economy in 2017 involved:

  • Collaboration with Horizon 2020’s research project BAMB (Buildings as Material Banks) on the prevention of construction and demolition waste, the reduction of virgin resource consumption and the development towards a circular economy through industrial symbiosis.
  • The organisation by BAM Construct UK and BAM Nuttall of a series of circular economy supply chain workshops. BAM Construct UK has also been commissioned as part of a consortium to advise on circular economic opportunities for the HS2 rail development in the UK.
  • The initiation of a ‘Circular Building Platform’ and the development of a portal to enable reuse in the built environment.
  • Involvement in committees and programmes:
    • The Ellen MacArthur Foundation CE100 programme, co-author of a circular economy business models publication and co-lead of a CE100 built environment group project ‘Circular neighbourhoods’;
    • London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB), a circular economy steering group engaged in setting a roadmap to 2036 for circular economy in London (for the London Mayor’s office);
    • The Green Construction Board Circular Economy working group.

Enabling zero construction waste
BAM’s waste typically consists of excavation, demolition, construction and office waste. BAM focuses on construction and office waste as indicators of operational performance, since these outputs are based on the Group’s own processes and procurement. All construction and office materials are initially brought to BAM’s sites and offices on its behalf, in contrast to excavation and demolition waste. Excavation and demolition waste are present at sites before BAM takes on a project and therefore less relevant as indicators of operational performance or sustainability; it is merely a part of BAM’s business model to efficiently remove these types of waste from its sites.

47 - Waste production per source 
(in kilotonnes


BAM winner of the Crystal Prize 2017
BAM has won the Crystal Prize 2017, the award for the most transparent 2016 annual report (as part of the Dutch transparency benchmark). BAM was nominated together with Royal Schiphol Group, Siemens Nederland and Alliander, last year’s winner. The Crystal Prize for CSR reporting is a joint initiative of the Royal Dutch Professional Association of Accountants (NBA) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate.

The jury acknowledged that BAM is operating in a sector which has recently taken a heavy financial toll. The jury appreciates BAM’s efforts to firmly keep societal issues on the agenda, incorporating them in its annual report. It specifically applauds the way in which BAM invites its stakeholders to participate in discussions about the long term vision and the 2020 strategic goals. ‘Additionally, BAM offers clear insights on possible improvements, resulting in clear and excellent reporting by a company that dares to profile itself on the theme of sustainability’, concluded the jury.

48 - Waste production per destination category 
(in %)

Just as with the reduction of CO2 emissions, trends in waste disposal depend heavily on the phase and type of a project. This can lead to major differences between BAM’s civil engineering companies in particular. It can therefore be a challenge to understand the relationship between Group-wide turnover, the type of activities and the amount of waste produced.
In 2017, BAM treated large amounts of contaminated soil that was excavated in several tunnelling projects. This resulted in a lower reuse percentage of waste in comparison to previous years.

In 2017, BAM reduced its construction and office waste by 9 per cent compared to 2016, from 148 kilotonnes to 134 kilotonnes. A large contribution to this year’s reduction of the volume of construction waste was due to the completion of several large construction projects. Improvements in efficiency of BAM’s production process were achieved through the use of prefabrication of building elements and BIM technology, both of which reduce the amount of waste produced at construction sites.

To promote appropriate recycling, BAM has set an objective to improve the separation of construction waste. In 2017, 23 per cent of the Group’s construction waste in the Netherlands was separated, compared with 25 per cent in 2016. BAM’s efforts to separate construction waste on site result in improved reuse and recycling of materials. In 2017, large volumes of timber, metals and cardboard were separated. A proactive approach of project managers to separate these materials has resulted in a significant increase of the separation rate over time.

49 - Construction and office waste intensity
(in tonnes per €1 million revenue)


Responsible sourcing: materials
Since 2011, BAM has identified the quantities of materials used in its construction projects in the Netherlands. The Group has identified the main categories of procured materials as shown in table 50. Depending on their nature, most used materials can be recycled and we strive to maximise this. BAM determined quantities and recycling percentages based on supplier data and industry averages. In cases where BAM applies recycled materials, nearly all materials are processed before they can be reused for construction. Therefore BAM chooses to report all materials as having been recycled rather than partly re-used. Materials quantities and composition will also be used in limiting BAM’s supply chain impact (Scope 3 carbon footprint).

50 - Material consumption in the Netherlands











Ready-mix concrete






























Recycled content










Ready-mix concrete





























In 2017, construction sites, offices and asphalt plants consumed 114,000 m3 potable water in the Netherlands (2016: 101,000 m3). This is a slight increase mainly coming from large building projects that consumed significant amounts of water.

51 - Potable water usage in the Netherlands
x 1,000 m³

Research and development on asphalt
Asphalt production is typically a process that requires a lot of natural resources and energy. BAM started already with the development of low-energy asphalt concrete (LEAB, after the Dutch name: laag energie asfalt beton), an innovative type of asphalt that uses less energy and fewer scarce natural resources and results in lower CO2 emissions than conventional asphalt.

52 - Research and development focusing on recycling asphalt

BAM more recently developed Low Energy and Emission Asphalt Pavement (LE2AP) with support of the EU LIFE+ program. LE2AP is the next circular milestone towards developing a silent (sonic) and sustainable road that optimises traffic flow. In the LE2AP pilot project, BAM developed and demonstrated asphalt pavement with at least 80 per cent reclaimed material. This is tested at two provincial roads in the Netherlands. The asphalt is produced and paved at a low temperature of 100°C and reduces traffic noise with 7dB.

BAM commissioned an assessment of the socio-economic impact of this product, focusing amongst others on the following impacts: human health, energy use, climate change, odour nuisance and material use. The impacts are assessed in comparison with a reference scenario representing the production of a conventional asphalt mixture.

The impacts are converted to monetary units using a welfare-cost approach. This means that monetary values reflects the costs that society pays as a consequence of these adverse social and environmental impacts.

The assessment results in total external costs of a ton of LE2AP asphalt of €7.01, while a ton of conventional asphalt costs €10.57. This is a relative reduction of external costs of 34 per cent for LE2AP compared to conventional asphalt. The most material impact is climate change, which accounts for 49 per cent of the difference between the two scenarios. This difference in climate-change related external costs results mostly from lower transportation requirements in the LE2AP production chain.


53 - Socio economic impact valuation of BAM's sustainable asphalt LE2AP and conventional asphalt
(€/t asphalt)

Responsible sourcing: 100 per cent sustainable timber
In 2007, BAM signed a covenant with FSC Netherlands, and committed itself to using certified timber only to support forest conservation and biodiversity. BAM’s experience has been that it is difficult for some suppliers to provide information on the amount of certified timber in products which consist of composite materials including timber in for instance doors and window frames. Together with FSC Netherlands, BAM encourages its suppliers to improve the identification and reporting of certified timber.

In the Netherlands, BAM requests information on the application of sustainable timber twice a year. BAM asks its suppliers to report on various types of timber supplied. These make up an estimated 85 per cent of all timber use in the Netherlands in all construction works carried out directly by BAM. The data used in this analysis therefore does not include timber consumption for subcontracted projects. BAM approached approximately 45 Dutch suppliers to report the amount of certified timber used in products. Based on their responses BAM estimates that 97 per cent was certified timber, 86 per cent was FSC and 10 per cent was PEFC certified.

In the United Kingdom, the origin of certified sustainable timber from both FSC and PEFC sources is registered in BAM’s on-line data monitoring system BAM SMART. In 2017, 99 per cent of timber in the United Kingdom was from verified legal and sustainable sources, of which 92 per cent (2016: 92 per cent) was delivered with full FSC or PEFC Chain of Custody certification or reused from other sites.

BAM wins FSC Forest50 2017

FSC Netherlands assessed the fifty largest construction companies in the Netherlands on their communication and use of sustainable timber. Through the Forest50 award FSC Netherlands wants to increase transparency on the use of timber sourced from responsibly managed forests. BAM is progressing towards fully sustainable timber procurement and is close to its goal sustainable of 100% in the the Netherlands and UK. In 2017 BAM also signed the Vancouver Declaration to preserve and protect forest worldwide. By using FSC products BAM contributes to eleven of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (> see page 32-33).

54 - Sustainable certified timber (FSC and PEFC) in the Netherlands