News & Insights

Measuring Our Impact: Combining Quality & Sustainability to track Embodied Carbon
Author: Cormac Byrne  /  10th Nov, 2021  /  News, Design, Quality & Innovation

We each have a role to play in tackling climate change. There is no singular solution to Earth’s climate crisis, but as a leading European contractor it is clear to us that collaboration and innovation are key to safeguarding the future of our planet.

The theme of World Quality Week 2021 focuses on the role that quality plays in improving sustainability across the construction industry. By utilising innovative technologies and Quality Management processes Mercury can drive sustainable change.

Jo-Ann Garbutt, Director of Sustainability said: “World Quality Week 2021 provides an opportunity to highlight how Mercury’s teams collaborate to drive sustainable change. One of our particular focus areas is Embodied Carbon, which we are working to eliminate throughout the entire life-cycle of our projects, from our supply-chain right the way through to project delivery.”

In 2020 Mercury partnered with Building Transparency and one of our confidential Hyperscale Data Centre clients to leverage the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3). As pilot sponsors of this tool, Mercury is one of the first prime contractors in Europe to embark on this journey which has given us a greater understanding of the embodied carbon contents of the structures that we build.

Jo-Ann Garbutt said: “Our clients are now looking to their partners to source materials that contain lower embodied carbon. By using the EC3 tool, Mercury has bench-marked embodied carbon across a number of our European projects – including a recently completed hyperscale data centre project in the Netherlands. Lowering embodied carbon is a collaborative effort that requires involving our supply-chain partners on having Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) available and improving their processes towards reduced carbon emissions. It is also important for us to have early engagement on projects with our clients during the planning phase, to influence initial decision making impacting embodied and operational carbon associated with the planned structure.”

Alongside our supply-chain partners, Mercury has identified concrete, steel structures and facades as primary elements where we can achieve significant reductions in embodied carbon emissions. We monitor the “cradle to grave” part of the carbon life-cycle and this includes embodied carbon that is associated with all aspects of project delivery, including procurement and material sourcing decisions. Having EPDs available enables faster evaluation and decision making in this regard.

Jo-Ann Garbutt said: “We are all on this journey together as science continues to develop in this critical space bringing new innovations and solutions to reduce both embodied and operational carbon emissions associated with construction projects.”

Justin Keane, Director of Digital Delivery, Offsite Manufacturing & Quality said: “Through projects worked on by the our Quality and Innovation teams we have been able to successfully implement solutions which have lowered carbon emissions related to business travel as we leverage our existing platforms and add next generation tools to it.”

Our drive to measure our impact has led us to publicly commit to setting science-based carbon emission reduction targets and this remains one of the key focus areas on our sustainability journey. Committing to setting science-based carbon emissions reduction targets by 2024, includes our entire carbon footprint (Scope 1, 2 & 3) and is in line with the Paris Agreement and the latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) findings.

More information about Mercury’s sustainability journey and achievements can be found in our upcoming annual report and updated sustainability web page which goes live next week.


This article was produced as part of Mercury’s efforts to mark World Quality Week 2021.

The theme for World Quality Week 2021 is: Sustainability: Improving our products, people and planet.

We look forward to providing our clients, supply-chain members, partners & followers with key insights from across our Quality Team on important topics such as the digitisation of our quality processes, our approach to an Integrated Management System, our Embodied Carbon journey and more.

Join us for Leading Quality Insights for World Quality Week from 8-12th November 2021.


At Mercury, we strive to be the best company that we can be. We put our clients at the heart of everything we do as their strategic partner. We also continue to deliver leading edge construction solutions to clients and push industry boundaries by doing incredible things in areas such as digitalisation, offsite manufacturing and safety. It’s our bold promise that Mercury will always deliver.

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