Environment Agency of England & TEAM2100: Building Tomorrow’s Infrastructure Today

When it comes to considering the power of the built environment to positively influence a healthy, equitable and sustainable tomorrow, it is easy to keep the focus on buildings themselves. Yet the physical infrastructure that enables the development of our buildings, towns, cities and communities has an equally impactful role in shaping the climate and the world we will inhabit tomorrow. 

Via eMission:2030, the agency’s 10-year sustainability action plan (soft-launched in 2019), the organization aims to become net zero by 2030 – ensuring its own activities and its supply chain are taking as much carbon from the atmosphere as they are putting into it - part of their responding to the climate emergency ambition.

Environment Agency eMission:2030 Ambitions

• Delivering environmental net gain

• Optimising use of resources 

• Responding to the climate emergency

• Benefitting people and the community

Building and managing flood risk management assets to reduce the risk of flooding to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across England is a large part of the agency’s work. It is also work that results in approximately 148,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year. To cut those emissions by 45%, the EA has committed to managing flood risk through nature-based solutions where possible, reducing the need for construction and achieving wider benefits like green spaces for communities and better wildlife habitats. And when flood risk management assets are constructed, the EA also aims to limit emissions from materials, processes, and suppliers.

With more than 350 kilometres of flood risk management assets along the River Thames estuary under its management, the Thames Estuary Asset Management programme (TEAM2100) is one of the EA’s Pathfinder programmes, introduced to enable a holistic asset management-based approach to managing tidal flood risk management assets in London and throughout the Thames estuary area. 

The single largest flood risk management programme in England and one of the UK government’s top 40 infrastructure projects, the TEAM2100 programme is responsible for asset management activities on over 4,000 assets, comprising 300+ active structures like flood gates, outfalls and pumps, and nine major barriers including the iconic Thames Barrier, plus fixed assets like walls and embankments. The programme prioritizes investment in flood risk management assets and predicts their deterioration to optimise intervention strategies. It also aims to deliver greater value for money through innovation and greater collaboration and planning with the supply chain.

TEAM2100 at a Glance

The first phase of an overall Thames Estuary 2100 Plan, which aims to bring a clear approach to flood tidal management throughout this and the next century. TEAM2100’s aim is the continued protection of London & Thameside areas of Essex and Kent from flooding.

●      Over 4,000 Assets

●      9 Major Barriers

●      350km linear defences

●      300+ active structures

●      Top 40 Government Infrastructure programme 

●      Started in November 2014 

●      £308m, 10-year programme, of investment across Tidal Thames flood risk management assets 

●      Developing a local SME supply chain 

●      Innovation and benefits realisation programmes 

TEAM2100 protects:

●      350 km2 of London

●      Over 400,000 properties at risk

●      Over £275 billion capital values of assets

●      1.3 million people live/work below average high tide

●      400 schools & 16 hospitals

●      Olympic Park

●      30 mainline & 68 Underground / DLR stations

●      London's sewer network

Now, TEAM2100 is leading the EA towards its net zero goal by addressing both the sustainability and the carbon impacts of physical flood risk management infrastructure. Building on its strategy of reducing overall costs by investing in the right places at the right time, TEAM2100 is also focusing on using the right materials in the right places.

Beginning this year, TEAM2100 has set the objective that 25% of the monetary value of materials used in updating and/or constructing new flood risk management assets are certified by the ethical stone register or are Cradle to Cradle Certified at the Bronze level or above, with the further aim of increasing that baseline by 2% each year.

Setting objectives for specifying and sourcing Cradle to Cradle Certified® materials helps TEAM2100 contribute to all four of the Environment Agency’s eMission2030 ambitions, according to Dr. Jo Guy, TEAM2100 Environment and Sustainability Manager.

“Cradle to Cradle Certified helps us optimize our use of resources by ensuring materials meet leading standards for the circular economy. The standard’s requirements for material health, clean air and climate protection, water and soil stewardship and social fairness support TEAM2100’s progress to meet our sustainability goals -- including our carbon goals. Cradle to Cradle Certified requirements also map easily to the EA’s eMission:2030 ambitions - supporting delivery of flood risk management on a sustainable basis,” Dr. Guy says. 

Accsys, maker of Cradle to Cradle Certified Accoya wood, and Staco, maker of Cradle to Cradle Certified grating solutions, have already signed on as suppliers of Cradle to Cradle Certified materials for TEAM2100 infrastructure projects. 

The programme is actively inviting manufacturers of products that are Cradle to Cradle Certified or part of the ethical stone register to supply certified materials to the programme.

For more information, visit the TEAM2100 website or contact Dr. Jo Guy, TEAM2100 Environment and Sustainability Manager at [email protected]



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