Reducing Environmental Footprints
A circular economy is an industrial system that produces little to no waste or greenhouse gases by design or intention. Many of Bechtel’s projects around the world are their own small-scale circular economies. One example with which Bechtel is involved is the South Caucasus Pipeline Expansion (SCPX) project, a 303-mile (488-kilometer) pipeline that extends the South Caucasus pipeline alongside the existing Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline through Azerbaijan and Georgia to Turkey. The Bechtel-Enka Joint Venture (BEJV) is building compressor stations, a metering and pressure-reduction station, and some roadways for the pipeline.
“Zero-waste targets should always be the goal. Soon all projects will have an approach that facilitates achieving this target or getting as close as possible.”Mohammad Orfi Environmental and social lead, Bechtel
A large amount of inert construction waste including—excavated rock, wood pieces, metal scraps, and food—is generated during construction and at workers’ camps and associated facilities. The BEJV team and our customer, South Caucasus Pipeline Company Limited, operated by BP, are using a mix of design, material procurement, and technology to soften the project’s environmental footprint. This approach includes:
- Waste-handling areas that store, segregate, and process waste for reuse and recycling
- Waste compression machines that decrease volumes of waste
- Food dryer and biomass technology that treat organic waste and convert it into biodegradable ash and thermal energy to heat water
- Sewage treatment plant that re-treats and recycles water, including treating and discharging wastewater for dust control on access roads
- Sustainable procurement practices to purchase local goods in bulk, minimize packaging amounts, reduce the environmental impact and waste generation, and maximize durability and reparability of goods and equipment
These are among actions that cut waste volume, convert material for reuse, recycle water, and heat camp facilities.
Achieving sustainability excellence
In 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy recognized three Bechtel-affiliated sites with five sustainability awards for driving improvements to reduce waste, water use, energy, and pollution. The three sites were: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Y-12 National Security Complex.
Changing how we deliver
Bechtel uses Data-centric execution to drive efficiency, cost savings, and sustainability in materials management. For example, an energy project can easily have as many as 20,000 drawings of three-dimensional designs that are each printed and processed separately. By transferring plans and drawings to key suppliers digitally, instead of on paper, we can reduce waste by up to 90 percent.