CIVIS, a tool to measure environmental impact

What is CIVIS?

CIVIS is a tool for calculating the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of a Linear Infrastructure. It is an innovative development in the construction sector (it has been certified as “Innovative Performance”), which allows us, based on the main measurements of the project, to quantitatively assess different impact indicators throughout the life cycle of linear transport infrastructures (roads and railroads).

These indicators are of two types: Emissions: CO2 (kg), SO2 (kg), NOX (kg), Particulates (kg), Hg (kg) and Consumption: Coal (MJ), Fuel oil (MJ), Diesel (MJ), Natural gas (MJ). The Climate Change indicator expressed in kg CO2eq, allows us to estimate the CO2 footprint due to the manufacture, construction, maintenance, use and operation of the different projects we analyze.

“This tool is already being used to meet the requirements of Investment Banks or to calculate the ECOTIR in Ferrovial’s investments, but we hope it will be useful for the Carbon Footprint analysis of the projects we offer and execute. Of course, the tool is available to all departments and works that may require this impact calculation with LCA criteria”.

– Juan José Rosado, Quality and Environment Department

How does it work?

The user enters the data manually on the “Input” page of the tool. The information that the user must enter is divided into 6 categories: Basic Project Information, Definition of Work Units, Site Supply Transport, Waste Management, In-Use Traffic Emissions and Operating Energy Consumption. These categories will lead the user to sub-levels where more detailed information will be requested.

One of the most complex categories is the “Definition of Work Units”. This is divided into subcategories and, within each of them, we have the different work units.

In the “Calculations” sheet, the input data loaded in each work unit is multiplied by the conversion factor assigned by the tool to the activities carried out for each unit, according to the Ecoinvent 3.4 database, which consists of more than 10,000 Life Cycle Inventories from different sectors. This database has been under continuous development for 20 years and is accepted worldwide.

The “LCA Results” sheet shows the different life cycle indicators under different groupings. One of the most interesting is the matrix that shows, for each impact category (e.g. “Climate Change”), the sum of data per unit of work, in each of the life cycle phases.

To make it easier to interpret this information, we have developed specific reports for each indicator, the most useful being the Climate Change report, which shows the tons of CO2eq for each unit of work, in the corresponding phase (we have selected only “Manufacturing” and “Construction”, which are those that apply to Ferrovial Construction).

To summarize, this tool allows us to assess and quantify, from the early stages (design), the impacts associated with a linear transportation infrastructure, and to evaluate in environmental terms the most sustainable design/construction alternatives or the impacts on the impact of a specific project.

This tool is already being used successfully in Bucaramanga, Lima, the I-66 in the United States and for Bidding.

“CIVIS is a tool with a lot of potential. Although at the moment it is helping us to estimate the Carbon Footprint of projects, it contains much more information about the lifecycle of linear infrastructures, as it includes the main impact categories required for Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) certifications”.
– Marta Arroyo, Quality and Environment Department