Environmental Sustainability Strategy

Environmental Sustainability Strategy


Our Vision: A connected country. A thriving environment

Our 2050 vision is to provide a road network that supports the country’s transport needs but also protects and strengthens the natural environment and community wellbeing.

Our economy, livelihoods and wellbeing are dependent on the natural world and we have a moral and economic duty to protect, restore and enhance the environment. We must manage what we take today and ensure we leave a thriving planet for future generations.

Our strategic framework


We recognise that environmental issues are complex and interconnected. Their management demands an integrated approach.

Realising our vision means delivering ambitious, positive change for:


family on bench

We will restore and enhance a richer, resilient and more biodiverse environment.


electric vehicle charging

We will deliver net zero:

  • corporate emissions by 2030
  • maintenance and construction emissions by 2040
  • road user emissions by 2050


cyclist and wildflowers

We will support community wellbeing by:

  • tackling local environmental impacts
  • increasing climate resilience

Our priorities

We’ve identified nine priority areas where we can deliver the most benefit for carbon, communities and nature.

Here are our ambitions and key commitments for each of our priority areas.

These are the short to medium term building blocks of our 2050 vision.

Good road and environmental design
Good road and environmental design;
Managing our land for its environmental value
Managing our land for its environmental value;
Nature based solutions
Nature based solutions;
Integrating our land into the wider landscape
Integrating our land into the wider landscape;
Conserving and enhancing historic and cultural value
Conserving historic and cultural value;
Mitigating pollution
Mitigating pollution;
Leaner construction
Leaner construction;
Optimising resource and energy use
Optimising resource and energy use;
Cleaner, quieter journeys
Cleaner, quieter journeys;

Our roadmap

to an environmentally sustainable network


We will

Establish the soft estate as an asset class.

Make investment decisions in accordance with PAS 2080 investment hierarchy.

We will

Develop environmental decision tools

Report on opportunities for nature-based solutions

Map network-wide flood risks

Develop air quality research programme

Create environmental sustainability opportunities register

Develop roadmap for reduced road operational infrastructure

Establish principles of environmentally responsible sourcing

We will

Establish characteristics of Strategic Road Network corridors

Involve communities in the environmental design of schemes

Collate and maintain comprehensive environmental condition data

Deliver at least 10% biodiversity net gain on Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects

Deliver a programme of nature-based solutions

Improve network resilience to flooding

Enhance landscape scale connectivity

Pilot a programme of urban environmental improvements

Improve customer experience of cultural heritage

Enhance cultural heritage on and adjacent to our network

Publish nitrogen deposition guidance

Implement noise mitigation programme

Report on persistent pollution resulting from our network

Deliver water outfalls mitigation programme

Trial resource exchange mechanism

Embed circularity into design, construction, maintenance and operations

Research and action on tyre and brake pollution

Be net zero for our own operations by 2030

Implement improvements to areas of high landscape and recreational value

Act on findings to reduce pollution and enhance the environment through vehicle connectivity

We will

Deliver a demonstrator project with multiple benefits through partnership

Maintain land designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest to favourable status or better

Deliver net zero for maintenance and construction by 2040

Deliver zero carbon travel on our roads by 2050