SWIP Integrating Net Zero Route Map

The South West Infrastructure Partnership (SWIP) Integrating Net Zero Route Map identifies three key pillars that need to be put in place to support infrastructure decarbonisation in the region:

  • mindset and leadership
  • carbon literacy
  • collaboration

To support these pillars, SWIP is recommending the development of a South West Collaboratory – a ‘living lab’ for the region to deliver net zero infrastructure at the heart of a flourishing, decarbonised South West.

The route map, which is founded on fundamental learning and collaboration principles, is aimed at guiding the region’s infrastructure stakeholders in building a new mindset and supporting capabilities to equip themselves with the capacity for brave, ambitious, knowledgeable leadership of net zero thinking and practice.

SWIP has undertaken an ambitious co-production process to generate the route map, working with more than 450 professionals and stakeholders in the region over 18 months. The route mapping process has been co-ordinated by the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Bristol and consisted of three online workshops using a digital canvas tool to elicit sector and cross-sector information and develop the emerging proposition.

The Route Map was launched at a special webinar on Thursday 13 May 2021 with Rachel Skinner, ICE President as the guest of honour. During the webinar, Peter Kydd, SWIP Chair with Professor Colin Taylor and Dr Neil Carhart of the University of Bristol presented the new route map for the first time. They explained how it can support the ongoing drive to achieve net zero carbon infrastructure in the South West.

Andrew Page-Dove, Regional Director (South West), Highways England, who sits on the SWIP steering group, also shared his perspective on using the route map as a professional tool, along with Caroline Field, Associate Director, Resilience, Security and Risk, Arup and Paul Santer, Regional Director, Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) South West.  


The previous SWIP workshops highlighted that decarbonisation is a poorly understood, ‘wicked’ system-of-systems problem in which beneficial actions on one part of the system can produce perverse outcomes in other parts if not holistically designed. The often-parochial business-as-usual (BAU) approach is blind to the fundamental complexities of the problem. BAU has created the existential challenge of climate change and is ill-suited to solve it.

A new holistic and systemic mindset and set of capabilities are needed.  The scale of the complex net zero challenge and its urgency demand brave, ambitious, knowledgeable leadership of innovative, holistic, and systemic change at all levels.

Recordings of previous workshops (excluding the breakout group discussions) are available via the ICE event archive.

Workshop 1:

Workshop 2:

Workshop 3: