× Search
Log In Sign Up

Plant Group

Working together to reduce air quality and greenhouse gas emissions.

Leading best practice on reducing air quality and greenhouse gas emissions from plant and equipment

There is increasing interest from clients in tailpipe emissions for their projects, as well as a growing number of low emissions zones across the country, as part of addressing the negative effect engines have on the air quality of our towns and cities.

As a result of these challenges, Partners are collaborating to identify and provide the supply chain with information and guidance on plant standards and management.

The Plant category group was established by School Partners and other key industry stakeholders to develop and facilitate a collaborative approach to reducing the tailpipe air quality and greenhouse gas emissions of plant, through its procurement, rental and use. This is to directly address the negative impacts on health and global warming that diesel and petrol plant contribute to. The definition of “plant” for this group is “plant used in the construction and/or maintenance of an asset and consumes some form of power/energy”. It ranges from hand tools up to large excavators.

2023/2024 Plant Group Update

To learn more about the group’s targets and objectives for 2023/2024, download the Business Plan below.

Download the Plan

2023/2024 Plant Group Update

Download Plant Charter


The Plant Charter

The School will lead the way for the UK’s built environment to drastically reduce onsite emissions to air that are harmful to human health and the planet.

The Charter is an outward declaration that organisations are serious about taking action to reduce air quality impacts and carbon emissions. It is based on the Minimum Standards that the Group has developed. They are interlinked documents that describe the actions the sector should be undertaking to address the emissions from plant they buy or rent.

The key topics for action are:

  • Addressing and reducing tailpipe emissions;
  • Engaging stakeholders such as clients, suppliers and trade associations on your actions to reduce emissions;
  • Training your staff and associates on why and how you are reducing the emissions; and
  • What innovative actions you are taking, whether it’s technological or measuring the embodied carbon of plant.

Find out more on our dedicated Plant Charter Page

Group Activities:

Discover what the Plant group has been working on this year.

The Eco-operations National Training Delivery Framework
Machine plant usage has been identified as a contributor to carbon-based emissions. To reduce this, the aim is to reduce engine-derived emissions from plant through both minimising engine run time and the more efficient use of equipment. This requires the delivery of an education programme that provides vital learning on how to achieve this. The Eco-operations National Training Delivery Framework sets out the parameters for the consistent delivery of the education required for this and provides guidance on learning outcomes, delivery content and methodologies, assessment strategies and course durations.
Learn more
Carbon and Air Quality within Plant and Equipment Learning Pathway
This self-enrol learning pathway will help you to understand how Plant and Equipment impact air quality and carbon emissions, and help you to identify solutions that reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.
Access the pathway
Air Quality for Plant and Equipment E-Learning Module
This CPD accredited e-learning module will give you an introduction to the sustainability issues associated with air quality for plant and equipment and non-road mobile machinery. It will take you around 30 minutes to complete.
Start the module

Group Outputs:

Partners have worked to produce several resources to provide landscape and potential solutions for the supply and demand of plant and plant operators, for use by clients, major contractors and the supply chain. We encourage anyone in the sector who buys, rents and / or uses plant to look at the Plant Commitment Charter and consider becoming a Signatory alongside the other organisations already demonstrating their commitment.

Minimum standards and charter overlay to the zero diesel sites route map
Developed the School's Plant Leadership Group, this overlay demonstrates how the Minimum Standards and the Plant Charter, both developed by the Group, can support the route map. Discusses: improving efficiency; transition to cleaner fuels; transition to electric; and wider industry support.
Learn more
Plant Group Minimum Standards Version 2.1
The Minimum Standards were built on information gained from interviews with eight original equipment manufacturer (OEM) businesses on current and future trends for reducing emissions from their products, covering power technologies, lifetime, and other aspects. In themselves they indicate the minimum emissions levels that organisations should at least be aiming for when they procure plant.
Access the Standards
Whole Life Approach Calculator for Plant and Machinery
Use the calculator to compare the whole life approach for both carbon and cost when procuring and hiring equipment.
Learn more
Plant Hierarchy
The Plant Hierarchy gives an overview of the steps to be taken to reduce emissions and the ease and beneficial impact of doing so.
Find out more
HS2 Anti-Idling Video
In this video you will find out about why idling is an issue for construction sites, and what HS2 have done to reduce vehicle idling.
Watch here
HS2 Anti Idling Toolkit Slides
These slides are a resource which accompanies the HS2 anti idling video. They have been developed for use as part of an anti idling toolbox talk. Please use them to generate group discussion about the key points of the video and develop your own initiatives to reduce idling.
Access the slides
Plant and Equipment Industry Roles and Responsibilities
A quick snapshot to demonstrate the different roles involved throughout the plant and equipment industry and their sustainability responsibilites.
Find out more
UK Clean Air Zones and Low Emission Zones Map
Use the map to find locations and relevant information for clean air zones and low emission zones around the UK.
Learn more
Plant Sustainability Training Schemes
Explore the range of sustainability training schemes that are available for plant operatives and site managers across the UK.
Search the directory
Plant Group Minimum Standards Version 1.0
Learn more

Plant Case Studies:

We’ve gathered examples of best practice that illustrate how the sector is actively reducing the air quality and greenhouse gas emissions of the plant equipment they hire or rent and then use on site. Have a look to learn about the variety of options available now to the sector.


Air Quality
Air Quality
Energy and Carbon

Meet the Team:

James, Imogen and Sam are here to help Partners to get involved with the Plant Group. 


James Cadman
Subject Matter Expert
Contact James
Imogen Player
Group Manager
Contact Imogen
Sam Walker
Group Support
Contact Sam

Meeting Dates:

The dates for all Plant Group meetings have now been set for 2023/24. Please see below for further details and the notes from previous meetings.

 Date/ TimeLocation
11th June 2024, 2pm – 4pmMicrosoft Teams
10th September 2024, 10am – 12pmMicrosoft Teams
10th December 2024, 10am – 12pmMicrosoft Teams

Meeting Notes:

Download notes from any of the previous Plant Group meetings below.

Our Partners

The Plant and Equipment Group is a collaboration between clients, contractors and plant hire companies and suppliers – aiming to improve air quality standards across the industry and look to engage and inform the supply chain on their role to play in moving to low-emission CPE.