Tideway’s main environmental legacy will be a cleaner River Thames – but we are delivering a wider impact, too.
As well as completing the tunnel below ground to deliver a long-term environmental benefit, we have been creating wider social impacts above ground. These include using the Thames to transport material on an unprecedented scale, bringing jobs and skills back to the river and supporting safer and greener transportation methods; supporting our communities through employment and through partnerships with local organisations; and creating new public spaces in the Thames – the first new land in London for generations.
Learn about the project’s wider impact by reading our latest Sustainability Report, checking out the dedicated sub-pages on Our Community, Open Spaces and others, or clicking on the five legacy theme buttons in the graphic below.
Health, safety & wellbeing
At Tideway, we do things safely, or not at all. This is absolutely fundamental to the job we’re doing, and we’re working to leave a lasting legacy for the construction sector by setting new standards in health, safety and – importantly – wellbeing.
A leading example of our legacy is EPIC (employer's project induction centre), which has set new standards for the industry and which sees participants interact with actors in a fictional and hard-hitting scenario to learn about the causes and consequences of our behaviour on site. We are also leaving a legacy of new standards in mental health support, on-site communication and river and road safety.
Caring for the environment is at the core of everything we do at Tideway. After all, our company exists to clean up the River Thames. But we’re not simply an environmental project in what we’re doing – but also in how we are doing it.
The primary example of this is our use of the river (instead of the road) to move our materials. Had we used lorries instead of barges, there would have been an additional 600,000 HGV journeys made on London’s already-busy road network. But thanks to our investment in a river logistics programme, this has been avoided, offering benefits for congestion, for cyclists and pedestrians – and for air quality.
Beyond this, we’re doing so much more to care for the environment, including commissioning studies into Thames ecology; switching to biofuels in our tug boats and on site; planting trees across London; and volunteering with regular foreshore litter-picks.
One of the unique things about Tideway is the location of our sites – many of which are along the river in central London. This gives us a unique opportunity to create new areas of public space – reclaimed from the River Thames – just as Bazalgette did 150 years ago.
We’re building three acres of new public land across seven sites, opening up sections of the Thames Path to connect Londoners and visitors to the river more closely.
Tideway’s community investment programme helps to support the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in communities across London as well as helping to deliver our vision to reconnect Londoners with the River Thames.
People make projects. We know that projects like Tideway simply do not happen without a talented and motivated workforce, and so we’ve worked hard to attract and retain the best. Our project has created 4,000 sustainable jobs – and in March 2022 around one in 30 of those jobs was an apprenticeship, so we’re investing in future talent.
Tideway is seeking to raise the bar for diversity and inclusion in the construction industry; helping professionals return to work after a career break; supporting vulnerable groups into the industry; and inspiring a new generation into construction through our extensive STEM programme, and leaving a legacy of education resources through our Tunnelworks site.
Tideway is one of the country’s largest infrastructure projects and has a significant impact on the economy. That’s why we’re proud to say that, to date, almost 95 per cent of the money we’ve spent to build the super sewer has been spent right here in the UK.
Tideway is also committed to rejuvenating London’s river economy. Through our More by River approach, the project has supported investment in a new fleet of barges and tugs. We are also one of the founders of the Thames Skills Academy, set up to set new standards for the continuous development of essential river skills and health and safety.
We’re also playing a major role in new thinking in the construction sector. We’ve pioneered ‘The Great Think’, an innovation and knowledge-sharing programme, and have led the way in green and sustainable financing for infrastructure projects.