Our Make Waste History campaign, launched in 2014, is a long-term strategic programme to improve resource efficiency and reduce our waste. Using natural resources, like the materials we use to build our homes, energy, water, and office supplies, efficiently is a win-win. Not only does it help us to keep our operating costs down, it means that we reduce our environmental impact.
However, only working to divert waste from landfill does not address the significant opportunity to reduce the amount of waste produced in the first place. It does not Make Waste History. So, having achieved our two diversion from landfill targets, in 2014 we put in place a target to drive down the waste we create from our construction activities.
Our target is to reduce the volume of waste produced per 1,000 ft2 delivered by 10%.
Overall, we have seen a 1% reduction since putting the target in place. Though not as significant a reduction as we would like, this has been achieved despite increasing our production year-on-year. We have also managed to reduce the volume and tonnes of waste produced per plot, by 2% and 6% respectively compared to last year. These reductions buck the industry trend, which is seeing waste from construction activities rise.
The figures also show that our campaign is having a positive impact. We are continuing to explore new and innovative ways to further reduce our waste on sites and meet our target as we grow our business.
With more than 62% of Crest Nicholson’s entire carbon footprint coming from energy use on sites, it is crucial to find innovative ways to improve our energy efficiency during construction.
Key to creating efficiencies on site have been initiatives that were highlighted through our participation in the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), which included audits at six of our sites.
Among the recommendations, the ESOS audits highlighted the importance of switching from a diesel generator to mains electricity (i.e. the National Grid) as soon as possible after we start on a new site. To address this, we have put in place a 12-week target date from starting on site to connect to the National Grid. We also agreed an optimal generator size to use in these first few weeks, as smaller generators are often sufficient for our needs, and are cheaper to run and use less fuel. These and other diesel-related initiatives have resulted in a 27% reduction in diesel consumption in the year as well as the equivalent CO2 reduction of 38%.
At Centenary Quay, our large-scale regeneration development in Southampton, there is momentum to reduce waste.
From different coloured skips dotted around the site to creative re-use of off-cuts and regular discussion of waste reduction at weekly team meetings, the site team is working with its contractors to tackle the issue of waste. A Material Controller ensures that storage areas are tidy and easy to access, sensible stock levels are maintained, contractors re-use materials and off-cuts wherever possible, and skips are packed efficiently to reduce the number of collections by the waste company.
And, it’s not just construction waste being targeted. Water butts have been installed throughout the site compound to gather rainwater to clean the footpaths and water plants. Urinal valves have been upgraded and motion sensors fitted on the lights in the site offices.
The momentum and hard work is starting to pay off. Centenary Quay has seen a 19% reduction in waste produced (per 1000sqft) across 2016 when compared to the same timeframe last year. This reduction equates to a cost saving of £258 per 1000sqft.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about how we manage our materials, how we communicate and educate the trades, and take advantage of opportunities. That will be the key to our success.” Justin Mulholland, Site Manager at Upper Longcross (formerly at Centenary Quay)
As part of our Make Waste History campaign we have been exploring how to reduce waste, energy and water across our offices. In 2016, our offices accounted for 7.3% of our total carbon footprint. We have rolled out a number of measures, including:
Over the coming year, we will be looking at even more initiatives to help us Make Waste History in our offices.
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