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Make Waste History

We want to Make Waste History by transforming the way we manage resources

We want to Make Waste History by transforming the way we manage resources. Our Make Waste History campaign focuses on the waste we create on our sites as well as reducing the energy and water we use on sites and in our offices.


The global demand for natural resources continues to grow, and while helping to advance society this demand can also have detrimental effects on the natural environment and human health alike.  The UK Government has published a 25 year Environment Plan, setting out its ambition to help the planet to regain and retain its good health.

The business community has a significant role to play and we understand the impacts our resource consumption can have on the environment. Our Make Waste History campaign, launched in 2014, is our 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.  At the same time as reducing our environmental impact, it also reduces our operating costs.

Energy & Water Efficiency

We have exceeded our 2017 target to reduce our carbon emissions associated with office energy and water use by 10% per person. 

In 2014, we set ourselves a target to reduce the carbon emissions associated with energy and water consumption in our offices by 10% per person by the end of 2017, compared with our 2013 baseline.  Through a number of initiatives, including an LED lighting fit-out in our Head Office, improved control of our boilers and the installation of water saving technology, we have achieved significant reductions.  Our target was substantially exceeded with carbon emission reductions per person in energy and water of 45% and 44% respectively.  During this time, our absolute office energy consumption has fallen by 3% despite an increase in headcount.

As well as our energy and water saving initiatives, we continue to purchase 100% renewable electricity at our Bristol and Chertsey offices. Renewable electricity accounted for 68% of our total office electricity consumption in 2017.

When looking at our entire carbon footprint, our total normalised carbon emissions are equal to 2016 at 3.52 tCO2e/1000sqft. Whilst emissions associated with our offices have fallen, this has been offset by increases in our business travel and diesel used on site.  We will review diesel consumption across our sites to identify why there has been an increase prior to putting in place reduction measures. 

Waste on our Sites

The construction, demolition and excavation sector is by far the largest waste producer in the UK. We have a target in place to divert at least 95% of our construction waste from landfill, which we have achieved or exceeded for the past five years.  In 2017, we diverted 98% from landfill by working closely with both our site teams and waste contractors. See Our Data for more information.

One of the ambitions of the Government’s 25 year Environment Plan is to combat waste crime and illegal waste sites. We work closely with our waste broker to ensure that waste contractors servicing our sites have the appropriate licences, permits and health and safety standards to ensure we can maintain our duty of care.

We also work with a social enterprise, Community Wood Recycling, to collect timber waste from a number of our sites. They provide jobs for local people, especially those who may find it difficult to get into or back to employment, and up-skill them to find future employment opportunities. 100% of the timber collected is diverted from landfill and the good quality timber is used to build furniture that is sold to the public.

However, only working to divert waste from landfill, and ensuring waste is disposed of properly, does not address the significant opportunity to reduce the amount of waste produced in the first place. It does not Make Waste History. Having achieved our diversion from landfill target, 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 sqft delivered by 10%. 

Despite early positive results, in 2017, the normalised construction waste (volume/1000 sqft) was 43.57, which is a 4% increase against our baseline, 41.85 (in 2013). Interestingly, our data shows that there has not been a consistent increase across all our divisions. In fact, two of the divisions most engaged in the Make Waste History campaign have managed to achieve reductions since 2013. These divisions have tested and implemented different take back initiatives, such as our pallet return scheme, while maintaining consistent messaging on site about the importance of using resources efficiently.

During 2018, we will review the waste performance with each division and work with them to improve material management measures on site. We will pilot more initiatives across the Group, including a wider roll out of the pallet return scheme, to drive waste down in key areas. At the same time, we continue to research the opportunities relating to off-site manufacturing (OSM), including improvements in productivity, quality and sustainability. OSM requires less materials used on site during construction and has the potential to reduce both waste and energy consumed on our sites.

In briefCentenary Quay is on its way to Making Waste History
Using the suns rays at Rosewood Environmental impact integrated

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)

Making Waste History in our Offices
Using the suns rays at Rosewood Environmental impact integrated

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: 

  1. Upgrading the inefficient fluorescent lighting in our head office to LEDs. To date this has resulted in an average reduction of 18% in electricity consumption when compared to our 2013 baseline year.
  2. Installing efficient taps in our kitchens and improving urinal controls – reducing water consumption by 50% in our head office since 2013.
  3. Upgrading our IT systems with more energy efficient printers, computers and monitors.
  4. Phasing out paper towels and replacing them with highly efficient hand dryers, diverting 700kg of paper towels from landfill annually.
  5. Introducing food waste bins in our kitchens targeting the diversion of 1.5 tonnes of food waste from landfill per year.
  6.  

    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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