Sustainability continued to be at the forefront of business in 2017 despite the changing global political landscape.
DRIVING ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE
2017 saw increasing pressure on businesses to consider the environmental implications of their operations whether these be disposal of plastic waste, air quality or the new reporting requirements set out by the Task Force on Climate Risk Financial Disclosures requiring businesses to disclose the risks and opportunities presented by climate change.
Transitioning to a low carbon business
At Wates we continued to make significant progress on understanding and reducing our carbon footprint. The Carbon Trust verified our carbon data for the second year running and the results have shown a four per cent absolute reduction in carbon emissions from 2016. Six per cent of our electrical energy demand is now from renewable sources and we have set a target to reach 50% by 2020. In addition we introduced a carbon offsetting scheme
Collective approach to environmental issues
Tackling environmental issues requires a collective approach. That’s why Wates continues to be proud supporters of the industry Supply Chain Sustainability School. In 2017 we delivered 10 supplier days with over 650 attendees. From our sustained commitment to the School, 84% of our top spend suppliers (those with which we trade over £500k per annum) are members of the school exceeding our target of 80%.
Improving the image of construction
We continue to drive new environmental standards across our projects. For example our Junior Board have put forward a series of recommendations to improve the sustainability of our site accommodation. As a benchmark, we use the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS), of which we are an Associate member. Our average score in 2017 was 40.98 exceeding the industry average of 36.12.
Of our sites, 81% recorded scores above 40 – a 20% improvement since 2016 and 41 of our sites were recognised with a CCS awards raising the bar for considerate construction.
DRIVING NEW IDEAS AND SUSTAINABILITY THINKING
Our award-winning Wates Sustainable Technology Services initiative continued to evolve. The team supports customers and partners to achieve their sustainability goals by helping identify, select and implement cost-effective technologies that comply with regulations, lower carbon emissions, improve building performance, and reduce costs. Five customer ‘Dragons Dens’ were held during the year to promote the 30 technologies identified. Installing some of these technologies at our Head Office in Leatherhead resulted in a 7% energy reduction and over £7,000 of savings.