Environment & climate change

Environmental protection and climate change are among the greatest challenges we face, both as a society and a business.

We recognise that we have a key part to play through minimising the environmental impact and carbon footprint of our operations to ensure the long-term sustainability of the buildings, infrastructure and services we provide.

Management

Our Environmental Policy sets out our commitment to integrating the assessment, management and control of environmental issues into the management of our business. This is complemented by our Energy Policy, which recognises the impact of energy use on climate change and commits us to effectively and efficiently managing our energy use. Our Biodiversity Policy obligates us to protect and, where appropriate enhance biodiversity during our construction activities. Our Responsible Sourcing Policy requires us to consider our preferred suppliers’ environmental impacts, among other issues.

We identify, manage and mitigate our environmental impacts from project to business level through our ISO 14001 certified management system, supported by a network of Health, Safety and Sustainability (HS&S) advisors.

Our policies and processes are contained within our BMS (Business Management System), a mandatory platform, which defines our approach to all key operations and sets out the standards we must adhere to. Use of the BMS ensures consistency, governance and control and effective risk management by mitigating issues at source.

We make our people aware of our environmental and climate policies and adherence to the BMS through employee inductions, training and our intranet.

Ensuring compliance

Compliance with our environmental policies is assessed through HS&S advisors who are aligned to each business unit to provide support and advice. They visit sites regularly to ensure compliance with policies and procedures and produce a Safety, Security and Environmental Report, which is communicated to appropriate levels in the business through a database. Any non-compliance identified requires a corrective action plan, including the date by which it will be completed.

We also monitor performance using key performance indicators (for example covering waste and timber), which are regularly reviewed and variations investigated. Any incidents or visits (for example by the Environment Agency) are logged in databases and reported to divisional Boards each month.

Key Performance Indicators*

Total waste generated

(tonnes/£100k turnover)

Total waste generated  Chart

Carbon dioxide equivalent emissions**

(Scope 1 & 2 emissions)

Carbon dioxide equivalent emissions** Chart

*This data has been restated to reflect the demerger of our housebuilding businesses in 2020 and only includes construction and Group activities. For full data including the disposed businesses please view our Annual Report 2019.

**Carbon dioxide equivalent emissions are reported by calendar year and since 2014 have been externally certified to ISO14064-3. Emissions cover all those arising from our fleet, gas and electricity in all offices and sites and all other fuel used directly (for example diesel on site) as per the Greenhouse Gas Protocol definitions of Scope 1 and 2 emissions (including our share of emissions from joint ventures).

Performance

We were pleased to reduce our waste per £100,000 from 16.4 tonnes per year to 14.5, and to maintain a good level of waste diverted from landfill at 95%. While there was an increase in our Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions (intensity increase from 1.70 to 2.02), this was solely due to consumption of on-site fuel, in particular, some large remote infrastructure projects. When these are excluded from our carbon and cost performance metrics, the performance improvement in terms of carbon dioxide emissions is akin to performance reported over the last few years.