Environment & climate change

We recognise the urgency of the climate change agenda and champion the role we have to play in decarbonising the economy for a greener, more sustainable future. Our focus is on minimising the carbon emissions within our own operations and reducing the whole-life carbon of the buildings, infrastructure and services we provide. In 2021, we committed to achieving net zero across our own operations (Scope 1 and 2) by 2030 and net zero across all activities (Scope 1, 2 and 3) by 2045. In doing so, Galliford Try has joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees and the UN-backed campaign Race to Zero.

In setting these net zero targets, we committed to reducing our emissions as far as possible, and offsetting the residual emissions at the target years. During 2023, our near-term targets, which support our net zero targets, were validated by the SBTi (Science Based Targets initiative). This provides independent assurance that our projected emissions reduction trajectory is aligned to the ambition of limiting global warming to  1.5°C. The trajectory towards net zero is unlikely to be linear, and in some years, we may see our emissions increase as the volume and mix of projects changes.

Achieving net zero through our Carbon Reduction Plan 

Policies and 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 standards and policies that are integrated into our BMS through extensive training, our intranet and by promoting our Code of Conduct, ‘Doing the right thing’, to all our employees.

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.

In our Annual Report 2023 (published in October), we have made disclosures in line with the recommendations of the Task force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), including outlining the key risks and opportunities that climate change poses to our business.

Key Performance Indicators
Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions on a like-for-like basis (1,2)

(CO2e tonnes)

Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions on a like-for-like basis (1,2) Chart
Scope 3 verified carbon emissions on a like-for-like basis (1,2)

(CO2e tonnes)

Scope 3 verified carbon emissions on a like-for-like basis (1,2) Chart
Full Scope 3 estimated carbon emissions (2)

(CO2e tonnes)

Full Scope 3 estimated carbon emissions (2) Chart
Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions (2)

(CO2e tonnes)

Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions (2) Chart
Scope 3 verified carbon emissions (2)

(CO2e tonnes)

Scope 3 verified carbon emissions (2) Chart
Waste intensity (2)

(tn/£100k revenue)

Waste intensity (2) Chart

1 Like-for-like emissions exclude from all years, the impact of the acquisitions in 2021 and 2022, and minor changes made to the Scope 2 methodology in 2022 to: include an estimate of energy consumption in offices where the electricity usage is included in the rent/service charge; to use mileage claim data to calculate emissions from electric vehicle charging; and to exclude consumption for our FM clients where we pay the bill, as these should not have been included.

2 Carbon dioxide equivalent emissions and waste intensity are reported by calendar year, therefore the emissions reported for FY23 relate to the calendar year 2022. Since 2014, our reported emissions have been externally verified to the ISO 14064-3 assurance standard.

Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions

Our Scope 1 emissions predominantly relate to fuel use in company cars and vans and on-site plant and equipment. Scope 2 emissions relate to consumption of electricity in our sites and permanent offices. On a like-for-like basis, excluding the impact of the acquisitions in 2021 and 2022, and minor changes1 made to the Scope 2 methodology in 2022, our Scope 1 and 2 emissions showed a 5.6% reduction, from 10,176 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions in 2021 to 9,604 in 2022, continuing our downward trajectory since we first started reporting in 2012. Our performance reflects a number of ongoing initiatives including:

+ A reduction in the amount of diesel used to power plant and equipment on our sites.

+ Earlier connections to mains electricity supply.

+ More energy efficient site office and welfare cabins.

+ A transition to an electric and plugin hybrid vehicle company car fleet following which, at 30 June 2023, 79% of the 1,512 vehicles in our company car fleet were electric or plug-in hybrid and the average emissions per vehicle had reduced to 30.0g/km (30 June 2022: 60.1g/km).

Including the acquisitions and Scope 2 methodology changes, we saw a 9.5% increase in our Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions from 10,795 in 2021 to 11,822 in 2022. We have now reduced carbon emissions within our own operations by 69% from 2012 to 2022 on a like-for-like basis, and remain on track to achieve our target of achieving net zero by 2030.

Scope 3 emissions

Scope 3 – verified emissions

For calendar years 2021 and 2022, we have reported emissions from Scope 3 categories where we had sufficient source data such as business travel expense claims, and information regarding employee commuting to calculate emissions using a distance-based method. These emissions are included within the boundary of the external verification.

Our verified Scope 3 emissions increased by 27.6% from 5,530 in 2021 to 7,055 in 2022 on a like-for-like basis, excluding acquisitions from both years. Including the acquisitions, our verified Scope 3 emissions increased from 6,041 in 2021 to 8,760 in 2022. The biggest contributor to this increase was the expected post pandemic return to more normal levels of employee commuting and business travel.

Full Scope 3 – estimated emissions

To gain a better understanding of our full carbon footprint, during the year, we have developed a model for estimating the carbon emissions across all other Scope 3 categories, with support from the Carbon Trust. The model is aligned to the Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting & Reporting Standard, and uses a spend-based method to estimate our emissions for categories of activity where detailed activity data is not readily available, such as construction materials that are procured indirectly through our subcontractors, rather than directly from the product supplier. Using this model, we have been able to estimate our full Scope 3 emissions for the first time.

Currently, we do not include full Scope 3 emissions within the boundary of the external verification due to the inherent limitations of the spend-based method, and we will continue to report the verified Scope 3 emissions as well as our estimate of our full Scope 3 emissions.

Our estimated Scope 3 emissions decreased by 2.1% from 487,220 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions to 477,042. We are unable to calculate a like-like basis excluding acquisitions due to current limitations in the model.

Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)

CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) is the global ‘gold standard’ for corporate environmental reporting. In 2022, we participated in the CDP Climate Change reporting process for the first time as a standalone construction group, achieving a score of C - Awareness Level. Making public disclosures through CDP provides transparent reporting of our carbon reduction targets, initiatives and performance, and also how we are managing the risks and opportunities presented by climate change. This score provides a baseline against which we can monitor the progress we are making in managing climate-related issues.

Carbon and energy performance, initiatives and SECR reporting

The data included in the table below covers the reporting requirements detailed in the SECR regulations. As we report our carbon and energy data in calendar years, the following section represents our carbon and energy performance for Galliford Try for the calendar years 2022 and 2021. We are pleased to report another reduction in our Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions intensity to 0.89 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per £100,000 of revenue in 2022 from 0.91 in 2021. This reflects the various initiatives we have taken to become more energy efficient and reduce the carbon footprint of our own operations. Overall, we have reduced our Scope 1 and 2 (location-based) carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 61% since 2012 from 30,587 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions in 2012 to 11,822 tonnes in 2022. On a like-for-like basis, re-baselining 2012 emissions to reflect the acquisitions made during 2021 and 2022, Scope 1 and 2 emissions have reduced by 69%.

Galliford Try’s operations are wholly within the UK and as such this is where reported emissions arise.

Tonnes of CO2e

Emissions source



Emissions from combustion of gas (Scope 1)



Emissions from combustion of fuel for transport purposes (Scope 1)



Emissions from fuel oil supplies ie diesel consumed (Scope 1)



Fugitive emissions from office facilities ie air conditioning systems (Scope 1)



Emissions from purchased electricity (Scope 2, location-based)



Emissions from purchased electricity (Scope 2, market-based)



Emissions from fuel and energy-related activities (Scope 3)



Emissions from business travel (Scope 3)



Emissions from employee commuting (Scope 3)



Carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (tCO2 e)are calculated using the methodology in ISO 14064-1 and the UK Government GHG Conversion Factors and Methodology for Company Reporting 2022, which are also subject to external verification. 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) including our share of emissions from joint ventures. Where data is obtained in litres used and distance travelled, these conversion factors have been used to convert to kWh.

Annual energy usage

Our total energy use, calculated from Defra 2022 conversion factors, for all our UK activities was 52,118,358kWh (2021: 48,382,602 kWh). This increase is driven by the acquisitions made in 2021 and 2022 and an increase in commuting and business travel post-pandemic, which is partially offset by reduced electricity consumption and other energy efficiencies.

Energy consumption is calculated using the same reporting boundary (operational control) that we use to calculate our carbon emissions.

Energy efficiency measures undertaken

We continue to take measures to reduce our carbon emissions, including:

  • In September 2021, we committed to providing only electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles in our company car fleet.
  • Continued to promote the use of hybrid generators for temporary power on our construction sites in preference to the use of conventional diesel only powered units.
  • Continued to utilise our Agile & Smart Working policies across the business, which promote alternative options for travel to offices and sites using online communication technologies such as Microsoft Teams.
  • Developed a Green Site Set-up Guide  to accelerate the adoption of good practice across our projects and support the transition to diesel-free construction sites.

Waste performance

Our waste intensity increased in the year, reflecting the growth in our Infrastructure business, which tends to have higher waste intensity projects. However, waste continues to be an area of focus, with increased use of Modern Methods of Construction, especially off-site manufacture, which can reduce the volumes of waste produced. We also manage our waste streams to maximise recycling and minimise waste to landfill, with 94.5% of our waste diverted from landfill (2022: 96.3%).

Water management 

Our project environment plans, already include a water management section which addresses management of consents for water abstraction and discharge, and water course pollution control. However, we recognise the importance of responsible use of water resources, including measures to reduce water consumption. We are now obtaining water consumption data as part of our environmental reporting and will use this to establish baseline performance and to inform the development of reduction targets.

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