Wates sets 2025 zero-waste and zero-carbon target

13 January 2020 | By CM staff

John Dunne, group health, safety, environment and quality director, Wates

Wates Group has committed to a “zero harm” environment policy after setting itself demanding targets on waste and carbon emissions.

The company wants to reduce and then eliminate all waste from its on-site operations within five years, as well as meeting a zero-carbon commitment for its operations and operational vehicles, which will involve switching to an all-electric commercial vehicle fleet.

Meanwhile, it plans to eliminate single-use plastic from its operations and supply chain, invest in sustainable building techniques, organise sustainability placements for graduate and apprenticeship staff, plant 5,000 trees annually and ensure that all sites or frameworks deliver at least one nature enhancement project – such as local conservation work.

In 2020, its focus will be on raising awareness, education and engagement, as well as using data collection to set accurate benchmarks, as well as working out how to work collaboratively with customers, supply chain and joint venture partners to reduce waste and emissions.

The company pointed to the work it has already done to reduce its environmental impact, including offsetting 1,042 tonnes of CO2 in 2019 by supporting international offset projects. It also planted 5,230 trees in the UK, while 74% of the electricity used by the Wates Group came from renewable sources.

Stretching targets

David Allen, Wates chief executive, said: “We have established bold, ambitious, deliberately stretching targets for creating zero harm to the environment by 2025 because we believe that by committing to something extraordinary, we can achieve something extraordinary.  Together with our partners, we will reduce waste and carbon, and improve our natural environment for generations to come.

“Our industry has made and continues to make an unhelpful contribution to the global climate crisis.  We have a responsibility to reduce and eventually to reverse the impact we’re having on our planet and are determined that everyone in the Wates Group will do what is necessary to make a real and lasting difference.”

John Dunne, group health, safety, environment and quality director, added: “It’s no secret that we work in one of the least environmentally sustainable industries in the world. According to the Construction Climate Challenge, our sector is responsible for up to 50% of climate change, 40% of energy usage and 50% of landfill waste.

“At Wates, we know that this cannot continue. We are choosing to take a leading role in reducing our industry’s environmental impact. We work with a diverse range of public and private sector partners and businesses of all sizes are part of our supply chain. A key part of achieving zero harm to the environment will be working collaboratively with these partners.  Our strategy will focus our attentions and energies on achieving zero waste, zero carbon and positive nature enhancement by 2025; and everyone has a vital role to play in achieving it.”

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