Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


Willmott Dixon aims to be net zero carbon by 2030

29 September 2020
Rick Willmott

Willmott Dixon has set out plans for its new building and refurbishment projects to be net zero carbon in operation by 2030, and for its supply chain to be net zero carbon by 2040.

The contractor claims to have been a net zero or carbon-neutral business since 2012, with all unavoidable carbon emitted each year being off-set by investing in carbon reduction projects across the world, while reducing carbon emissions intensity from its own operations by 61% since 2010.

Under its new sustainable development strategy, ‘Now or Never; our decisive decade’ it now plans to cut all operational carbon emissions to zero by 2030.  

The new strategy is underpinned by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which has approved Willmott Dixon’s emissions reduction targets as being in line with an overall need to limit a global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels to prevent the most damaging effects of climate change.

The ‘Now or Never’ strategy is split into three themes: Brilliant Buildings, Building Lives and Better Planet, which reflect Willmott Dixon’s aim to deliver low carbon products, protect, nurture and enhance the environment, create better life opportunities for people and leave a positive legacy for future generations to benefit from.

Other targets in the strategy include:

  • 100,000 trees to be planted by 2030;
  • 1,000 people who face major barriers to finding work will be supported in finding long-term careers;
  • all buildings and major refurbishments will be delivered with net zero embodied carbon by 2040 (with a net reduction in embodied carbon of 55% by 2030 compared to business as usual in 2020); and
  • improving the lives of 100,000 people through a series of interventions by Willmott Dixon people.

Group chief executive Rick Willmott said: “We’ve set some ambitious targets, some of the toughest for the construction sector, as we feel that now is the time for bold action if we are to bequeath future generations a planet not suffering from the consequences of past inaction in tackling the causes of climate change, but instead is one that they can live and thrive in.

“In laying out our road map for the next decade, we are also setting out how we are going to work with customers, supply chain partners and industry colleagues in creating a carbon free construction sector, as this is an issue that impacts on everyone, and we’ll need to work together to achieve our common aspirations for a ‘greener’ built environment.”