Building responsiblyBuilding responsibly

Building responsibly

From working towards net zero, diverting the amount of waste we send to landfill and increasing the percentage of material we recycle, we are focused on our sustainability responsibilities.

Towards net zero

Climate scientists have set out a need to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 if we are to have an orderly transition to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

Short-term Carbon Reduction

Our target is to deliver an 80% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions from use of fuel and electricity by 2031. This target is based on work undertaken in 2021 to develop an emissions reduction strategy for the business.

How we do it

A number of projects are underway to help us reach our target. They include solar technology trials, the use of hybrid generators on our development sites and increasing the supply of renewable electricity across our operations. 

Other projects such as reducing machinery idling on sites, solar-backed sales facilities, and increasing our use of electric vehicles are also being considered.

How it is measured

Our progress in reducing carbon emissions is measured in terms of our absolute reduction in tonnes of carbon equivalent or TCO2e. We also track our emissions against build area and number of homes completed each year. This allows like-for-like comparisons to be made across businesses and sectors and helps us keep track of how efficiently we are operating.

Commitment to Net Zero - Scope 3

Reaching Net Zero entails addressing emissions across the entire supply chain, including Scope 3 or ‘indirect’ emissions. Scope 3 emissions are usually much larger in scale than Scope 1 and 2 emissions and for housebuilders, the way in which our homes are used by customers after they move in has a significant impact on Scope 3.

How we do it

We completed our first assessment of Scope 3 emissions at the end of 2022. This assessment is essential to our commitment to model and formulate our Net Zero proposals. It will also help us assess climate risk and disclosure requirements under the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework.

Once the findings of our Scope 3 assessment have been fully reviewed, we will use the results to model potential Net Zero pathways and timelines in order to agree an appropriate target date for reaching Net Zero.

How it is measured

Measuring Scope 3 emissions is a complex and iterative process which follows recognised standards for carbon accounting and reporting.

Our energy, materials, cost, waste, services and travel data for a given annual period is collated and carbon factors applied to each element to create a carbon footprint for the entire value chain of our business. 

Reducing waste

Billions of tonnes of resources are extracted annually causing damage to the environment and resulting in huge volumes of carbon emissions. Many of these resources ultimately end up as waste. We are focused on reducing our use of raw materials, avoiding landfill and increasing recycling rates, as well as avoiding waste in the first place. 

Illustration of the waste hierarchy which promotes the prevention of waste ahead of recycling and recovery.

98% diversion from landfill by 2025

We work hard to ensure that materials are not simply disposed of but are recovered, our strategy is to replace a linear ‘take, make, dispose’ model with a circular economy approach.

In 2022 we worked with our waste partners to divert 98% of our waste from landfill and into recycling or recovery processes.

How we do it

Diversion rates across the regions are driven by onsite controls and segregation and working with waste contractors who can recover high levels of waste materials through their processes.

Our Yorkshire region is currently piloting a partnership with a single waste contractor and has achieved a diversion rate of 99%.

How it is measured

Our diversion of waste from landfill is measured through reports supplied by our waste contractors which split out waste sent to landfill, for recovery, recycling and reuse by material type and site.

75% recycling rate across group by 2025

Reducing the use of raw materials is essential. One way to do this is to recycle waste materials back into new ones, ideally the same raw material which can then be used again.

How we do it

Analysis of recycling rates across current suppliers has highlighted those waste contractors who can already deliver good recycling rates and those that will require improvement. By working with our waste partners, we aim to place more waste with the best performing processors in the sector.

How it is measured

A new reporting template has been established with all waste contractors to ensure we can accurately and easily track our recycling rate going forward.

Our recycling rate for 2022 was better than our original target for the year. As a result, we will re-assess our targets and the timescales we have set for increasing recycling rates.

Most importantly, in 2023 we will set a target to reduce the amount of waste produced across our business.

Reduction of waste per EBU in 2023

While avoiding landfill and increasing recycling rates are key elements of a waste strategy, the ultimate goal is to avoid waste in the first instance. This KPI is important in driving our management of waste materials further up the waste hierarchy. 

How we do it

A reduction in reported waste per EBU is achieved by ensuring that inert wastes are used on site where possible, and not disposed of via skips, and reusable waste streams such as pallets are returned to suppliers.

Further work is also required to explore opportunities to prevent waste arising on site, through considering pre-cut materials such as plasterboard and flooring.

How it is measured

Our waste contractors provide reports with data on total tonnes of waste produced at each site. We divide these volumes by monthly production numbers to derive a waste per EBU number for sites, regions and the group as a whole.