The construction industry has a significant impact on the environment through its use of natural resources in creating buildings and infrastructure. As such, Willmott Dixon has an absolute responsibility to reduce this impact, bringing about reductions in both the consumption of primary resources whilst ensuring that materials are ethically and responsibly sourced.
The materials we use, and the way in which we use them is directly linked to reducing our impact on the environmental and consumption of natural resources.
Procurement of materials
In 2012 we issued our revised Group Sustainable Procurement Policy which sets out the standards for procurement of goods, works and services that strike a responsible balance between social, economic and environmental factors. Our approach to sustainable procurement is in line with the principles contained within BS 8903 and below is a summary of our approach below in respect of selected materials – please refer to our policy for further details.
Responsible sourcing prevents the exploitation of people and land. We require our supply chain to be able tell us where materials have come from and provide details of the processes and people employed in producing them. This is part of our effort to create more transparency throughout our supply chain. Our policy sets out a clear strategy for responsible sourcing, including short, medium and long term expectations.
To enable Willmott Dixon to effectively undertake environmental assessments of products and materials and to quantify these impacts, we have set out what we require from our supply chain within the Implementation Matrix contained within our policy.
We have set progressive targets for recycled content levels on our construction projects and regularly achieve over 20% on our projects.
Global warming potential (GWP)
To reduce the contribution we make to climate change, we require our suppliers to specify and use substances, (including refrigerants and insulants) with a GWP of less than five, where technically feasible.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
We are seeking to minimise the impact of materials containing toxic VOCs sourced by Willmott Dixon directly and through its supply chain.
All paper used must either be recycled or, if virgin fibres are used, these must have been sourced under an approved and certified chain of custody.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
We consider alternatives to PVC with relation to environmental, economic and social impacts. Where PVC is required we will ensure that it is responsibly manufactured and disposed of.
Willmott Dixon will engage with manufacturers, suppliers and contractors to jointly develop strategies in reducing packaging on our projects.
Renewable and non-renewable materials
Renewable resources have the ability to reproduce through biological or natural processes and replenished with the passage of time. They are usually part of our natural environment and form our eco-system. Timber is probably the most consumed natural material we use, and to ensure that this is sustainable we will only use timber and timber products which are certified as such by either FSC or PEFC.
A non-renewable resource is a natural resource which cannot be reproduced, grown, generated, or used on a scale which can sustain its consumption rate, once depleted there is no more available for future needs. Minerals and metals are prime examples of non-renewable resources; we must use these responsibly and ensure that they can be recovered at the end of life and we will encourage the use of recycled content.