Our procurement of goods, materials and services inevitably leads to the creation of waste; both in the installation of newly-procured materials and the removal of existing materials. In 2008 Willmott Dixon set an ambitious and industry-leading commitment to divert all construction, demolition and excavation waste from landfill by the end of 2012.
We have worked hard to achieve this, and are pleased with our progress with annual diversion from landfill rates increasing year-on-year from 60% in 2007 to 95% in 2012. During the year we generated 13.9m3 of waste per £100,000 project value. Our target going forward is to reduce the quantity of waste generated by 5% year-on-year.
Key to achieving our goal is identifying which waste streams are still being be sent to landfill, eliminating them or finding ways these materials can be reused, recycled or recovered. This includes designing out and working to avoid generating these wastes, developing takeback schemes with manufacturers, and working with waste management companies able to divert these wastes from landfill.
We continue to work towards our commitment and a number of projects we completed in the year demonstrated that diversion from landfill performance in excess of 98% is achievable.
We aim to manage waste on our sites in the most efficient way by encouraging re-use and recycling on-site, maximising segregation and ensuring we are working with waste contractors with the highest diversion from landfill rates.
Our Environmental Data System allows us to identify waste streams that are still difficult to divert from landfill, and we are working with a number of manufacturers to trial and implement takeback schemes for these materials.
We are working with product suppliers to apply the waste hierarchy to the management of waste materials and encourage re-use ahead of recycling and recovery, for example making use of discarded furniture and the repair and repatriation of pallets.
These initiatives are improving our management of waste and increasing diversion from landfill, as well as helping us reduce costs.
Our target to divert 100% of waste from landfill through minimising and managing waste is a responsible aim, but we also recognise the need to ‘close the loop’ by specifying materials with higher recycled content, thereby helping to create markets for the materials we and others are recycling.
This will help to reduce the quantities of material sent to landfill and use of virgin materials. The take-back schemes we are developing with manufacturers – in addition to improving diversion from landfill – also promote closed-loop recycling, thus increasing the recycled content of their materials.
Our new Sustainable Procurement Policy strengthens our aims in this area, and we encourage and incentivise projects to increase the recycled content of materials procured through our 10-Point Sustainable Project Criteria.
On our Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 project in Hounslow we wanted to increase the amount of everyday waste that could be reused or recycled on site.
We provided a central composting facility where residents can make their own compost, reducing the amount of waste sent away from site.
Based on official measurements, residents should see their energy bills cut by half, as well as enjoy other features including;
· a rain water recycling system which could reduce water consumption by up to 80 litres per day – half the current national average water consumption
· allotments and a mini orchard
· active heating controls which use rain water collected in an underground tank to cool the building when it gets too hot
We have site waste champions to promote best practice and report waste data on the Environmental Data System.
Our Environmental Managers regularly visit sites to audit operations and ensure procedures minimise the environmental impact of operations. They also review their site’s energy and waste data.
Recycling on Projects
As part of the ‘Better Schools For All’ initiative, we worked with 12 schools in the Rutland area to build greenhouses which used plastic bottles in place of traditional glass frames. The projects educated people on the benefits of recycling, as well as providing new facilities.
To reinforce the sustainability message, recycled timber was donated by TREES Group and the frames were manufactured by young offenders from Glen Parva prison.
Reducing Everyday Waste
We know that homeowners may not be familiar with the environmental and sustainability features of their new home when moving in. In order to encourage them to get the best sustainability performance out of their homes, we provide them with a home user guide.
All our guides cover the following areas:
· Energy efficient features of the new home
· How to save energy
· Water efficient fittings
· Renewable energy sources
· Low energy white goods
· Recycling units within the home and composting facilities on site
· Fire detectors
· Sustainability and DIY
· Local services/links and amenities
· Public transport