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Willmott Dixon unveils tough carbon cutting targets

By 09/10/2020No Comments

Willmott Dixon targets its buildings to be net zero carbon in use by 2030 and supply chain to be zero carbon by 2040

Willmott Dixon is targeting that all new build and refurbishment projects delivered from 2030 will be net zero carbon in operation under its new 2030 sustainable development strategy, ‘Now or Never; our decisive decade.’

The strategy also sees the company pledge that its own operations will be zero carbon in 10years’ time and is aiming for its supply chain partners to be net zero carbon in operation by 2040.

Willmott Dixon has been a net zero or carbon neutral business since 2012, with all unavoidable carbon emitted each year being off-set by investing in high-quality carbon reduction projects across the world, while reducing carbon emissions intensity from its own operations by 61 per cent since 2010. ‘Now or Never’ will see the company 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 preindustrial 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 (see box below), 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)
  • Improving the lives of 100,000 people through a series of interventions by Willmott Dixon people

Group Chief Executive Rick Willmott explained: “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.”

Willmott Dixon has set out three core areas of focus for its Now or Never, the 2030 strategy, these are:

Brilliant Buildings

  • All our new buildings and major refurbishments will achieve net zero operational carbon
  • All our new buildings and major refurbishments will be future-climate ready and optimise user health and wellbeing
  • By the end of 2040, all our buildings and major refurbishments will be delivered with net zero embodied carbon
  • By the end of 2040, our supply chain will achieve net zero operational carbon

Building Lives

  • We will deliver high-impact social value which we can demonstrate meets the needs of local communities wherever we work
  • How we do business will set the standard for social value in our sector
  • We will support people who face significant barriers to be in, or on the path to, good careers

Better Planet

  • We will be a zero- carbon company without any offsetting
  • We will generate zero avoidable waste
  • We will halve the volume of water we use on our projects
  • We will deliver environmental net gain on all our projects

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