Willmott Dixon Group chief executive Rick Willmott announces plans to halve the amount of carbon emitted by 2020 compared to 2010

Willmott Dixon has been carbon neutral since 2012 following a significant programme of internal carbon reduction projects and external off-sets when necessary.

Rick Willmott highlighted the on-going focus on cutting carbon from business operations, saying: “There is a clear link between being commercially successful and being sustainable; cutting carbon boosts the bottom line. As a result of implementing our previous Carbon Management Plan, we are now saving around £3m a year in fuel and energy costs. We will shortly be issuing a new Energy and Carbon Management Strategy which will set out how we will cut carbon produced by our construction projects and other business operations by half compared with our 2010 baseline, and save us a similar amount in fuel and energy costs.”

The target now is to emit 50% less emissions per £million of turnover than 2010, when total emissions were 18,150 tonnes and emission intensity (tonnes CO2e per £m of turnover) was at 18.3. By 2020, that will reduce per £1m of turnover to 9.25 tonnes CO2e.

Willmott Dixon has already seen a 30% reduction in carbon emission intensity (emissions relative to turnover) compared to 2010. Reasons for the operational improvements include a new fleet telemetry system for more efficient movement of commercial vehicles, paying over £400,000 in green bonuses since 2008 for staff choosing low emission company cars and reimbursing staff for 560,293 car share miles.

As diesel generators emit approximately 50% more carbon than grid electricity on a construction site, a key part of Willmott Dixon’s strategy has been to increase the use of temporary grid electricity supplies as well as installing electrical zoning and out-of-hours ‘off’ switches to minimise unnecessary electricity use.

Going forward, the company aims to continue tackling high–impact areas like business travel and site emissions. Rick continued: “We have an acute understanding of the value of sustainability to our overall success and this focus will not be diminished by other priorities. Reducing the carbon produced by our operations is an essential long-term strategic aim and one that all our team are totally committed to in their day-to-day work.”

Darran Messem, managing director, Carbon Trust Certification, said: “We would like to congratulate Willmott Dixon for achieving certification to the Carbon Trust Standard for Carbon. This award recognises the company’s achievements in making real reductions in its carbon emissions. Willmott Dixon has demonstrated that the company takes a rigorous and comprehensive approach to sustainability, which includes a substantial focus on reducing energy use and emissions. This commitment is setting an example to the wider construction industry.”

Want to know more? Contact Sharon Davies