2020 started as a relatively normal year, but by March, the world was grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic. In the UK, schools, businesses, and our families shut their doors as we stayed at home to save lives.
The pandemic created unprecedented challenges for the construction industry and for all of us at Willmott Dixon. However, our people and supply chain partners adapted; we found ways to keep moving forward. Virtually all of our projects remained open from the first day of lockdown in March. We were determined to continue our work supporting our customers, creating vital school places, building essential housing and supporting local economies.
As I reflect on what has been a challenging year, it is clear that the pandemic provided us with an opportunity to fast track change – we have been able to accelerate our approach to agile working on our projects and in our offices, improving work life balance for our people whilst also reducing our impact on the planet.
Sustainability has always been a core value at Willmott Dixon. Over the life of our first sustainability strategy, Transforming Tomorrow (2013-2020), we achieved many milestones. Some of the stand-out achievements include:
- Meeting our carbon emissions reduction target three years early
- Meeting our target to enhance the lives of 10,000 young people 19 months early
- Slashing our construction waste intensity by 58%
- Remaining carbon neutral for the ninth year running
Our first strategy has stood us in good stead, but we need to go further. The environmental and social challenges our world faces have never been greater, and businesses like ours need to play their part by stepping up and taking action.
Our new strategy, Now or Never, Our Decisive Decade (2020-2030), sets us a number of bold ambitions, supporting our purpose to deliver brilliant buildings, transform lives, strengthen communities, and enhance the environment so our world is fit for future generations.
I am proud of our sustainability achievements to date and of the people in our business who have made it happen. I have every confidence that they will rise to the sustainability challenges, we have posed, for the decisive decade ahead.