Winner: Laing O’Rourke
Laing O’Rourke landed the award for Sustainable Contractor of the Year after impressing the judges with its fierce commitment to sustainability that is championed across the business.
Instead of just being an add-on, the concept of sustainability and innovation runs through the heart of the firm’s operation.
Laing O’Rourke’s senior leaders have led the way through presenting videos, driving training and development on sustainability, and launching a sustainability champions network.
On site, the company has been pushing its sustainable credentials with the use of design for manufacture and assembly precast columns, which use 39 per cent less reinforcing steel than in-situ alternatives. At its project at 251 Southwark Bridge Road, this meant 415 tonnes of steel were saved and material costs were cut by 25 per cent.
Judges noted a real “level of ambition”, with its investment in offsite being a particular strength in helping foster a more sustainable business.
A number of other projects have illustrated the firm’s sustainability credentials.
Laing O’Rourke’s work on Tideway’s central section has involved managing the environmental impacts. As part of the scheme, 100 per cent of the company’s steel, aggregate, timber and concrete products hold a responsible sourcing certificate.
“Laing O’Rourke shows an exceptional commitment to innovation in sustainability through a strong network of leaders and champions as well as outside partnerships”
The firm also won the project to redevelop Oxford’s Westgate Shopping Centre by demonstrating how to cut the embodied carbon of the initial design by more than 12 per cent in line with the project’s low-carbon target.
The contractor moved to embed sustainability commitments into the business through a Sustainability Week last year. The purpose of this was to communicate to staff the growing importance of sustainability and boost understanding.
Around 1,300 staff and supply chain employees attended events during the week and nearly 140 conversations were had on the firm’s internal social media network about the initiative. The week also involved outreach events to promote sustainability in the wider industry to more than 1,000 young people.
Looking ahead, Laing O’Rourke has paved the way for using CEMFree (cement-free concrete) through laboratory research in collaboration with David Ball Group and Hanson.
The firm has also seen a 26 per cent reduction in construction waste per unit turnover since its main factory opened in 2010.
Laing O’Rourke’s motto in this area is “sustainability through re-thinking construction” and the company has proved it is living up to this standard.
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In 2016 it achieved a turnover of £330m. Imtech’s focus is on operational excellence through the design and delivery of innovative, sustainable and resilient solutions. Working closely with its clients, the company develops the right solutions by understanding the intricacies of each contract and project. This ensures they are all delivered effectively and to the highest of standards.
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