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Building firms fall short on green credentials

As few as 18 per cent of the UK's building firms see cutting back on waste as important for their companies - while 86 per cent do not see the environment as an important issue, research out today showed.
The industry has got a significant waste problem according to the findings published by Mori in a study commissioned by Envirowise.

Over 13 million tonnes of completely unused building materials are discarded as waste every year which is the equivalent of 5.4 billion bricks costing around £855 million and enough to build 490,000 houses; cement worth up to £1.7 billion or sand worth up to £455 million.

Construction accounts for 10 per cent of Gross Domestic Product in the UK, consisting of 180,000 companies employing over 1.5 million people but it produces 20 per cent of all UK waste.

Construction and demolition is also responsible for 21 per cent of hazardous waste in the UK and in 2002 construction waste accounted for 24 per cent of all fly tipping incidents.

Envirowise today launched a service designed specifically to help building firms to cut down on waste.

Firms can now access a range of free support services including advice on developing and implementing site waste management plans, a range of guides and confidential on-site assessments.

Envirowise programme director Dr Martin Gibson said 'It is clear that there are huge savings to be made in the construction sector, both financial and environmental. This is particularly relevant at the moment, as the high price of oil is threatening to increase the cost of basic materials like bricks.

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