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Landfill target is attainable

LETTERS

Sir, I applaud the efforts of Wrap and the Strategic Forum to reduce waste and improve the use of resources within the construction industry ('Call to halve waste by 2012', Materials, November 30). All members of the supply chain should look to embrace this challenge and prove they are serious about sustainability.

Cutting the volume of material being sent to landfill to 15 million tonnes within the next six years is an ambitious target but it is not one to fear. The industry should relish the opportunity this poses to improve its environmental credentials.

Education will be critical. Efforts must be made to ensure that all members of the supply chain understand the impact that their actions can have on the environment in order to encourage a more sustainable approach to construction.

At a boardroom level, decision-makers must recognise the need to share environmental best practice. A commitment to corporate social responsibility is no longer sufficient, companies must be seen to be acting, which for many means rethinking the way they do business.

We have an internal environmental committee that meets once a month to discuss our internal and external approach to sustainability and thus environmental concerns become an integral part of the company's ethos.

In order for waste targets to be met, more companies must be looking to follow examples such as these. Rather than relying on the difference that high-profile projects such as Thames Gateway and the 2012 Olympics stand to make on the industry's environmental impact, firms must face up to their long-term responsibilities and take decisive action to show the world what best practice can achieve.

Stephen Gee Managing partner John Rowan & Partners London W5