Sustainability covers a broad range of factors and these finalists have demonstrated excellence in areas including carbon reduction, recycling, responsible sourcing and biodiversity.
Balfour Beatty’s Blueprint strategy covers community engagement, local employment/skills and supply chain engagement, and is designed to make the business more sustainable.
The firm is committed to the 5 per cent club, in which companies aim for graduates and apprentices to comprise 5 per cent of their workforces, with Balfour currently at 3.2 per cent.
It has also carried out an independent socio-economic assessment to determine the benefits Balfour brings to local communities through its work – informing the development of its community investment programme.
2014 marked the seventh year of BRE’s sustainability strategy, the S Plan, which sets measured annual targets for the business in CO2 emissions, community engagement, information systems, resource efficiency, supply chain engagement, ecology, transport and water.
The firm has significantly reduced its energy, water and CO2 emissions, while improving the biodiversity of its 28 ha site by creating a new nature trail.
Last year also saw 2,141 schoolchildren take part in BRE’s free Education for Sustainable Development programme.
Outcomes of Interserve Construction’s efforts on sustainability in 2014 include 79 per cent of UK construction waste recycled, 3,475 items of food donated to Birmingham Central Foodbank, and handing out more than £75,000 from the Interserve Employee Foundation to its employee-nominated charities.
Interserve also launched an innovation team and its Big Ideas Hunt to capture new initiatives and met its target to reduce carbon emissions from energy used at UK fixed-site locations.
J Murphy & Sons
During 2014, J Murphy developed a sustainability roadmap to help it ensure effective internal planning, as well as externally engaging stakeholders to encourage involvement and change.
The firm established targets to measure the embodied carbon on all its projects, working closely with clients and designers to design out unsuitable materials.
It also launched an innovation microsite to capture innovation taking place within the business, including its 360 Degrees Engineering process, which has seen significant carbon emissions reduction already.
Housebuilder and developer Larkfleet Group focuses on building energy-efficient homes and investing in sustainability-focused R&D projects.
The company has worked on developing a new kind of prototype house – the Larkfleet PassiveHouse.
Designed and constructed using lightweight materials and offsite techniques, it meets both Passivhaus and CSH Level 6 standards for thermal resistance and airtightness, and is the first of its type with potential for mass production and widespread use across the UK.
Martek Contracts installed a biomass generator at its production facility in 2014 to dispose of waste timber products, producing a clean, carbon-neutral output which substantially reduces its energy costs.
It has also reduced the volume of waste going to landfill by a massive 80 per cent.
The firm is fully committed to further improving its sustainability, and recently consulted with clients (management contractors in particular) to discuss how it could make further improvements to its supply chain this year, as well as what new BRE requirements and changes will mean for the company.
Achievements by Redrow Homes in 2014 include providing 110 ha of public open space, reducing carbon emissions to 2.64 tonnes of CO2e/100 sq m, diverting 93.6 per cent site of waste from landfill and sourcing 96 per cent of building materials locally.
The firm is also the first UK housebuilder to partner with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to create onsite pollinator-friendly planting, also increasing customers’ awareness of wildlife gardening.
It also recently agreed a 12-month partnership with RSPB to support its Homes for Nature campaign.
Skanska recorded several sustainable achievements in 2014, including the UK’s first zero-carbon project to pay back in under 15 years.
The company also launched Skanska in the Community, unveiled a £100,000 Green Fund created to support innovation, achieved 100 per cent electricity use from renewable sources for its fixed offices/facilities, and partnered with Ecotricity to deliver 350 MW of new green energy.
Embedding sustainability is a core value for the Skanska brand, throughout the entire company and its supply chain.