Protecting the environment from the effects of our daily activities is at the very heart of what we do. As an organisation we feel passionate about making sure our activities go as far as possible to protect the public, and beyond that enhance the environment and encourage biodiversity.
Our Sustainability Plan sets out how we are going to achieve this and also explains how we plan to help deliver key government initiatives, A Green Future: 25-Year Plan and Construction 2025. While sustaining a clean growth strategy and supporting our customers green ambitions.
This plan underpins the short-term Flannery strategy and our 2025 vision for a sustainable future. It sits alongside our recently launched People Plan to demonstrate how we deliver it.
Our sustainability goals drive innovative practises / ways of working and investment decisions. They provide the framework for us to deliver social and environmental benefits. Examples include:
- Protecting water course from spillages by utilising our huge fleet of machines using biodegradable oils.
- Challenging ourselves to undertake our work as sustainably by training our operators to use their machines more efficiently and by driving the adoption of machine control in support of the ‘site of the future’ and so reducing the overall amount of re-work that impacts our construction projects today.
- Actively seek (and invest in) low carbon opportunities such as electric and hybrid vehicles.
As part of this challenge we are setting ourselves ambitious targets to play our part in tackling global sustainability issues. These include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to climate change, minimising waste and enhancing biodiversity on our sites. It is vitally important that in line with this we continue to develop and implement the technology to report on our performance. Enabling us to clearly define our targets and onward journey. We also remain committed to working with and enhancing the local communities and businesses where we operate and contribute to a better quality of life for future generations.
Environmental, economic and social sustainability is a fundamental part of our businesses focus on people. Our commitment is to reduce the impacts of the plant and equipment we supply, with a particular focus on water pollution, CO2 and NOX.
To us, operating sustainably means that we strive to resolve the impacts of machinery, not only to safeguard the public and provide peace of mind, but to also protect and restore the environment and stimulate economic growth in the areas to which we operate, leaving the local environment in a better condition than we found it.
Our goals sit within a wider national and global context. We want to play our part in tackling climate change and supporting the UK as a key signatory to the International Paris Agreement, which is why our sustainability plan includes ambitions goals and targets on limiting our Greenhouse Gas emissions.
We already have targets for continually improving performance in our core delivery functions, and ensuring we are compliant with all relevant legislation (to protect the health and safety of our staff and contractors for example).
To achieve our sustainability goals we have set ourselves a set of core sustainability objectives to focus on over the next 5-years. These are aligned with the UK’s strategic sustainability goals.
- People: ensuring good jobs and greater earning potential for all in our supply chains.
To promote best practice construction skills and to enable our supply chain to invest in people’s development.
- Places: creating prosperous communities across the UK.
To actively encourage the use of local and SME suppliers and to inform and involve local communities in our projects.
- Resources: using resources from nature more sustainably and efficiently.
To identify and implement opportunities to use natural and finite resources better so that we use materials in a more innovative way and increase efficiencies.
- Nature: thriving plants and wildlife.
To minimise ecological damage and enhance biodiversity.
- Climate change: mitigating and adapting to climate change.
To consider the impact of a changing climate on our operations. To reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in line with the UK carbon emissions reduction targets and to explore how we can help others minimise their carbon emissions (for example, by utilising solar for energy).
- Minimising waste.
Apply the waste hierarchy to maximise the value of our resources and eliminate single-use plastics from our offices and minimise their use in our operations and construction activities.
Achieving our Objectives
Our SHE Members provide strategic direction and input into our sustainability plan, but importantly, our board endorses our sustainability policies and strategies to ensure that sustainability is embedded into all areas of our operations.
To support our activities, monitor and measure progress in achieving our sustainability objectives, we are:
- Embedding sustainability into the organisation and corporate objectives and targets.
- Implementation of our sustainable procurement policy and environment policy.
- Developing specific departmental action plans that:
- define roles, responsibilities and timescales for activities,
- set measurable departmental targets and specific actions for those teams achieving those targets.
- Implementing a sustainable procurement system, which seeks to align our suppliers and contractors with our sustainability plan.
- Reviewing the sustainability plan and the individual departmental action plans every year to make sure they align with external and internal priorities.
Measuring and Reporting Progress
We continually review our sustainability performance and report monthly to our board and more widely through our annual report and accounts. We have recently redefined our key performance indicators that will enable us to measure and report progress on identified priority areas.
For successful delivery of our sustainability plan, we want to involve all of our staff across the organisation. We have therefore decided to incorporate the Supply Chain School resources in order to support our staff. We also communicate regularly with staff on sustainability in blogs, articles, and campaigns, and encourage staff to share their ideas with us so we can take action and make improvements.
We also work closely with our supply chain and communicate our requirements through tender documents and regular supplier reviews, encouraging our suppliers to bring new and innovative sustainability ideas to the work they deliver for us.