Sustainability is the trend that thankfully isn’t going anywhere, and targets are set across a wide range of industries and carbon-hungry areas, such as transport, power and buildings – which are directly related to the construction industry. The International Energy Agency says that the built environment and buildings construction sectors combined are responsible for 30% of total global final energy consumption and 27% of total energy sector emissions. Significant change is required to achieve a sustainable future and as a leading multi-disciplinary main contractor, we understand that we can play a pivotal role in delivering long-term, sustainable value that contributes to meeting the economic, environmental, and social wellbeing needs of the communities in which we live and work.
From our busy headquarters in Northampton, we’re focusing on using innovative technologies, materials and construction methodologies to not only deliver energy efficient buildings for our clients and tenants, but also to enable Winvic to become a Net Zero business by 2025. We want to protect the planet by reducing our carbon footprint and it’s important that we concentrate our attention on both the period of construction and the whole lifecycle of the development. For example, we’re working with clients to improve the post-handover energy efficiency of projects. Commitments to Net Zero Carbon in construction and operation from developers, occupiers and assets owners have amplified in recent years and so too has the demand for our in-house specialist expertise, technologies and forward-thinking approach to sustainability.
We published our updated Sustainability Strategy – comprising commitments under four pillars of People, Innovation, Planet and Community – at the end of 2022, but our pledge to being sustainable is a story that started long ago. In fact, in 2011 we completed the ICON Centre, in Daventry, built to a sustainable specification and BREEAM Excellent rating. It is also the first ever innovation centre aimed at supporting companies who supply goods and services to the sustainable construction industry. We started measuring and externally certifying our carbon footprint just over ten years ago and we’re proud to have achieved a year-on-year reduction of emissions while our onsite operations have grown, and we employ significantly more people. In signing up to this, we have also aligned with seven of the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and continue to protect one acre of rainforest each year.
Our Sustainability Strategy is guided by our Doing It Right ethos and The Winvic Way values – as is our design and delivery of construction and civil engineering projects across the country. We encourage all Winvic employees and supply chain partners to help us raise the bar for delivering sustainable schemes. Collaboration is crucial to us leaving a lasting positive, social, environmental, and economic legacy and the strategy’s four pillars – and further six goal areas – inform a roadmap for Winvic to work towards its sustainability ambitions. The goals are employment and wellbeing; product solutions; materials; waste and biodiversity; energy and emissions; and community.
We’re minimising environmental impact by reducing and eliminating waste and maximising resource efficiency through circular thinking. Modern methods of construction, modularisation, and offsite construction, as well as reusing materials on site whenever we can, is crucial in this area. Materials are sourced in a sustainable and ethical way, with an emphasis on the procurement of renewable and recycled materials, and those requiring minimal transportation – buying local where possible. If we minimise the number of construction vehicles on our roads, we therefore reduce transport emissions. We’re also developing innovative and sustainable product solutions with cooperation from our suppliers and now regularly utilise products that have been made from recycled materials or have a high proportion of recycled content – from steel beams to drainage pipes.
It’s not just about the physical delivery of projects, though. At the heart of Winvic’s Sustainability Strategy is our assurance to make the business a happy, safe, healthy place to work. Our attention to health and safety is exemplary and our Doing It Right cultural change programme – that encourages a report-and-support attitude – has been extremely successful and has resulted in improved behavioural safety on all our sites. We emphasise personal and professional development to empower people to reach their full potential, promote wellbeing initiatives and cultivate a diverse, respectful and inclusive workforce – 13% of our people are in ‘earn and learn’ positions. Last but certainly not least, we enhance the communities in which we work – across economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing factors. Providing training and employment opportunities and donating time and materials to community projects are some of the ways we are delivering social value across the UK.
While the strategy is our roadmap, it has been designed to be agile so we can deliver against the evolving needs of our clients, achieve year-on-year progress and build on our successes and lessons learned. We’re proud to be supporting a range of developers, occupiers and asset owners to reach their Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) targets and have delivered – and are currently working on – numerous Net Zero projects. The need for quality, low-carbon and Net Zero assets will only increase and with our green supply chain partners and sustainable procurement framework we are generating more positive, innovative outcomes with each and every project.
For the construction industry to excel in sustainable practices, key players down to the smallest suppliers must work together and focus on the goal, and we’re proud to be playing a leading role in that journey.
Find out more at www.winvic.co.uk