The Sustainability Forum, together with WRAP
(the Waste & Resources Action Programme), are calling on the construction
industry to achieve a 50% cut in materials waste going to landfill by the year
Responding to the Strategic Forum for Constructions decision to focus
on waste reduction as a key component of sustainability, the two organisations
believe this is a measurable and achievable industry-wide target for reducing
material waste in construction. The Forum and WRAP are working jointly on how
best to help the industry to achieve this target.
The UK construction industry consumes more than 400 million tonnes of materials
each year and generates over 100 million tonnes of waste. Around 30 million
tonnes each year ends up as construction waste going straight to landfill.
Ian Coull, Chair of the Sustainability Forum, said: In order for the
industry to improve its sustainability, we must set targets and goals for reducing
waste and improving the use of resources. This goal to halve waste by 2012 is
an excellent place to start, and its now up to the entire industry supply
chain to take action, not only for the environment, but also to deliver cost
and efficiency savings.
By adopting best practices in waste management and minimisation, including
the target to halve waste, the Sustainability Forum believes major construction
projects like the 2012 Olympics and the Thames Gateway regeneration can act
as models for the industry. In the Thames Gateway, for example, waste reduction
on planned new housing alone could amount to one million tonnes, representing
savings in materials and landfill costs of more than £600 million .
WRAPs Chief Executive, Jennie Price, commented: The UKs construction
industry is going to be under the spotlight over the next few years, with the
2012 Olympics and the continued development of the Thames Gateway. These are
excellent opportunities to show the world what best practice can achieve, and
make a substantial difference to reducing the industrys impact on the
A number of influential client and industry organisations are already leading
the way, including the Olympic Delivery Authority and the Major Contractors
Group who have committed to setting minimum requirements on waste and recycling.
The Planning Policies for Sustainable Building guidance document recently published
by the Local Government Association and Planning Officers Society also
sets a clear direction on waste and recycling.
This is not a challenge to the industry, but a real opportunity
for long-term environmental responsibility from the sector, which is one of
the UKs biggest generators of waste. We already have evidence demonstrating
the significant benefits to be gained and we can help put it into practice,
said WRAPs Head of Construction, Dr Mike Watson. If this can be
translated into action throughout the supply chain, halving construction waste
by 2012 is a real possibility.
WRAP can help organisations reduce waste going to landfill by:
- reducing the amount of waste generated;
- recycling wastes that are produced; and
- buying products and materials with recycled content.
WRAP and bodies such as Envirowise, as well as other work on construction through
Defras BREW programme, are delivering step-by-step guidance and support
to all those involved in the construction process to help reduce waste and use
materials more efficiently, thereby increasing the sectors sustainability.
Posted 23rd November