Changing our habits for COP26 | Wates

How we’re responding to the challenge of climate change

With the COP26 climate change summit coming to Glasgow, this is a critical time for the world to work together to avert a crisis. Our sector accounts for over 40% of UK carbon emissions, with around 5% coming from new construction.

Last year we led our sector in committing to ambitious net-zero carbon targets in our sustainability strategy, in which we acknowledged that in order to meet our targets we would need to ‘change our habits’ on emissions, on waste, and on our impact on the natural world.

Read about our 2025 sustainability targets

Carbon Reduction Plans - how our businesses are working towards zero carbon

How we are bringing our 2025 targets to life:

These are a few examples of some the work happening across the Wates Group, as we work together with customers and suppliers to build and manage buildings sustainably.

"There is no Planet B"

In this documentary, recorded during October and November 2021, we examine four projects around the country, where our teams are designing, constructing and maintaining buildings in response to the challenge of climate change.

Together, they provide a small snapshot of some of the work we’re doing to create more positive environmental impacts.

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"There is no Planet B"

Decarbonising the NHS

As NHS England prepares to publish its Net Zero Carbon Delivery Plan, a new partnership has been launched to support NHS Trusts develop and implement their decarbonisation strategies. Led by Wates alongside a multi-disciplinary team of built environment specialists, including Arup and HKS Architects, the Decarbonising Health Estates Partnership will work to drive forward sustainability within hospital infrastructure, focusing on existing NHS estates. The NHS is responsible for around 5% of the country’s carbon footprint.

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Decarbonising Health Estates Partnership (DHEP)
Decarbonising Health Estates Partnership (DHEP)

First Zero Carbon schools take shape with modern methods of construction

Work has already begun on some of the UK’s first net-zero schools to be built by Wates for the Department for Education. Sir James Wates broke ground at one of the first, Lytham St Annes High School, which once complete, will be net-zero in operation. The project is being delivered using modern methods of construction and the Wates Adapt solution, a component-based school kit which offers a more sustainable method of construction, ensuring less waste and higher finished quality through its emphasis on offsite manufacture.

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Lytham St Annes High School
Lytham St Annes High School

Social housing and the net-zero retrofit challenge

Wates Property Services’ partnership with social housing energy services provider, Energy Specifics, has so far resulted in 1,000 energy assessments being undertaken at social housing properties. The partnership responds to the Government’s target for all UK social housing properties to be rated EPC level C by 2030. In August we hosted an industry roundtable with Local Government Chronicle, where social housing providers discussed the issue, raising the need for high quality data, a proper consideration of embodied carbon, and the challenge of dealing with heritage properties.

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The social housing decarbonisation challenge

Low energy Cardiff Living

Wates Residential is progressing well on its Highfields Passivhaus site in Cardiff part of our 1,500 home Cardiff Living scheme for Cardiff Council. We’re preparing a Whole Life Carbon and Life Cycle Assessment for the scheme, and creating a formal definition for Net Zero Carbon and an offsetting strategy for any carbon that cannot be eliminated from the process. A demonstration centre at the 214-home Eastern High development will showcase prospective homeowners a range of low-carbon technologies available, including ground source heat pumps, smart thermal storage, PV panels, batteries and electric vehicle charging

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Cardiff Living

Banking on environmental sustainability

We have teamed up with Lloyds Banking Group to pioneer sustainable technologies and help accelerate the built environment’s transition to Net Zero carbon. The collaboration follows the launch of the Wates Innovation Network (WIN) Portal in March, a free-to-use network  connecting built environment customers to market-leading sustainable technologies and services. The partnership has been seeking out new energy-efficient innovations, with one supplier to be selected to be piloted throughout Lloyds’ estate.

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Wates and Lloyds Banking Group join forces to drive environmental sustainability - Watch the promo video

Get Nature Positive

As part of our commitment to have a positive impact on nature from our operations by 2025, we have joined Get NaturePositive so that we can continue to get to know and improve our impact on our planet.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT GET NATURE POSITIVE

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