Alec Jackman: Wates' sustainability success in the Southern Home Counties | Wates

Alec Jackman: Wates’ sustainability success in the Southern Home Counties

As 2018 draws to a close, Alec Jackman looks back over a year of success  of Wates’ sustainability in the Southern Home Counties, derived from a site-based effort to support the sustainability agenda.

“Christmas is a time of reflection and as we reach the end of another successful year, it is very rewarding to look back at our achievements in terms of the projects we’ve delivered and the incredible properties we’ve built.

Projects such as the new Hall 1 at Farnborough International’s new Exibition and Conference Centre have completed. While our appointment to the likes of Braywick Leisure Centre in Maidenhead via the Scape – Major Works UK framework have seen us break ground on new and ambitious community facilities.

But this year, I am also heartened by the continued progress we’ve made towards reducing our environmental impact and supporting the sustainability agenda. Here in the Southern Home Counties, we have worked hard to design and develop a number of initiatives that either drive best practice across the business as a whole or generate environmental savings on the ground at construction projects we’re delivering.

For example, our site team at the University of Southampton’s Boldrewood Innovation Campus has offset no less than 198 tonnes of CO2 emissions by planting trees while also diverting 100% of waste from landfill – including 10 tonnes of wood which has been recycled. The project has been awarded a Considerate Constructors Scheme score of 46/50 with the auditors praising the site’s appearance for giving a ‘very positive impression of the construction industry’.

Further north in Wiltshire, our refurbishment of technology giant Dyson’s headquarters has seen us recycle all the timber furniture and donate it to a local school. We have also implemented an energy, water and waste reduction scheme on site and we regularly publish the impact this has on our carbon footprint.

Lastly, I am encouraged by the persistent efforts to consider the potential social boost we can provide to local communities through our buildings, as has been clearly demonstrated by our presence at Salmon Harvester Properties’ Glass Wharf development in Bristol. While constructing 15,000 sq m. of Cat A office space for HMRC, our team has spent £35k with local social enterprises and also hosted numerous site visit for graduates from the University of Bristol and the University of West England. The team is also supporting Go Construct’s Open Doors initiative which is inspiring students to consider a career in construction.

As a Group, Wates will ensure a more sustainable world in the future. Whether that be through our commitment to carbon neutrality, embedding the principles of a circular economy, responsible sourcing or protecting biodiversity on our projects. We also work hard to tackle social problems by supporting young people, providing training and employment opportunities and trading with SMEs and the social enterprise sector. As a private, family-owned business, we hold ourselves to extemely high ethical standards.

We have done all of this and more here in the Southern Home Counties in 2018. And there is no better way to celebrate the end of a year than be able to look toward the next one optimistically and look forward to a bright future in 2019 and beyond.”

Alec Jackman is Business Unit Director for Wates Construction in the Southern Home Counties.