Building our developments and making the materials that we use have environmental impacts which we aim to reduce as much as possible.
We have systems in place to make sure that potential nuisance such as noise and dust is kept to a minimum, and that our building sites are managed considerately.
Inevitably, construction activities and the manufacture of materials have an effect on the environment. They use natural resources such as water and timber, produce carbon emissions and waste products. For example, to make bricks, first clay is mined in quarries and mixed with water to help create the brick shape, then the bricks are fired in a kiln using gas, coal or sawdust before being transported by lorry to storage depots and finally to our sites. On the day someone moves into their new home it has already had an effect on the environment, known as an ‘ecological footprint’. We try to reduce this footprint by sourcing our materials carefully. A good example is timber, which is used extensively in construction. Our policy is to buy timber only from certified sustainable sources, helping to protect valuable forests.
As important as what goes into building our homes is what is left over from construction and what happens to it. Waste comes in many forms, from demolition materials and polluted soils to trimmings, breakages and packaging materials. We work with our suppliers and subcontractors to reduce, reuse and recycle as much waste as possible. We reduced the amount of construction waste per home completed that we sent to landfill by over 70% between 2007 and 2012.
In 2013 we introduced our ReUSE programme, which shares clean surplus soil and recycled aggregates between our sites. ReUSE was highly commended in the waste category of the Constructing Excellence National Awards 2012.
Trial of Hanson's Jetfloor product at Brickhill in Bedfordshire
We have also been working with 12 of our larger suppliers to reduce the amount of waste produced, including from product packaging. Steve Hardcastle of Hanson said, “Taylor Wimpey has played an integral part in the development of our new Jetfloor product. The focus for the product development has been simplicity, robustness and waste reduction without increasing overall costs. A trial at Taylor Wimpey’s Brickhill development showed that all these had been met. The polystyrene waste alone was reduced by almost 100%.”