Our planet

Resources and waste

We are working to use resources more efficiently and to cut down on waste in our operations. This is important from an environmental and cost perspective and supports our work on climate change.


Towards zero waste

Our Towards Zero Waste strategy and action plan sets out a three year programme of action and capacity building across all stages of development from land acquisition to construction, occupancy and end of life. It covers several waste streams including soils, demolition waste, embodied waste in materials, packaging waste and construction waste. It aims to improve our waste data, drive progress on the resource targets in our Environment Strategy, incentivise resource efficient behaviours, and develop action plans for key waste streams.

Two working groups focused on construction waste and groundworks wastes are helping to lead efforts on waste reduction. Teams use our Waste Dos and Don’ts guide and waste reduction is included in our induction process for site teams. 15% of the potential bonus for Site Managers is linked to performance on waste reduction.

Increasing reuse and recycling

98% of our construction waste is already diverted from landfill and our goal is to further increase this. We are partnering with suppliers, subcontractors and others to increase reuse and recycling. This includes:

Paint pots - 57,800 paint pots were returned for recycling from our sites in 2023, reducing waste to landfill (2022: 54,900).

Pallets - 105,180 pallets were picked up from our sites (2022: 95,600). This represents around 1,893 tonnes of wood (2022: 1,721). 46% of these were sent for reuse (2022: 52%).

Waste wood - 1,774 tonnes of waste wood was collected by Community Wood Recycling, a network of social enterprises. 36% of this was reused, 53% recycled into woodchip and 11% processed into firewood. This avoided 884 tonnes of CO2 and supported paid jobs for around 21 people and training for 31.

Taylor Wimpey development

Reducing plastics use

We have started to reduce plastics at TWL (Taylor Wimpey Logistics). This includes moving to perforated shrink wrap sheets, reducing the thickness of shrink wrap from 125 microns to 75 microns, and switching to self-sealing clear plastics bags for ironmongery. This has reduced plastics use by around 16.6 tonnes so far.

We have engaged extensively with suppliers on plastic packaging through sponsorship and participation in two projects in collaboration with other home builders and the Supply Chain Sustainability School. The first (in 2021) assessed the readiness of selected suppliers to provide data on plastics and other packaging, and the second (in 2023) published practical guidance for plastics and packaging reduction for the home building industry and its supply chain.


Reducing waste at source

By improving our processes we can often reduce waste at source. Recent examples include:

Plasterboard: in 2023 we have worked with our main plasterboard supplier, British Gypsum, to specify plaster board sizes to suit our configurations and reduce waste from off-cuts. We expect this to have an impact on waste volumes in 2024. The project is also looking at how we can improve on-site storage of plasterboard to prevent damage and wastage, and how we can make it easier for site teams to segregate waste plasterboard for recycling. We will be testing different approaches at some of our sites in 2024.

Materials reduction: We have also worked with a supplier to reduce the amount of board used in the off-site manufactured Smartroof system for our Room in the Roof house types. We expect this to reduce waste in the manufacturing process by around 120 tonnes.

Reusable temporary decking: We worked with a supplier to develop a reusable alternative to temporary decking and joists (used to prevent accidents by covering stairwell holes during construction). This is now in use across our sites and we expect to save over 3,000 tonnes of timber and avoid up to 1,000 tonnes of CO2 over five years.

Excavation waste: We often reuse appropriate excavation waste and crushed bricks and blocks on our sites. For example, at our Stourport site in the West Midlands we have used crushed concrete for road bases and pipe bedding on site.


Recycled and renewable materials

We are working with suppliers to increase our use of materials with recycled and renewable content to improve resource efficiency and reduce embodied carbon. Products already in use include insulation and carpet underlay made from recycled glass, window frames with recycled uPVC content and recycled board and chipboard in our kitchens as well as timber frame.

Our glass mineral wool insulation, supplied by Knauf Insulation, for example, is made from recycled glass. The equivalent of around 8.6 million wine bottles were used to create the insulation for our homes in 2023.

We are asking suppliers to provide Environmental Product Declarations. These are based on life cycle assessments (LCA’s) and include quantification of embodied carbon which can inform our procurement decision making.

We have asked our national suppliers, who provide strategically important products and materials such as bricks, doors, sanitary ware and kitchens to provide information on their sustainability policies and performance. Results from this process show that: 53% of suppliers are integrating recycled materials into the products supplied to us, 33% are supplying Cradle to Cradle certified products and 27% are supplying products certified to the responsible sourcing standard BES 6001.


Plot waste trial

We conducted a study of waste produced on a single build plot to identify opportunities for reduction. This showed that waste from a plot is around 43% packaging, 31% plasterboard, and 26% wood (excluding pallets that are reused or recycled through our pallet collection service). Construction of the plot also generated around three tonnes of inert waste (such as brick offcuts) which was reused on site.

The trial included training and engagement for colleagues and key trade subcontractors. We also made the process for segregating and recycling more straightforward by placing the skips right outside the plot and we increased monitoring of the skips.

We achieved a very significant reduction in the volume of waste generated on the plot compared to our average figures. We hope to complete a second plot trial and use the findings to help develop our approach to waste reduction on site.


Our waste data

The volume of waste produced in 2023 was 28% lower than in 2019; however, waste intensity increased by 9.8% against our 2019 baseline. We believe the intensity increase is partly due to disruptions in our build programme in 2023 as a result of market challenges which led to materials being stored for longer on site.

Our waste data for 2023 was externally assured by Carbon Trust Assurance. 

Carbon Trust Assurance Statement - Waste data


Working with the Supply Chain Sustainability School

We use the Supply Chain Sustainability School (SCSS), an industry collaboration, to help engage our suppliers on sustainability. Suppliers can use SCSS to complete a sustainability self- assessment, create an action plan and access free training.

85% of our priority suppliers were registered with Supply Chain Sustainability School and attended over 826 hours of CPD virtual training on sustainability topics such as waste, modern slavery, sustainable materials, biodiversity, and climate. 62 re-assessed themselves and achieved an average 24% improvement in score.

We are also working through the SCSS on collaborative projects on improving carbon data in the supply chain, waste management, plastic packaging and human rights.

Responsible timber sourcing

We want to use sustainably sourced timber in our homes and on our sites and to avoid contributing to deforestation.

Our Sustainable Timber Policy, updated in 2023, commits us to procure timber and timber products from well managed forests with full chain of custody certification from either the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

We survey timber suppliers to understand where the timber used in Taylor Wimpey homes originates, and to identify higher risk areas of the supply chain. We require any companies sourcing from higher risk countries to carry out due diligence to ensure timber meets our standards.

Around 95% of timber supplied by Group suppliers is FSC or PEFC certified. Of the remaining 5%, in the majority of cases the products contain a mixture of wood from both the PEFC and FSC certification schemes. This means they do not meet the thresholds needed to achieve certification to either scheme.

We participate in CDP Forests, the investor-led disclosure initiative and in 2023 we scored C (2022: B-).

CDP Forests Score Report 2023

CDP Forests Submission 2023


Engaging our groundworks contractors

Groundworks – the work done to prepare the ground and sub-surfaces of a site for the start of construction work – is typically the first stage of a construction project. It may include ground investigation, site clearance, sub-structure and ground stabilisation, contaminated land remediation, the creation of development platforms, drainage, roads and sewers, utilities and landscaping – all of which can be energy intensive. Many of the carbon-intensive materials used on our sites, such as concrete, asphalt, and diesel, are purchased and used by groundwork contractors. We estimate that more than 50% of emissions from our purchased goods and services footprint is due to groundwork activity.

We are reviewing how we manage earthworks on our sites, with the aim to identify opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce the amount of soil that needs to be excavated, moved or disposed of by looking at factors such as build sequence and design efficiency. Our Groundworks Waste Working Group is developing our approach to measuring and reducing demolition and excavation waste.

We are also engaging with groundworks contractors to understand their approach to carbon reduction with a view to working with them to trial lower carbon products and fuels. We expect to test low carbon concrete with a groundwork contractor during 2024.

We have trained our technical and engineering teams on best practice in groundworks engineering design and are reviewing on-site supervision and planning for the groundworking process. This includes strengthening our guidance for groundworkers and site managers on subjects such as sustainable urban drainage, site investigations and implementing design and engineering plans.

We also work closely with groundworkers on safety.