Water management

Several parts of the UK are already experiencing serious water stress and climate change could increase this. We aim to use water carefully and increase the water efficiency of our sites. We integrate water efficiency measures into our homes in line with Building Regulations.

In 2016, we have developed best practice guidance on water efficiency measures and leaks for our building sites, sales areas and plots before sale. We also participated in the CDP water benchmark for the second year running. This assesses companies’ corporate water stewardship practices and performance. CDP gave us a score of B- slightly below the overall CDP average score of B. Our CDP water submission can be found below.

Performance in 2016

In 2016 our total metered water consumption for the UK was an estimated 393,846 cubic metres (2015: 384,137 cubic metres). Although our total consumption increased this year our water intensity (the amount of water used per square meter of build) has decreased by 3.5% since 2014.  A water footprint method statement summary can be found below.

In our offices with water meters we achieved a 42% reduction in water intensity (per full time employee) far exceeding our target of a 6% reduction on a 2014 baseline.  The reduction is due to a combination of moving into more water efficient offices, addressing water leaks, implementing efficiency measures and an increase in the number of employees in these locations which affects the intensity measurement.

Our approach to water management also includes taking steps to minimise flood risk and to create sustainable drainage systems on our sites, protecting water quality by remediating groundwater on brownfield sites and preventing silt run off or fuel spills on our construction sites through our environmental management system. We commissioned research by Trucost, the sustainability consultancy, on the environmental and water footprint of our supply chain during 2016 and the results are summarised in our Sustainability Report 2016.

Please see our Sustainability Report 2016 for more general information on our water use.