In April 2021, we announced new far-reaching global sustainability targets, including a commitment to decarbonise our own operations by 2030 and achieve equal numbers of men and women among our 5,500 global staff.
The decarbonisation target, which will also see us develop a plan to tackle Scope 3 emissions before 2050, is aligned with the latest climate science and the most aspirational goal of The Paris Agreement – to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The new goals are critical to our mission to be the recognised leader for innovation and excellence, and our progress on them will have a bearing on our finances.
Our new £35 million revolving credit facility with HSBC, agreed in October 2021, is one of the construction industry’s first linked to sustainability targets. We now have financial incentives (or penalties) to accelerate our work on carbon reduction, divert waste from landfill and employ more women in senior project delivery roles.
As a family owned business, we have long been focussed on delivering lasting benefits to our clients, our people and the communities our projects serve. We’ve made progress delivering our environmental plan, but the simple fact is the climate emergency demands we do more and with greater urgency. The same is true of diversity, which remains unacceptably low in our sector.
The construction industry has some difficult challenges to solve, most notably that of reducing the embodied carbon in concrete. But I know our people have the passion to make a real difference and the experience to work with others, including our clients and partners, to deliver the progress required.