VolkerWessels UK, the civil engineering and construction group, reduced its carbon emissions across its operations by more than 9% in 2015 compared to the previous year – earning it The Planet Mark™ Certificate for continuous improvement in sustainability.
VolkerWessels UK, which employs over 2,500 people across six operating companies – VolkerFitzpatrick, VolkerRail, VolkerStevin, VolkerHighways, VolkerLaser and VolkerInfra – and their shared services, reported a total carbon footprint of 24,742 tonnes per CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) for last year, compared to 26,656 tCO2e in 2014 – representing a like-for-like 9.1% total carbon footprint reduction for the year and a 17.1% reduction per employee (10.1 tCO2e). On group turnover, which reached £852 m in 2015, the drop was even more dramatic – representing a 20.3% reduction per £1 m turnover (28.4 tCO2e). VolkerWessels UK has been certified to The Planet Mark™ for three years.
The biggest savings across the group were achieved in on-site fuel, where approximately 898,000 fewer litres were combusted in 2015 compared to 2014. The reduction equates to a cost saving exceeding £400,000 and an estimated 26 tankers of fuel and associated transportation emissions being removed from the supply chain. There were big cuts in office paper usage, too – 76.5 tonnes in 2015 compared to 79 tonnes in 2014 – and more modest reductions in fleet fuel usage – down 1% to 1,921,988 litres from 1,988,476.
“Our clients across the board are demanding much higher standards with regards to carbon, energy and waste reduction, along with greater transparency of our data. This has given us the push we needed to raise our game, looking at innovations and considering other ways of doing things. Business as usual is no longer an option,” Simon James, Environmental Advisor for VolkerRail, said. “It is our duty to look at alternative ways of working that improves the sustainable performance of our projects through design, delivery and operation.”
Initiatives included Telematics units installed in VolkerRail’s fleet, leading to more efficient driving techniques and improved miles per gallon. Thanks to this and other measures, the railway engineering company saw an 8.7% reduction in tCO2e per employee and a 22.1% reduction per £1m turnover.
In another initiative, VolkerHighways achieved potential savings of 5,265 litres of diesel per year by using energy efficient eco-cabins. Overall, the company recorded a 24.6% reduction in tCO2e per employee and a 37.4% reduction per £1m turnover.
Elsewhere, VolkerStevin recorded a 10.5% reduction in tCO2e per £1m turnover, while VolkerFitzpatrick reported a particularly impressive 39.2% reduction in tCO2e per employee and a 35.1% reduction per £1m turnover.
“We appreciate the efforts of everyone working on our behalf and their contributions to energy and carbon reduction. Looking to the future, we aim to continually improve on these reductions and this is only possible through the commitment of our people,” commented Adrian Shah-Cundy, Corporate Responsibility Director.
“This is a tremendous achievement,” said Steve Malkin, CEO, The Planet Mark™, on presenting VolkerWessels UK with its 2016 certification. “Through its commitment to minimise the adverse impacts of its operations on local communities and by working with its supply chain and partners to develop innovative working practices, VolkerWessels UK is bringing significant benefits to the environment while at the same time improving its bottom line.”
[Picture – from left to right: Luke King, Trainee Compliance Manager at VolkerWessels UK, Steve Malkin, CEO The Planet Mark™, Adrian Shah-Cundy, Corporate Responsibility Director, VolkerWessels UK, Dion Ling, CR Analyst, VolkerWessels UK]