The Building/Saint-Gobain survey (“Short-term fears voiced over sustainability in the recession”, reported at on 27 February) provides a valuable insight into the less-than-positive attitudes of construction clients towards sustainability. However, the impetus to act is now greater than ever

Reducing the amount of construction waste sent to landfill provides an opportunity to save costs. Best practice waste reduction and recovery can save on the costs of wasted material, disposal and landfill tax – a fact that a growing number of clients such as Sainsbury’s and Land Securities are recognising and acting on. Indeed, with the Environment Agency estimating the full cost of waste at about 4% of construction value for an office building at baseline practice, the imperative to take action is clear.

Wrap has developed a range of tools and guides to support the industry, and there are now more than 60 signatories to our Halving Waste to Landfill voluntary agreement, including 25 clients. Some, then, clearly recognise the immediate benefits on offer. The question is, what will it take for the rest to follow suit?

Mike Watson, head of construction at WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme)