The BBC has criticised construction firms for “wasting resources and duplicating effort” (5 March, page 9), yet in the past 18 months we have seen more than 300 organisations from across the industry commit themselves to halving construction waste sent to landfill by 2012
These firms, which handle a quarter of the UK’s construction work, wield considerable influence. This is especially true of the clients among them, which include major retailers, property developers, utilities and infrastructure companies, as well as public sector bodies and government departments.
It is interesting to note that more than one-third of the 300 are contractors, among them the UK’s biggest players, including Bovis Lend Lease. These are all setting their own waste reduction targets and encouraging their supply chains to do the same. Ultimately, however, it is the clients that have the greatest clout in driving change by setting out requirements in their procurement – starting with the appointment of their design team – and by chasing progress at each project gateway. In return they stand to reap not only reputational benefits but also significant cost savings.
So we invite the BBC to show the industry how committed it is to the agenda of resource efficiency by signing up to Halving Waste to Landfill; once it is clear that the UK’s largest construction clients mean business on waste reduction, the rest of the supply chain – designers, contractors, waste managers – will have no choice but to follow.
Mike Watson, head of construction, Wrap
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