Firm to employ equal numbers of men and women by 2033

Laing O’Rourke has announced targets to decarbonise its operations by 2030 and hire equal numbers of men and women among its global staff by 2033.

It said it will reduce carbon emissions by at least 75% by the end of the decade, with the remaining quarter being cut through carbon removal activities or offsetting.

Laing-ORourke-factory

The firm said its Nottinghamshire MMA factory will be powered entirely by solar panels by 2030

To achieve its goal, the country’s biggest private contractor has pledged to transition to biofuels as a stepping-stone to full electrification of operation.

It has hired former Network Rail sustainability chief Samantha Hoe-Richardson as its new independent group advisor on climate change and sustainability to help it hit the targets.

Three projects are already underway, including conversion of all company office and project sites to renewable energy tariffs, transitioning to an all-electric car fleet and investing in solar panels to power all operations at its Nottinghamshire MMA factory.

It also said that it plans to achieve net zero in its supply chain by 2050 by working with its suppliers to embed reporting of carbon emissions and carbon cutting targets, and by investing in R&D to speed up development of low carbon products.

Group chief executive Ray O’Rourke said reducing the embodied carbon in concrete was one of the “difficult challenges” the construction industry must solve.

UK Green Building Council chief executive Julie Hirigoyen said the targets were “extremely encouraging”.

The firm has also promised to employ equal numbers of men and women within its 5,500-strong global workforce within the next 12 years by introducing new initiatives to encourage more women to work for it.

These include a referral bonus scheme, sponsorship of emerging female leaders and compulsory inclusivity training for senior staff.

According to its last financial report, the firm had 11,580 employees in the year to March 2020 although it did not break down the numbers for men and women.