Barratt puts the success down to a range of energy reduction programmes such as more efficient site cabins and new lighting in sales offices and furniture factories. These practices alone have led to electricity and gas usage reductions of 20% across the group.

Barratt also cites the green of the UK’s electricity grid as having a positive effect. The firm has confirmed it will now seek to set a new target for UK carbon reductions.

David Thomas, chief executive at Barratt, said: “We strive to be the leading national sustainable housebuilder which is why we set ourselves such demanding targets. The group’s sustainability targets are not a distraction or barrier to strong financial performance. Instead, they are integral to our business success, both in the short and long term.”

Green building

Barratt has also achieved success in the area of construction waste, which has been reduced by 15% since 2015. An initiative with British Gypsum to optimise the size of plasterboard used is estimated to have saved 621 tonnes of a type of waste that is particularly difficult to dispose of.

Overall, 97% of all construction waste is being diverted from landfill, a rise of 2% from last year. This is partly thanks to Barratt’s work with subcontractors and suppliers to recycle paints tins and wooden pallets, and to remove unnecessary packaging and plastics.

Barratt was ranked as the second most sustainable housebuilder in the latest report by the NextGeneration initiative. Top of the league table was Lendlease, due to its efforts in areas such as environmental management, procurement, customer engagement and community development.

It appears there is still some way to go before Barratt can be recognised as a entirely sustainable company. The firm was recently listed among a group of the biggest UK private housebuilding firms by Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) Lord Deben, who accused them of delivering new homes that allegedly fail to meet energy efficiency standards.

George Ogleby

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