Carillion nets £33m profit from sustainability action
Carillion has added an additional £33.8m to its overall profits thanks to an increased focus on sustainable business practices, the British construction company has announced in its latest CSR report.
Independently verified targets from Carillion’s Annual Sustainability Report reveal a number of key achievements demonstrating that increased profitability and reduced environmental impact can go hand-in-hand- including a reduced carbon footprint of 31% since 2011, 94% diversion of waste from landfill and a 40% reduction in operational water use since 2012.
Carillion’s chief sustainability officer David Picton said: “Despite many different names for sustainability, one thread remains the same: businesses without visionary engagement, inspiring stories, responsible compliance or public trust are businesses without competitive futures. Our people and our partnerships continue to build a better business, connect a better society and create better environment.”
Carillion is working towards a series of ambitious environmental and economic targets for 2020, such as pledges to contribute £40m to profitability through sustainable actions and ensure that 100% of suppliers respond positively to sourcing materials and products from responsible and ethical sources – a significant increase from 2015 levels of 25%.
However, big steps need to be taken if the company is to improve on its 2015 energy performance, as a 4% reduction in electricity consumption from Carillion offices in the UK against a 2011 baseline leaves the company well off a 20% target set for 2020.
The generally positive CSR report follows on from progress made in 2014, when Carillion added £27.2m to its bottom line thanks to a company-wide culture of sustainable business. At the time, Picton told edie that ambitious programmes such as using plastic mats to construct access-roads rather than importing concrete and changing the way the company used water in the Middle East had saved Carillion hundreds of thousands of pounds.
‘Promise the Earth’
Carillion’s 2015 report arrives during a turbulent period of green policy affecting the construction industry, with the UK Government facing criticism from industry bodies for allegedly taking a negative stance on sustainable development and green building.
Last week, AECOM’s director of sustainability and building engineering Ant Wilson told edie that the implementation of efficient and sustainable building practices was being hindered by Government and Mayoral politics which are attempting to “promise the Earth” rather than incentivising the built environment. Wilson highlighted the Government’s U-turn on the zero-carbon homes policy – which was last week blocked by the House of Lords – as an example of a Government that is clearly failing to grasp what is considered ‘sustainable’ within the built environment sector.