Companies such as the Berkeley Group, Stanhope Plc and Willmott Dixon are among those who have signed up to an agreement launched by WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme).

As previously reported on edie, the voluntary agreement, which was officially launched on Thursday, will be similar to WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment with the retail sector.

The construction sector currently wastes £1.5bn in unused materials and sends some 25m tonnes of waste to landfill every year.

Liz Goodwin, chief executive of WRAP, said: “Waste by its very definition is a missed opportunity.

“Indeed, the true cost of waste is over 10 times higher than the cost of disposal, once the value of the wasted materials is taken into account.

“The time, now, more than ever is ripe for change. And change will happen through collective action from the whole of the construction supply chain, including, crucially, construction clients.

The scheme has been backed by ministers, who said it would send the industry a clear message and set them structured targets.

Construction Minister Ian Pearson said: “There are sound environmental, corporate and financial reasons for committing to halve construction waste to landfill, but more needs to be done if the industry is to succeed in collectively halving its waste to landfill by the 2012 benchmark.

“The construction industry creates on third of all waste produced in the UK and today’s launch offer the sector the opportunity to lead the way for other sectors of UK business to follow.”

The agreement was developed after consultation with the industry, and WRAP will work with the firms that have signed up to measure progress and gather annual performance data for the sector.

Kate Martin

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