Taylor Wimpey develops energy reduction plan that could save £38m

UK residential developer Taylor Wimpey is working with the Carbon Trust to identify and save £38m by 2020 by improving energy efficiency across the business and its supply chain.

The new energy and carbon strategy includes behaviour and process changes, as well as investment in equipment and system optimisation and upgrades.

It will address the energy efficiency of show homes, the behaviour of sub-contractors on-site and engage suppliers on operational efficiency to cut costs.

The project has identified an estimated £9m in cumulative direct potential cost savings against future cost increases by 2020.

It is estimated that by taking action on supply chain energy efficiency within four key areas Taylor Wimpey and its supply chain partners could mitigate against an estimated additional £3m in annual material costs by 2015 and cumulative cost increases of £29m by 2020.

Providing more detail on the strategy, Taylor Wimpey UK’s director of sustainability, Ian Heasman, told edie that the strategy has a number of “strands” around energy use including direct energy use and supply chain energy use but also the more strategic measures associated with the companies housing developments and the way it uses land.

“Looking at our direct energy use, we’ve carried out an energy survey of our estate, which includes our offices, construction sites, show homes. From this we are looking to retrofit some of the selected areas of our estate to make them more energy efficient.

“We’re also launching a specification for show homes and sales areas in the second quarter of this year and possibly in the third quarter we will launch the compound specifications, which will include things like low energy lighting, motion sensors, perhaps voltage optimisation and various things around the drying and heating around sites,” added Heasman.

Heasman explained that these measures would need to be supported by the behavioural change of contractors working on-site.

“We’re looking at developing a communications sustainability strategy that will be launched alongside our wider sustainability strategy later this year,” he added.

Having gone through the process with the Carbon Trust to understand how to reduce its emissions and avoid costs, Taylor Wimpey is putting pressure on its suppliers to reduce their emissions and benefit from the same operational efficiencies.

“In regards to our supply chain, we are looking at a wider spectrum of issues such as carbon, energy, water and waste using a data set that is very granular. This will identify hotspots in terms of the type of organisations that supply us with materials and also between organisations that are in the same service sector,” he added.

The Carbon Trust’s associate director of Business Services, Dominic Burbridge, added: “Sustainability is an issue of growing significance for all house builders. Having a positive impact through the protection and enhancement of the communities and environments where they operate is an increasing priority.

“In our experience Taylor Wimpey had one of the best represented project boards covering multiple business areas. This has enabled them to confidently move towards taking sustainability efficiencies into every element of the business from energy, waste and resources throughout its estate to the homes it builds and its supply chain,” said Burbridge.

In addition to identifying direct energy and cost reduction opportunities across its own operations, Taylor Wimpey has also evaluated future risks.

This has enabled the company to plan appropriate action to reduce exposure to future energy costs across its operations and supply chain including the impact of future energy costs on the building materials it buys.

Leigh Stringer

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