As a responsible business, we recognise the need to grow our sustainability ambitions in-line with our business growth. We need to challenge ourselves to improve the legacy our projects leave behind - both positive and negative – and play our part in addressing the climate change pressures the world faces.
Our CSR strategy sets out the commitment of the Board to achieving ambitious change and positive impact, improving the lives of our colleagues, clients, workers and the communities we serve. CSR is a complex area and a core part of our business strategy to 2030 and beyond.
Construction is a vital sector within the UK, contributing 6.3% of UK GDP and employing over 2.5m workers in 2021 alone. It also directly contributes 6% of the UK’s carbon emissions directly and an even greater amount from materials produced in other countries. As such, the construction industry in the UK has the potential to be a major contributor to sustainability, both through reducing its carbon footprint and by creating employment and growing local benefits
We’ve followed industry and CSR best practice in developing our strategy wherever possible. There is a great deal of positive work already being done within the sector and we’re proud to learn from this and embed this into our processes (where appropriate) as part of our work.
We also push ourselves to innovate and create our own solutions to the CSR challenges we face. We believe this gives us a realistic, relevant plan for our business supporting our clients and the projects we deliver. As part of this, we work closely with our sister company, The Shore Group to ensure we maximise the benefits across the entire group and share the investment costs as we develop a comprehensive programme.
Our strategy is split into three strategic pillars; Environmental Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Economic Development. We’ve aligned the goals under each pillar with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), developed by the UN in 2015. Aligning with the SDGs allows our strategy to evolve in-line with global best practice and industry-specific initiatives.
REPORTING AND GOVERNANCE
Our aim is to create transparent reporting and accountable teams within the business to deliver our CSR goals. Each project will have a CSR plan which also links with our Health & Safety and Considerate Contractors processes, as in our experience certain elements significantly overlap.
Performance against project targets is reported quarterly (as a minimum) with the Leadership Team and key actions agreed to continue to drive positive change. We reset our CSR strategy in 2022 as we recognised we could do better. As such, certain targets have limited historical data as metrics were not previously tracked.
As part of our CSR reporting we also produce a monthly Group newsletter which you can subscribe to here for updates on key initiatives and opportunities to get involved.
Our environment goals focus on carbon, waste and protecting the environments where we work. 2022 was the baseline year for our carbon footprint and as a Group our target is to achieve net zero for Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2030. Aligned to this, we aim to significantly reduce the was produced / £m revenue by the same date.
Finally, and often most visibly for our projects, we aim to reduce the impact our projects make on their local communities, reducing all types of pollution and investing our time in community environmental projects.
The core initiatives as part of this pillar focus on promoting EDI amongst our teams and boosting employment opportunities for disadvantaged communities. Our Ethical Recruitment and WBC Cares UK initiatives sit at the heart of this, using each project as a gateway into new career in construction for local workers.
Working closely with our Procurement teams, our economic development goals seek to create sustainable and diverse supply chains on every project, boosting the benefits of our CSR policy through our suppliers. As well as aiming to boost the benefits local communities see directly from each build, our goals also seek to ensure responsible working practices on human rights, modern slavery and paying living wages to all workers.
PARTNERING WITH CLIENTS
We’re excited to drive change and innovate through our CSR Strategy. We also know that we can and do achieve much more working in partnership with our clients and investors. Joining our CSR goals with our clients, pools resources and helps increase the overall benefit we can both demonstrate from each project.
Our attitude across every element of our projects is an absolute belief that we will deliver – and a mindset that finds solutions to every challenge we face. CSR is no different.
It’s imperative to improve the legacy of each project – individually and as a business, we’ll work tirelessly to do this.