Running our business efficiently and considerately and working with our supply chain
"Sustainability will be fully integrated into our business strategy and operations. We will have developed excellent partnerships with our supply chain to ensure high quality materials and services are consistently provided, and environmental, social and ethical impacts are minimised. We will continue to conduct our operations in an environmentally efficient manner and with consideration to our neighbours."
This section of our framework has been developed during 2013 to focus on our day-to-day operations, from the inputs to the business to the running of our sites. Arguably some of the most significant impacts of our work may occur indirectly as part of the wider supply chain in the extraction, processing and transportation of materials and as a result of contractors working on our sites. Running a sustainable business is also dependent upon managing day-to-day operations efficiently and with consideration to local people.
Understanding our supply chain is critical to running a sustainable business. We recognise that we use large quantities of materials and that some of the most significant environmental and social impacts of our operations may arise indirectly as part of the wider value chain. We want to work in partnership with our suppliers and contractors to minimise these impacts.
Since 2013 all contractors wishing to tender to work on a Berkeley site must confirm they have appropriate policies and systems in place to address social and environmental issues, in addition to business risks and issues like health and safety.
The legal and sustainable sourcing of timber is another area in which we continue to strengthen our approach. We have now pledged that all timber, temporary and permanent, directly and indirectly sourced, must be certified to either FSC or PEFC standards.
To give certainty to our suppliers, and particularly small businesses, we registered for the Prompt Payment Code in December 2012, committing to pay contractors in a timely manner to enable them to manage their cash flow. We are the first major house-builder to do so.
We aim to conduct our operations with minimal disruption to the communities in which we work and to develop good relationships with local people and local authorities. We want to ensure that we build considerately from the outset.
In this way, we can reduce complaints and associated regulatory involvement whilst improving community relations. Each of our sites aims to communicate and engage with the local communities in which they are based, from sending newsletters to hosting school visits and open days.
All of our construction sites are registered under the voluntary Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) and its Code of Practice. Our audit scores continued to increase to an average of 35.9/40 until December 2012 (2012:35.7). We have now adjusted our commitment to a score of 35/50 in each audit, in line with the new Code of Practice which was launched in January 2013. Our average score to date is 38.3, which is significantly above the best practice guidelines of 35 and an industry average in April 2013 of 34.9. Our commitment is regularly recognised by the Scheme, with Berkeley receiving 20 awards at the 2013 National Site Awards.
It has been a long-term commitment to protect the environment during our operations. All construction sites are regularly assessed on compliance with legal requirements, planning conditions and industry good practice to help us to reduce the risk of regulatory involvement and to maintain our record of zero environmental prosecutions.
We monitor energy and water usage monthly and set targets for reduction. During 2013 our operational carbon emissions per person have reduced by 7% to 2.2 tonnes CO2e per year (2012: 2.4 tonnes CO2e). During the same period our water usage per operative has increased by 26%; principally this was due to significant operations occurring on a single site. We will continue to incorporate efficient facilities and increase awareness amongst site operatives and staff, as well as undertaking research into other measures to reduce usage.
Our strategy for waste is not only to reduce the volume produced, but to ensure that we re-use and recycle as much as possible; this year we achieved a rate of 93%