Every day across the UK, developers and construction companies bring much needed new homes, amenities and infrastructure to communities.
Countryside takes its responsibility to leave a lasting positive legacy to heart. For us, this means how we operate our business every day to minimise any negative impacts we could have.
Our suite of policies ensures our people and supply chain partners are clear on our expectations.
Managing our impacts
When we build new homes and communities, there are many operational aspects to consider. For example, we think about how we manage the protected species on site, the efficient use of materials and recycling of waste, the energy needed to power forklifts or generators, and much more.
All our sites put in place Construction Phase Environmental Management Plans, backed up by clear procedures and training to ensure our site teams and contractors manage all environmental risks effectively. Our system is certified to the international environmental management standard 14001.
We also look at how our offices and fleet are managed. Our people are incentivised to choose fully electric vehicles through our company car scheme and we are exploring how to allow for car charging facilities at our sites and offices. Our head office in Warley is undergoing a major renovation in the summer of 2021 and it will be fitted with energy and water-efficient systems.
To find out more about how we manage our operations, the key sustainability risks we have identified and what we monitor each year to measure our performance, please read our 2020 Sustainability Report.Annual report 2020.pdf
In 2020, our operational carbon footprint was 9,467 tonnes of CO2e, the majority of which came from work on site.
Petroleum diesel usage makes up 79% of our site carbon footprint. Petroleum diesel is primarily used to power our forklifts and generators. So we are looking at ways to reduce our use of petroleum diesel or even moving away from it entirely.
Case study – Trialling vegetable oil to power our forklifts
At St Michael’s Hurst, our development on the outskirts of Bishop’s Stortford, we have been testing the use of hydrotreated vegetable oil (“HVO”) as an alternative to petroleum diesel fuel.
HVO is made from waste, residues and vegetable oils and reduces CO2e emissions from our forklifts by 90% (compared to standard petroleum diesel). It is also odourless and helps to minimise the noise from engines when they start up. Our pilot is due to end in spring 2021, when we will review its potential roll-out across more of our sites.