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Leicestershire contractor targets being net zero carbon by 2030 and supply chain to be zero carbon b

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The Leicestershire-based contractor, Willmott Dixon, is targeting that all new build and refurbishment projects delivered from 2030 will be net zero carbon in operation under its new 2030 sustainable development strategy, ‘Now or Never; our decisive decade.’

The strategy sees the company pledge that its own operations will be zero carbon in ten years’ time and is aiming for its supply chain partners to be net zero carbon in operation by 2040. Willmott Dixon has recently completed landmark developments in the region including the Fullhurst College expansion and the Grow on Space facility.

Willmott Dixon is also on-site at Springfields Independent Living in Ashby-de-la-Zouch and is also working in partnership with Leicestershire County Council on numerous education projects across the county. Willmott Dixon has been a net zero or carbon neutral business since 2012, with all unavoidable carbon emitted each year being offset by investing in high-quality carbon reduction projects across the world, while reducing carbon emissions intensity from its own operations by 61% since 2010. ‘Now or Never’ will see the company cut all operational carbon emissions to zero by 2030.

The new strategy is underpinned by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which has approved Willmott Dixon’s emissions reduction targets as being in line with an overall need to limit a global temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels to prevent the most damaging effects of climate change.

The ‘Now or Never’ strategy is split into three themes, Brilliant Buildings, Building Lives and Better Planet*, which reflect Willmott Dixon’s aim to deliver low carbon products, protect, nurture and enhance the environment, create better life opportunities for people and leave a positive legacy for future generations to benefit from.

Other targets in the strategy include:

  • 100,000 trees to be planted by 2030
  • 1,000 people who face major barriers to finding work will be supported in finding long-term careers
  • All buildings and major refurbishments will be delivered with net zero embodied carbon by 2040 (with a net reduction in embodied carbon of 55% by 2030 compared to business as usual in 2020)
  • Improving the lives of 100,000 people through a series of interventions by Willmott Dixon people

Group chief executive Rick Willmott explains, “We’ve set some ambitious targets, some of the toughest for the construction sector, as we feel that now is the time for bold action if we are to bequeath future generations a planet not suffering from the consequences of past inaction in tackling the causes of climate change, but instead is one that they can live and thrive in.

“In laying out our road map for the next decade, we are also setting out how we are going to work with customers, supply chain partners and industry colleagues in creating a carbon free construction sector, as this is an issue that impacts on everyone, and we’ll need to work together to achieve our common aspirations for a ‘greener’ built environment.”

Jonathan Sykes, executive chairman, Carbon Intelligence said, "Willmott Dixon has set the most ambitious science-based target in the construction sector by aiming for zero emissions in its operations by 2030 and supply chain by 2040. Its actions will have a significant influence on reducing the climate impact of the built environment in the UK."

Willmott Dixon’s Brilliant Buildings report here (link) on its current track-record for driving ultra-energy efficient, low carbon property outlines its progress with customers across many sectors.

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