Reducing our environmental impact and improving quality of life in the community.
How we approach our work.
Through our Environmental Policy and Environmental Management System we have established an effective means of complying with our legal obligations and establishing the necessary control measure to manage and mitigate any environmental risks associated with our activities.
In turn our Environmental Management System, associated policies and Environmental Objectives and Targets feed into our long term sustainability strategy.
To demonstrate our commitment to compliance with environmental standards, the United House Environmental Management System has been certified to ISO 14001:2004, by SGS (Certificate Number GB08/75358).
Through our Environmental Objectives and Targets our commitment to demonstrate continual improvement is measured across three key areas:
Performance against the targets set is reviewed annually by the Group Board, with new targets set each year to help enhance performance.
Sustainability and Environmental Management is core to all of our business activities. All new staff receive an environmental induction and this is followed up with general Environmental Awareness training and specific training in key areas, such as Site Waste Management Plans, Asbestos Waste Management and Code for Sustainable Homes.
United House has staff who are trained and registered Code for Sustainable Homes assessors and BREEAM assessors.
At site level, monthly inspections are undertaken to ensure that compliance with regulations is maintained.
At the Swanley head office we have introduced numerous measures to encourage recycling and reduce waste. We also play an educational role with partners and suppliers to increase their own environmental performance.
United House signed up to the Mayor of London’s initiative to reduce CO2 emissions in the capital in spring 2009. Our commitment is reduce our emissions by 30% by 2012 against our 2007 baseline.
From the work United House had already started in reducing our carbon footprint we were awarded the London Green500 Gold award in June 2009.
Further improvements made in 2009/10 - including to our vehicle fleet, office heating and lighting systems, and waste reduction and recycling - were rewarded with a Platinum Award in June 2010.
United House signed up to the WRAP Halve Waste to Landfill voluntary initiative in April 2009.
Our commitment is to reduce the quantity of waste sent to landfill from all of our construction sites and office facilities by 50% against our 2008 baseline of 3,500 tonnes. We are currently making good progress in achieving this target and in 2009 we had reduced this figure to 2,082 tonnes and our overall recycling rate has increased from 67% to 78%.
On the Barking & Dagenham new build project we are using a new sustainable road surfacing material called Foambase™. Supplied by OCL Regeneration as a replacement for conventional hot mix and binder course for the new roads constructed as part of phases 1 and 3a of the contract, Foambase™ has lower embodied carbon properties than traditional materials, which use a lot of energy and CO2. It uses recycled asphalt and macadam, less hot material and can be laid by hand rather than machine.