Environment & climate change

We recognise the urgency of the climate change agenda and champion the role we have to play in decarbonising the economy for a greener, more sustainable future. Our focus is on minimising the carbon emissions within our own operations and reducing the whole-life carbon of the buildings, infrastructure and services we provide.

in 2021, we published our pledge to achieve net zero carbon across our own operations by 2030, and across all activities by 2045 at the latest. To provide a clear route to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we have committed to achieving a verifiable science-based target validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). In doing so, Galliford Try has joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees and the UN-backed campaign Race to Zero.

Achieving net zero through our Carbon Reduction Plan 

Policies and management

Our Environmental Policy sets out our commitment to integrating the assessment, management and control of environmental issues into the management of our business. This is complemented by our Energy Policy, which recognises the impact of energy use on climate change and commits us to effectively and efficiently managing our energy use. Our Biodiversity Policy obligates us to protect and, where appropriate enhance biodiversity during our construction activities. Our Responsible Sourcing Policy requires us to consider our preferred suppliers’ environmental impacts, among other issues.

We identify, manage and mitigate our environmental impacts from project to business level through our ISO 14001 certified management system, supported by a network of Health, Safety and Sustainability (HS&S) advisors.

Our policies and processes are contained within our BMS (Business Management System), a mandatory platform, which defines our approach to all key operations and sets out the standards we must adhere to. Use of the BMS ensures consistency, governance and control and effective risk management by mitigating issues at source.

We make our people aware of our environmental standards and policies that are integrated into our BMS through extensive training, our intranet and by promoting our Code of Conduct, ‘Doing the right thing’, to all our employees.

Ensuring compliance

Compliance with our environmental policies is assessed through HS&S advisors who are aligned to each business unit to provide support and advice. They visit sites regularly to ensure compliance with policies and procedures and produce a Safety, Security and Environmental Report, which is communicated to appropriate levels in the business through a database. Any non-compliance identified requires a corrective action plan, including the date by which it will be completed.

We also monitor performance using key performance indicators (for example covering waste and timber), which are regularly reviewed and variations investigated. Any incidents or visits (for example by the Environment Agency) are logged in databases and reported to divisional Boards each month.

In our Annual Report 2022 (published in October), we have made disclosures in line with the recommendations of the Task force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), including outlining the key risks and opportunities that climate change poses to our business.

Key Performance Indicators

Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions

(CO2e tonnes)

Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions  Chart

Waste intensity

(tn/£100k revenue)

Waste intensity  Chart

Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)

In support of our Sustainable Growth Strategy, we participating in the CDP disclosure process. Formerly known as the "Carbon Disclosure Project", CDP is the most globally recognised environmental disclosure system and is used by a wide range of stakeholders to monitor and compare how companies are addressing climate change. In addition to providing detailed information in relation to our carbon emissions and carbon reduction actions, our CDP disclosures also outline the risks and opportunities that climate change presents to our business and how we are responding to them. By participating in CDP, we aim to demonstrate our commitment to tackling climate change and provide transparent updates on our journey to net zero. Our rating and full submission will be available on the CDP website later in 2022.

Carbon and energy performance, initiatives and SECR reporting

The data included in the table on page 31 covers the reporting requirements detailed in the SECR regulations. As we report our carbon and energy data in calendar years, the following section represents our carbon and energy performance for Galliford Try for the calendar years 2021 and 2020. We are pleased to report a reduction in our Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions intensity (see changes in reporting below) to 0.91 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per £100,000 of revenue in 2021 from 1.16 in 2020. While some of this reduction is due to business travel remaining below pre-pandemic levels, this also reflects the various initiatives we have taken to become more energy efficient and reduce the carbon footprint of our own operations. Overall, we have reduced our scope 1 and 2 carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 61% since 2015, ie from 27,837 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions in 2015 to 10,795 tonnes in 2021.

Galliford Try’s operations are wholly within the UK and as such this is where reported emissions arise.

Tonnes of CO2e 2021 2020 2019
Emissions from combustion of gas tCO2e
(Scope 1)
383 100 3,388
Emissions from combustion of fuel for
transport purposes
(Scope 1)
3,482 3,742 6,485
Emissions from fuel oil supplies ie diesel consumed (Scope 1) 4,556 5,683 9,997
Fugitive emissions from office facilities ie air conditioning systems (Scope 1) 212 5 9
Emissions from use of LPG (Scope 1) 0 0 1
Emissions from purchased electricity (Scope 2; location-based) 2,161 1,994 1,568
Emissions from purchased electricity (Scope 2; market-based) 1,341 998 Not reported
Emissions from fuel and energy-related activities (Scope 3) 2,738 Not reported Not reported
Emissions from business travel (Scope 3)* 429 141 264
Emissions from employee commuting (Scope 3) 2,874 Not reported Not reported

Carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (tCO2 e)are calculated using the methodology in ISO 14064-1 and the UK Government GHG Conversion Factors and Methodology for Company Reporting 2021, which are also subject to external verification. Emissions cover all those arising from our fleet, gas and electricity in all offices and sites and all other fuel used directly (for example diesel on site) including our share of emissions from joint ventures. Where data is obtained in litres used and distance travelled, these conversion factors have been used to convert to kWh.

Changes in reporting
In 2020 and prior years, the emissions associated with business use of company cars where the employee purchased the fuel and was reimbursed through an expenses claim have been reported under scope 3 – business travel. In 2021, these emissions were reported under scope 1 in order to be consistent with the reporting of emissions from company cars where the fuel is paid for by a corporate fuel card. To aid comparison with earlier years, the data for 2019 and 2020 has been restated using the methodology used for 2021. During 2021, we expanded our scope 3 reporting boundary to include all other elements of business travel, fuel and energyrelated activities and employee commuting. As part of our commitment to achieve net zero by 2045 and setting a science-based interim carbon reduction target, we are currently in the process of performing a Scope 3 footprinting review to identify the most material Scope 3 emissions categories. We will then develop reporting methodologies for these categories and start reporting all material Scope 3 emissions.

Annual energy usage
Our total energy use, calculated from Defra 2021 conversion factors, for all our UK activities was 48,382,602 kWh (location-based), which is a 20.4% increase in our total energy use (2020: 40,194,724 kWh (location-based)). This increase in reported energy use reflects the inclusion of certain scope 3 emissions categories within our reporting boundary in 2021. On a like-for-like basis, our total energy use was 37,203,327 kWh (location based) which is a 7.4% reduction in our total energy use compared to 2020. This excludes our PPP Investments operations, but includes joint ventures where we have operational control

Energy efficiency measures undertaken
We continue to take measures to reduce our carbon emissions, including:

  • In September 2021, we committed to providing only electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles in our company car fleet. As at 30 June 2022, 51% of the 1,122 vehicles in our company car fleet were electric or plug-in hybrid and the average emissions per vehicle reduced to 60.1g/km (as at 30 June 2021: 77.9g/km).
  • Continued to promote the use of hybrid generators for temporary power on our construction sites in preference to the use of conventional diesel only powered units.
  • Continued to utilise our Agile & Smart Working policies across the business, which promote alternative options for travel to offices and sites using online communication technologies such as Microsoft Teams.
  • Commenced the development of a low carbon site playbook to accelerate the adoption of good practice across our projects and support the transition to diesel-free construction sites.

Carbon Reduction Forum
We have established a Carbon Reduction Forum, which reports into the Director of Risk and Sustainability and is chaired by our Finance Director on a quarterly basis. Its purpose is to oversee the initiatives being developed and delivered across the different areas of our journey to net zero. These include:

  • Developing and rolling out a Journey to Net Zero e-learning module to equip all our staff with literacy in the key carbon reporting concepts and terminology, and to provide them with an understanding of our carbon reduction ambition and how they can support us in achieving it.
  • Piloting the use of carbon calculators, integrated with our existing BIM tools to model the embodied and operational carbon of building and infrastructure designs. This is allowing us to support our clients by identifying opportunities to make different design choices to improve the energy efficiency of the asset in use or reduce the embodied carbon in the materials used.
  • Developing a Low Carbon Process to embed carbon reduction targets and principles into the business-as-usual project delivery process.
  • Designing and rolling out our Net Zero Partners supply chain engagement initiative, with the aim to help upskill our supply chain partners and equip them to support us in delivering low carbon buildings and infrastructure.
  • Developing a low carbon site playbook to accelerate the adoption of good practice across our projects and support the transition to diesel-free construction sites.

Waste performance
Our waste intensity increased in the year, reflecting the project mix, with a greater proportion of higher waste intensity projects. However, waste continues to be an area of focus, with increased use of MMC, especially off-site manufacture, reducing the volumes of waste produced. We also manage our waste streams to maximise recycling and minimise waste to landfill and have increased the proportion of waste diverted from landfill to 96.3% (2021: 94.5%).

Sustainability news