From the design of our homes and developments, to the materials we purchase, the way we build and the information we give our customers on the use of their homes - we care about reducing our impact on the environment. We operate a system that ensures we manage these impacts in a systematic way and is certified by the British Standards Institute to the international standard ISO 14001:2015. All of our developments are subject to internal spot-checks on a regular basis, using a risk-based approach. Site visits and spot checks are undertaken by inspectors from the Health, Safety and Environment Department. Directors also undertake spot-checks and the outcomes of these assist with continuous improvement.
We are partners in the Supply Chain Sustainability School, which is an award-winning initiative providing free learning and development to help our supply chain partners address sustainability issues. The School offers free practical support to all Redrow suppliers and subcontractors in the form of e-learning modules, training workshops and self-assessments. Since we became partners with the school, over 4,700 free resources have been accessed by more than 300 Redrow suppliers. We encourage our supply chain to improve their knowledge and understanding of sustainability issues through the School's programmes and also sit on the Homes Leadership Group and Carbon and Waste Special Interest Groups, supporting the development of the School.
Our group-wide design standards apply to all our homes and go beyond regulations and material sustainability standards in many instances. For example to minimise sound impacts we use of robust Standard Details which exceed Building Regulaton requirements by 3 dB. All windows are 1.2U-Value and all doors are 1.0 U-value. All floors are 0.12max U-value. All roofs are 0.11 U-value: all improvements upon standard requirements. Our homes are designed for improved daylighting and solar gains by adding larger than standard patio doors and windows.
We are working with The Wildlife Trusts to develop and implement a pioneering new approach to enhancing biodiversity on our developments. We are developing a net gain approach to biodiversity; ensuring nature is enhanced as a result of our activities and people can access and enjoy nature in their daily lives. We incorporate Sustainable Urban Drainage schemes on all of our developments to manage flood risk, which also often provide habitats for wildlife.
Redrow standard specification includes low embodied carbon products such as use of innovative interlocking concrete tiles, aircrete concrete blocks with up to 80% of the raw materials used in the manufacture being recycled products, locally recycled aggregates.
We have been disclosing our carbon emissions and reduction activities to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) annually since 2010. In the most recent submission, which can be viewed here, we were awarded a B grade which reflects the progress we have made by measuring awareness, management and actions taken on climate change. In addition to reporting and disclosing our environmental and sustainability performance throughout our annual report, this year we have also included specific climate-related disclosures following the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures’ (TCFD) recommendations. These disclosures are structured around the TCFD’s key four thematic areas and can be viewed here. We are currently focusing on reducing diesel use from our site activities and rolling out 'eco-cabins' for our on-site office and welfare facilities. Our inventory of greenhouse gases has been verified by SGS to a limited level of assurance, in accordance with ISO 14064-3:2006 as meeting the requirements of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol - A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard. For more information on our greenhouse gas reporting accounting methodology and to view our Greenhouse Gas verification statement, click here.
We have been working tirelessly for more than fifteen years to promote responsible forest management and ensure the eradication of illegal timber products from our supply chain. Our diligence has paid off and we are proud that currently 99.9% of our timber is responsibly sourced and credibly certified. We won’t stop there though, we’re determined to achieve our target of 100%. We were the first UK homebuilder to achieve the WWF's ‘Three Trees’ status in 2015, in recognition of the progress we had made in this area. The retention of our ‘Three Trees’ status in 2019 for the third assessment period places Redrow among the top 40 companies in the country using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and other responsibly sourced timber and paper products. We have been participants in WWF's Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) from 2003 until its closure by WWF in October 2018. Despite the closure of the network we continue to uphold the standards set and report timber accordingly. You can read our current reporting summary below. Note: this annual summary is released in March each year for the previous year’s data. You can view our Timber Purchasing Policy here.
Reducing the amount of construction waste we produce is important for many reasons. The extraction of raw materials and the manufacturing and distribution of products contributes to global carbon emissions. It is our aim to minimise the consumption of virgin raw materials and to maximise the value and lifespan of the materials and products we use. Our approach towards resource efficiency also helps to save money. We carefully monitor our construction waste and our data is externally verified by SGS every year. Redrow has reduced the total tonnage of waste produced per 100m2 build from 10.65t in 2017 to 8.11t in 2021.
In 2020, we launched ‘Reduce the Rubble’ – a pioneering initiative that sought to drill-down and identify every component of the waste generated during out build process. The aim was to better understand the root-causes of waste and to identify how it might either be eliminated, reduced or re-used. Our most popular housetype – a detached, four-bedroom family home from our Heritage Collection was selected and the study was undertaken across three representative sites in England. The study identified more than thirty opportunities for improvement which are being evaluated by our Buildability and Waste Working Group. To date, changes to skirting and architrave sizes and ceiling heights have been approved for future implementation. All potential changes are subject to a cost-benefit analysis to understand the pros and cons, and to identify the potential knock-on effects. Part of this process involves maintaining the integrity and quality of our product for our customers.
The project has helped to raise awareness of waste and it has had a positive influence on the way in which our construction teams think about waste - an informal survey found that 96% of those working across the three sites are actively working to reduce waste. Since the project started, more than half (53%) are now sharing their ideas on continuous improvement and examples of best practice.
Our ‘Reduce the Rubble’ campaign won bronze at the Global Good Awards 2021, in the category of Waste Reduction and Minimisation. Based in the UK but open to companies and organisations from outside the country too, the Global Good Awards 2021 recognise and reward change across all aspects of purpose-driven sustainability and social impact. The judges commented: “Reduce the Rubble is an important project to drive better performance,” adding there was “good evidence of education through the research project itself and also use of Tool Box Talks and other initiatives” with teams and contractors on site.
Another judge added Redrow “clearly understand consumer demand for waste reduction” and that they were “Impressed with transparency of the report.” As a company, we aim to be open, honest, and straightforward about various company operations, hence we have published the project report in the public domain. You can download it here.
You can also find out more in the video below.
Redrow supports the rise of the circular economy, a systemic approach to economic development designed to benefit businesses, society, and the environment. In contrast to the ‘take-make-waste’ linear model, a circular economy is regenerative by design and aims to gradually decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2019). As resources become more difficult and expensive to access, which can disrupt the build process, it is becoming ever more critical to find alternative means of sourcing and using materials. Redrow are building on a culture of reuse, for example our sites segregate and crush inert waste (including concrete and rubble generated during demolition and construction) and reuse the by-product, in order to mitigate the amount of waste sent to landfill, conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gases.
In March 2021, a large material recovery operation recently took place at Redrow’s Allerton Gardens development in Liverpool, which saw more than 1,400 tonnes of inert waste material processed into recycled aggregate. The site had generated a large amount of concrete waste due to the removal of an existing road which was underpinned with concrete slabs. The slabs were excavated and formed part of the inert waste feedstock, which was crushed during the 6-day long recovery operation. The finished by-product (recycled aggregate) was reused on the development in a range of settings, from creating private driveways and paths to patios and hard standings. Before any reuse took place, the aggregate was tested in accordance with the WRAP Protocol for Recycled Aggregates to ensure it was of a suitable quality.
Using recycled aggregates in construction has environmental benefits, as demands on primary resources and virgin raw materials are minimised. Carbon emissions savings are achieved as material transportation distances are reduced. Using recycled aggregate in construction also helps to maximise the lifespan of the material, by keeping it circulating in use for as long as possible, in line with circular economy principals. Cost savings can also be achieved by using recycled aggregate, as new materials do not have to be purchased and and imported.
Additional material management techniques implemented by Redrow include Lime Stabilisation. This method is also based on circular economy principals, enabling us to extract the maximum value from materials. At Redrow’s Tabley Park development in Knutsford, approximately 3500m3 of material was treated with lime; a hydraulic binder. The lime was incorporated into excavated spoil materials, which improved its workability and load-bearing characteristics. The processes turned unsuitable materials into suitable construction materials, which could have otherwise gone to waste.
More than 97% of our construction waste was diverted from landfill in the last financial year. We have recycling schemes in place for some of our product/material packaging, including pallets and paint-cans. We have also been working in partnership with the Community Wood Recycling Scheme for more than 5 years, to recycle and recover waste timber from our sites. The Community Wood Recycling Scheme is a national network which provides a collection service for excess wood, with the aim of saving resources by reusing and recycling waste timber. The Scheme also operates as a social enterprise, creating opportunities for local people.
In 2021, 518.3 tonnes of wood was collected from Redrow sites and rescued from the waste stream, that’s the equivalent weight of around 50 London Double Decker busses. 10% of our timber was classified as ‘high-grade’ and therefore directly re-used by communities for DIY or building projects, or made into products such as bird boxes and dining tables. The remaining wood has been processed into firewood, kindling, and woodchip helping to displace fossil fuels.
Richard Mehmed, Manging Director of the Community Wood Recycling Scheme, commented “We are delighted to be able to work with Redrow. Collecting wood from Redrow sites has created new, paid jobs and training opportunities for local people, which is helping to make a difference in communities. As well as generating constructive social outcomes, our partnership with Redrow also has a positive environmental impact, as wood is given a new purpose, which supports the circular economy and reduces demand for new materials.”
Our homes have one of the lowest water use standards in the industry at 105 litres-per-person-per-day (lpppd), compared with a building regulation standard of 125 lpppd. This is an issue of increasing importance; a recent report from the Public Accounts Committee shows that England is likely to face significant water shortages within the next two decades as the population grows, urbanisation continues and the climate warms. We also incorporate Sustainable Urban Drainage schemes (SUDS) on the majority of our developments to improve rainwater management and reduce flood risk. SUDS Systems are designed to mimic the natural drainage of surface water by managing rainfall, whilst also often providing habitats for wildlife. We have also developed plans for Rain Water Gardens at our Queenshill site in Newport, South Wales. The SUD’s features on site will be comprised of one combined crate tank and attenuation basin to the south of the site - landscaped for aesthetic purposes with a mixture of scrub, trees and wildflower planting – permeable / porous paving, swale features and road-side rain garden and filter strips. In terms of placemaking, it is hoped that the end result will prove to be an attractive, greener site. Additionally, having trees as part of the rainwater garden features also helps improve run off.
Redrow funded an embodied carbon study of a standard ‘Oxford’ house type, using the LifeCYCLE carbon model. The study focused on the ‘Product and Construction’ stage which includes embodied carbon associated with the manufacturing and installation of the components used for the substructure, superstructure, internal finishes, furniture/ fixtures and equipment (FF&E), services, external works and transportation.
The results of the study conclude that the Oxford house type achieves the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Embodied Carbon target for 2025, set within their 2030 Climate Challenge (< 800 kgCO2e/m2). This house type emits 704 kg of CO2e per m2 during the ‘Product and Construction’ stage (based upon a house floor area of 120m2).
Redrow use a number of materials and products that are considered to have low embodied carbon and our standard specification includes the following products:
- Roofing tiles: innovative interlocking concrete tiles that have 40% less CO2 emissions per m2 roof compared to concrete plain tiles.
- Concrete roof tiles in place of clay tiles: the embodied energy of clay tiles is 270 – 430 MJ/m2 while for concrete it is 40 – 90 MJ/m2.
- Aircrete concrete blocks: up to 80% of the raw materials used in the manufacture of the blocks are recycled products in some form, with the primary ingredient being Pulverised Fuel Ash (PFA) which is a by-product of coal fired power stations that would otherwise be sent to landfill.
- Gypsum plasterboard: produced by using either natural gypsum, synthetic gypsum (from desulphurising the flue gas of coal-fired power plants) or recovered gypsum from the waste-recycling chain.
- Locally recycled aggregates