Redrow has achieved a Gold Award in the NextGeneration Sustainability Benchmark - an industry-specific initiative established in 2004 to drive best practice in sustainability into the heart of the UK’s housebuilding sector.
2017 set to be the first year since 2008 that the UK builds 200,000 new homes as part of the Government target of 1 million new homes by 2020.
We’ve become an ambassador for The right Waste, right Place (rWrP) campaign to raise awareness of Duty of Care legislation around waste management. rWrP provides practical information to help businesses from a broad...
A new fairy garden has been unveiled at Hope House children’s hospice in Oswestry following an ambitious makeover project. The garden, which offers a quiet and peaceful area for families at the hospice to relax in, was given...
Budding gardeners at Barton Seagrave Primary School in Northants will be able to grow their love for the outdoors in a dedicated space created with help from Redrow and its landscapers. The school’s previous wildlife...
We’re the only major home builder to partner with the trust, and have recently strengthened our relationship by undertaking a pilot project at our Saxon Brook development in Pinhoe, Exeter. The pilot project involved creating a tailored...
Redrow has achieved a Gold Award in the NextGeneration Sustainability Benchmark - an industry-specific initiative established in 2004 to drive best practice in sustainability into the heart of the UK’s housebuilding sector.
Redrow continues to be steadfastly committed to sustainability and creating a better way for people to live. High level business principles addressing social, environmental and economic aspects have been developed and incorporated into an integrated annual report, placing emphasis on high quality homes and strong, cohesive communities that offer a wide range of local amenities, as exampled with developments such as Woodford Garden Village (Cheshire) and Colindale (London).
In 2016 alone, we invested £142m into community development and created 239 hectares of public open spaces, with a focus on building thriving communities and inspiring healthy living. In addition, through a partnership with the BBCT (Bumblebee Conservation Trust) and other local wildlife organisations, we have supported the creation of essential ecological networks and wildlife-friendly habitats on and around our developments.
Robert Macdiarmid, Sustainability Director at Redrow, said: “Sustainability is core to our business, ensuring we build responsibly and create prosperous communities whilst maintaining and enhancing the natural environment. This outlook is reflected in our strategic business principles – growing responsibly, putting customers first, managing resources efficiently, creating better places to live and valuing and developing our people. We are all extremely delighted to have received Gold Award status, which is testament to the dedication to improvement of sustainability throughout the company.”
John Tutte, CEO of Redrow, outlines his predictions for the property market in 2017:
“The Government has acknowledged Britain’s mounting need for new homes with various measures implemented to kickstart the sector in 2017. The announcement of a £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund, together with the unlocking of a number of brownfield sites, are particularly helpful measures from Government. The supply of land for housing is improving, with many local authorities now taking a more proactive approach in their area by identifying the number of homes needed to meet current and future demand and implementing plans to progress delivery.
“Despite this, family housing continues to be in short supply in some areas and red tape and a lack of planning resource in local authority departments remains the number one barrier to bringing more homes to market. The upcoming Housing White Paper must include measures to target this area which could include implementing an incentive based system to encourage planning departments. While it remains doubtful that the combined housebuilding industry will build 1 million new homes by 2020, with all the impetus currently being achieved, 2017 looks set to be the first year since 2008 in which we might build 200,000 new homes.
“Across the country, we are bringing to market thousands of new homes located in some important and geographically diverse regeneration areas. Thousands of new homes will be created over the next decade in just four locations alone which include Ebbsfleet Garden City in Kent, Woodford Garden Village in Cheshire, Plasdwr in Wales and Colindale Gardens in North London. Our focus in 2017 and beyond is to create better places for people to live which means creating true communities which are supported by a range of lifestyle based amenities. To this end, it is positive to see the government announce the locations of 14 proposed new garden villages which will deliver new homes, facilities and amenities. It is important for government support to not only be given to building new homes, but to creating thriving and sustainable communities.”
“Demand for new homes continues to outweigh supply. Record low interest rates, a competitive mortgage market and government incentives such as Help-to-Buy have boosted demand. The high cost of deposits combined with stamp duty and other moving costs has resulted in people moving further out as they look to get more for their money. Schemes located in prime commuter belt locations which are under an hour journey from the UK’s major cities are popular and this is a trend that looks set to increase in 2017 and beyond. Our buyers want homes that offer all the benefits of a suburban lifestyle – being located near to local schools and green spaces – but with easy access to urban infrastructure and business centres.
“This shift is now acknowledged by the Chancellor who, in a break from prioritising investment in London transport links, recently announced plans for an expressway connecting Oxford and Cambridge in an effort to strengthen the two economic hubs and support residents in and around these historic cities.
“Analysis of our buyers also reveals their habits towards buying new homes. While our buyers favour new homes for the craftsmanship, low-maintenance lifestyle and ten-year NHBC guarantee they bring, they are also keen to live in a bespoke home that offers individuality, and in 2017 customisation will continue to be popular. Tools such as My Redrow offer a range of upgraded product choices and options which allow purchasers to create the home of their dreams. Upgrading standard products is an option many of our customers go for and we’re seeing them favour premium flooring, tiling and kitchen fittings for their new home. In addition, adding a conservatory to the property is also a frequent request from buyers purchasing extra products on My Redrow.”
“2017 will be the year in which article 50 is triggered, setting in motion the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Of key concern to the housebuilding sector are the implications for the workforce which is already suffering from a crippling shortage of skills. A drive for more homes must come hand-in-hand with a drive to recruit more workers, so the Government must implement measures not only to retain the international talent already attracted to the UK, but to further support the sector to train and upskill the existing UK labour force. The industry itself has a major role to play and it’s essential that housebuilders work together to highlight the benefits of a career in construction and the sheer variety of pathways that exist. From brick layers, to quantity surveyors, to architects and decorators – in 2017 inspiring and supporting people into these careers will need to be one of the industry’s biggest focus areas. At present, 15% of Redrow employees are trainees on structured programmes – a fact that we as a company are immensely proud of and encourage other firms in the sector to match.”
 Source: Department of Communities and Local Government – UK housebuilding, Homes completed financial years 1970/1 – 2013/14
We’ve become an ambassador for The right Waste, right Place (rWrP) campaign to raise awareness of Duty of Care legislation around waste management.
rWrP provides practical information to help businesses from a broad range of sectors to comply with legislation and help keep waste out of the hands of waste criminals. As an ambassador, we will now take up the mantle of raising awareness with our suppliers too.
To qualify as an ambassador, we proved we embrace the principles of rWrP and have an internal programme and policy on waste management. We’ve also demonstrated a commitment to promoting best practice with regard to waste management and to actively engage with rWrP to promote the campaign.
Sam Corp, head of regulation at the Environmental Services Association (ESA), said: “The number of organisations actively involved with the right Waste, right Place campaign, representing a broad range of sectors, shows just how serious an issue Duty of Care waste compliance is. Therefore, I am delighted to announce Redrow as a Campaign Ambassador and champion of the cause of raising awareness of the programme.”
Rob MacDiarmid, Group sustainability director, said: “We’re proud to be actively supporting this campaign in an ambassador role. Managing construction waste is a huge investment for Redrow, running into the millions of pounds each year.
“We are currently developing a new blueprint for reducing waste on site. This will not only strengthen our reputation as a responsible builder but also help us to become a more efficient business. A trial project is underway in our South East division to introduce a selection of new procedures and site controls. Our aim is to develop a culture of resource efficiency and waste prevention that we can then roll out across all 13 divisions within the company.”
The website www.rightwasterightplace.com offers practical advice on how to manage waste safely and efficiently.
A new fairy garden has been unveiled at Hope House children’s hospice in Oswestry following an ambitious makeover project.
The garden, which offers a quiet and peaceful area for families at the hospice to relax in, was given a magical transformation in just four days by a team of graduates from house builder Redrow.
The team of 14 green fingered graduates volunteered their time and asked for support from Redrow’s suppliers to give the fairy garden a sprinkling of fairy dust. Improvements include a new fence, paving, benches, fresh planting, bird and bat boxes, bug hotels, toadstools and fairy houses.
Redrow graduate trainee Alex Shine said: “Hope House is our North West division’s nominated charity so we wanted to do something that would have a lasting impact and benefit the children and their families who stay at the hospice.
“The fairy garden was in real need of a revamp and so we worked hard as a team over four days to firstly prepare the area - which involved plenty of digging - and then set about restoring it into a magical garden for all the children to enjoy.
“It’s fair to say that none of us expected how much hard work would be involved in the project. Equally though, none of us realised how rewarding the experience would be either. When it came to the big reveal to the families and staff at the hospice, their amazed reactions exceeded all of our expectations.”
Hope House Children's Hospices - Hope House in Oswestry and Ty Gobaith in Conwy - provide specialist nursing care in addition to practical and emotional support to terminally ill and life limited children and young people. The charity must raise over £4 million every year to maintain this care. Last year, Redrow’s staff raised £57,000 for the hospice.
Simi Epstein, director of fundraising and marketing at Hope House, said: “When Redrow offered to help us with the fairy garden we never imagined they would produce something so spectacular for the children.
“The children love the garden and have spent a lot of time hunting for insects in the insect hotel and peeking in the hedgehog houses to see if we have any visitors! The new fencing has made the area safe, secure and private which has enabled the children to enjoy it even more.
“Without companies like Redrow and their fantastic graduates we would not have been able to do the work and for that we are truly grateful.”
Redrow’s graduate project promotes team work, problem solving and working under pressure - all essential qualities for a career in construction. The participants are all currently on two year programmes, gaining valuable skills and experience with Redrow.
The graduates that took part in the project were: Joshua Cinna, Amanda Hollins, Sam Davies, Alex Shine, Catherine Gower, Claire Holt, Anthony Iren, Noah Overton, Emily Smith, Rebecca Smith, Michael Stuttaford, Nora Waldendorf, Keiran Wood and Megan Woodburn.
Redrow is extremely grateful to the many suppliers who offered their time, labour, materials and expertise completely free of charge. Thank you to: HSS, Lex Autolease, Reconomy, Hobbycraft, WBP Visual Solutions, Frontline Image Ltd, WAP Lawton & Sons Ltd, Trevor Bridge Associates Ltd, AM Norris Ltd, Paul Sellick Brickwork Ltd, Town and Country Vibro, B&Q, Brandwells Construction Co Ltd, Sign-Build, AkzoNobel, TCL Group, Speedy, Landstruction, P&A Group, Forest Hill Landscaping, Tate Contracts Ltd, S&E Painting Contractors Ltd, JB Cleaning Services, Bob Joyce Joinery, M.B Heating Ltd and Jack Moody Group.
For further details about Hope Hospice, visit www.hopehouse.org.uk.
For more information about career and graduate training opportunities with Redrow go to www.redrowcareers.co.uk/graduates.
Budding gardeners at Barton Seagrave Primary School in Northants will be able to grow their love for the outdoors in a dedicated space created with help from Redrow and its landscapers.
The school’s previous wildlife garden was built over to make way for an extension to provide additional facilities for the 480-plus children. Teacher Kim Pack was keen to develop a new garden and form a gardening club, but with no budget for tools, seeds or plants appealed to the local community for assistance.
Among those who stepped in to support the project were Redrow Homes and landscape gardeners TCL Group. Between them they installed new fences – including fencing made from pallets donated by B&M Pallets – and rotavated part of the area so that the children could carry out planting.
Kim Pack said: “We wanted to create a new garden area where the children could do some gardening and enjoy being outside, as well as having somewhere quiet they could sit. One of the issues we needed to overcome was keeping the area separate from the playground and stopping balls and the like from damaging the flowers, but we didn’t have a budget available for fencing.
“The support from Redrow and TCL has made a huge difference. The children can look over or through the fencing and we’ll be planting up the pallets that have been used for some of the fence to add an extra splash of colour. We’re really grateful to Redrow, TCL and everyone else in the community who’s helped. We’re a community school and it’s great to see the community coming together. We’re looking forward to making a good start on the garden in September.”
The project will develop gradually and will include themed areas such as a herb garden and wildflowers planted on banks.
The Ready Set Grow Club will tend to the garden every Friday.
Tonia Tyler, sales director for Redrow Homes (South Midlands), said: “Barton Primary School is close to our River View and Castle Fields developments and as good neighbours we were happy to be able to assist with preparing their new garden. Hopefully it will help the children develop a love for the outdoors.”
Carl Maddocks, operations manager at TCL Group, added: “It’s great to see a school encouraging children to take an interest in the environment at an early age. Who knows, those who are members of Ready Set Grow could be the landscape gardeners of the future.”
River View and Castle Fields at Barton Park, Barton Seagrave, have both blossomed into thriving new neighbourhoods and feature acres of public open space of their own and 27 allotments. Show homes are open daily, but for more information see www.redrow.co.uk/river or www.redrow.co.uk/castlefields.
We’re the only major home builder to partner with the trust, and have recently strengthened our relationship by undertaking a pilot project at our Saxon Brook development in Pinhoe, Exeter.
The pilot project involved creating a tailored pollinator friendly habitat for bees and we will now use this as a blueprint to create similar wildflower areas at all of our developments in the future.
Our Group sustainability director, Rob Macdiarmid, said: “We greatly value our partnership with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and we’re looking forward to forging a long-term relationship that will enable us to create more and more bee-friendly habitats across the UK in a bid to boost bumblebee numbers.
“Our work at Saxon Brook is the first project we’ve undertaken on this scale within a new development and it’s expected that the knowledge we gain will be shared across our technical departments in all 14 of our housing divisions to expand the scheme far and wide.”
In the last 80 years bumblebee populations have declined dramatically.
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, the BBCT has 9,500 members and has worked with over 400 farmers and landowners to create, restore or enhance over 3,000 hectares of flower-rich habitat for bumblebees.
Gill Perkins, CEO at BBCT, said: “Bumblebees keep us healthy by pollinating our fruit and vegetables. It is vital we reverse their declines and we aim to make new housing developments with Redrow Homes bumblebee havens. Our partnership will lead the way in promoting pollinator friendly landscaping on housing developments.”
For more information on BBCT visit bumblebeeconservation.org
The Liverpool Housing Partnership is a unique collaboration between Liverpool City Council, Redrow and Liverpool Mutual Homes, designed to drive up the range and quality of properties in the city of Liverpool. Redrow Homes and LMH will jointly build 1,500 new homes and LMH aims to bring up to 1,000 back into use as part of a £205 million investment over five years.
Redrow’s focus is to provide high quality family housing which will help keep people in the city who might otherwise be tempted to move elsewhere. Contributing to address Liverpool’s under supply of housing and boost revenue for the city, as well as to reinvest into the housing programme, to enable more affordable homes to be built.
A team of 14 green-fingered employees from our head office in Flintshire has helped Mostyn Kitchen Garden turn over a new leaf with a makeover.
Organised as part of our activities for Volunteers’ Week 2016, the group transformed part of the garden, which grows fresh fruit and vegetables for the local community.
Run as a social enterprise, the kitchen garden regularly welcomes participants from schools and local groups, giving them the opportunity to get involved in all aspects of growing fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers - encouraging exercise, social interaction and new skills.
Our volunteers overhauled two of the main beds; removing undergrowth and weeds, tending to the areas around the raspberry bushes to encourage better growth and create room for extra fruit bushes to be added, and introducing some extra herbs.
Kate Harcus, sustainability and social responsibility advisor, said: “It was great to have a large group of us to blitz a big area and remove a lot of the weeds that had taken over. We’ve specifically chosen plants to attract pollinators to the garden and now they have a much better setting in which to grow.
“We’d like to thank our suppliers, Jewson, who have kindly provided materials to enable the Kitchen Garden to cover two polytunnels and build some raised beds. Some of our volunteers will be returning to fit the polytunnels over the summer.
“It’s a wonderful project that’s encouraging members of the local community to develop a love for gardening and home-grown food. We hope our day’s work will assist the Mostyn Kitchen Garden to generate more income through sales of produce.”
Members of our sustainability, commercial, design and technical and health and safety departments came together to take part in the project, along with our head office Pathfinders team, a group of eco-minded employees who are tasked with building on our company’s sustainability credentials.
Philip Handley, Mostyn Kitchen Garden manager, said: “We are amazed at the amount of work that the team from Redrow managed to complete in just one day. It was a difficult task for our volunteers to attempt but the two borders have now been transformed. The new herbs will be appreciated by everyone and add to the wildlife habitat. We would like to say a big “thank you” to everyone for helping.”
Bringing a wealth of experience from the third sector, we’ve appointed Kate Harcus as sustainability and social responsibility advisor to help us build on our reputation as a company that cares.
Part of our now five-strong sustainability team Kate’s appointment to the newly created position signals our commitment to improving our reputation as a responsible business, by further strengthening our links with the communities in which we build and focussing on the wellbeing of our staff, as we continue our rapid growth.
Kate said: “Initially my focus will be on launching the new ‘Pathfinders’ scheme, which will involve working with groups of employees within each of our 13 regional divisions, to encourage improved sustainability practices, health and wellbeing for staff and partnerships with local charities and community organisations.
“I’ll also be looking to strengthen communication channels within the business so our efforts to operate responsibly are reported and made available for our stakeholders.
“There is already so much good work going on within the company but there’s an opportunity to make a real difference to the wider communities in which we build. We’ll be looking to link up with a network of smaller, local charities. Becoming a more sustainable business is not just important for our corporate social responsibility agenda, it’s proven to be a boost for a business’s bottom line.”
Marine resource management graduate Kate has previously worked for Groundwork in Greater Manchester as an environmental business advisor, working with a variety of commercial business to improve on resource efficiency and corporate social responsibility practices, and Business Supporting Communities, where she encouraged companies in North East Wales to support and work with the third sector.
We helped a North Yorkshire primary school to gear up for the Tour de Yorkshire with a day of cycling fun and educational activities.
‘Le Tour’ passed through Sherburn-in-Elmet on route from Otley to Doncaster, close to Athelstan Community Primary School and our Saxon Gardens development.
To celebrate, we funded ‘Bikeability’ workshops at the school, which included a bike obstacle course, cycling games, race training and a bike fix challenge. Around 125 pupils took part in the sessions, delivered by cycle training company CycleLeeds.
The school also planned a complementary range of lessons to incorporate various subjects including maths, geography, science and art – but all with a cycling related or Tour de Yorkshire theme.
James Tucker of Athelstan Primary, said: “We are very grateful for Redrow’s generosity and enthusiasm to organise the cycle event taking place at Athelstan. The Tour de Yorkshire passing through Sherburn-in-Elmet is an exciting event, and thanks to Redrow we are able to mark the occasion in an equally exciting way. Children throughout Key Stage Two had the opportunity to take part in fun and enriching cycling activities, ranging from obstacle courses to bike maintenance challenges, all designed to increase their skills and confidence on a bike.”
Rebecca Cliff, for Redrow, said: “When we realised that the Tour de Yorkshire would be coming right past our development we thought it would be great to offer to fund an activities day that would get all the pupils behind LeTour. We certainly had fun and we hope they did too!”
We’ve helped to steer new research into how car clubs can benefit new developments.
By providing funding and contributing a case study, we’ve supported the creation of a new report by Carplus, in collaboration with the University of the West of England.
Car clubs are designed to provide a means of vehicle sharing for residents who are considering deferring a planned vehicle purchase.
The first comprehensive review of its kind, the study looked at the last 10 years of experience of using the schemes on new developments.
Our Group sustainability director Robert Macdiarmid said: “Redrow welcomed the opportunity to contribute to this report, which will be a valuable resource for those involved in planning new developments.
“It assists in the sharing of best practice, helps developers to identify where car clubs will be viable and also highlights potential pitfalls to avoid.”
Our Cheswick Village development, in Bristol, was one of the case studies featured. Designed as a brand new sustainable urban village, built over a number of phases, the development is a prime example of how partnership work with local authorities can achieve an improved standard of development for residents and surrounding communities.
As well as helping new residents that do not own a car to be more mobile, the report concludes that car clubs can reduce traffic congestion, carbon emissions and improve air quality. They can also free up space within developments for added amenities and communal space, particularly vital in urban areas.
For more information visit www.carplus.org.uk.
We recently invited schoolchildren across West London to create a 60 second audio commercial to explain to other young people how important energy saving measures are in the home and raise awareness of how new homes are built with energy efficiency in mind.
Three Bridges School in Southall won a public vote via our YouTube channel against one other shortlisted school, chosen from a total of 45 commercials entered.
Run in partnership with UTV Media through its ‘ucreate’ Schools Project, successful year 5 students Aneal Panesar and Lois Valério have now had their commercial professionally produced at West Side Radio in Hanwell, while we also contributed £500 for sustainability projects at the school as part of their prize
Lois said: “As soon as we arrived, the station manager escorted us into studio one where we were interviewed live on air. It was so exciting for Aneal and me. After the interview we then recorded our Redrow commercial professionally.
”Nicola Johansen, sustainability manager, said: “We’d like to congratulate the pupils at Three Bridges on their well-deserved win and we’re delighted with the final commercial. This is the second time we have run such a competition with schools and it’s wonderful to hear from the younger generation about how they value their environment and saving energy in the home.
“Our aim was to raise awareness of how energy efficient new homes can be, helping reduce carbon emissions and our customer’s energy bills. It was a great opportunity to engage pupils on this important subject.
”For more information on the ‘UCreate’ Energy Efficiency Schools Project visit www.u-create.net.
Photo caption: Competition winners Aneal Panesar and Lois Valério
To mark Fairtrade Fortnight 2016 and bring awareness to ways of helping farmers worldwide get a better deal, we recently hosted a Fairtrade Big Brunch event at our Flintshire headquarters.
Fairtrade supports those who produce our food to feel secure while inspiring people in the UK to use the power of their shopping to choose a fairer deal for farmers and workers.
Being part of Fairtrade means farmers get a fairer price for their products, and a little extra to invest in developing their farms.
To help to raise awareness for the campaign among our own workforce we challenged staff to cook their favourite recipes using Fairtrade ingredients.
Our neighbours at Starbucks at The Village Hotel St Davids supported the event by providing and serving up a range of Fairtrade teas and coffees, while Fairtrade chocolate company Divine Chocolate, 44% of which is owned by cocoa farmers, supplied products for blind chocolate tasting as well as prizes for our best bakers.
Donations at the brunch raised around £120 for our Group charity of the year Claire House Children’s Hospice.
Nicola Johansen, sustainability manager, said: “The event was a great success with lots of people getting involved to raise awareness for a worthy cause. We have some wonderful bakers within our team, with a range of tasty treats served up using as many Fairtrade ingredients as possible, including sugar, honey, bananas, vanilla, coffee and of course lots of chocolate!
“We also challenged staff to try to tell the difference between Fairtrade chocolate from Divine and non-Fairtrade chocolate with most agreeing that the Fairtrade product tasted nicer and was of a higher quality.
“We’d also like to thank Starbucks at The Village Hotel St Davids and the team at Divine Chocolate for their support.”
For more information on Fairtrade visit www.fairtrade.org.uk.
Our latest research has challenged the long-held claim that customer demand for purchasing sustainable homes is limited.
On the contrary, 63% of the 1,730 prospective new homebuyers we surveyed indicated a desire to purchase a sustainable home and 38% actually said they intended to. In fact, 82% said they were willing to pay more for such a home, with more than a quarter prepared to pay at least a 6% premium.
As well as being questioned on their purchase intentions we also delved into the factors that influence homebuyers’ decisions.
Those surveyed ranked lower energy bills as more important than a garden, parking space, amenities, external appeal/design of home, and fittings & appliances when choosing a home; while 78% agreed the purchase of a ‘greener’ home was likely to have a positive environmental impact; and 92% had a positive attitudes towards making such a purchase. Interestingly, more than two thirds believed that ‘significant others’ in their lives would approve of the decision to opt for a greener home.
Our sustainability manager Nicola Johansen explains: “Our findings challenge the long-claimed, but previously under-researched, assertion within the industry that there is limited customer demand for sustainable homes. It also offers new insights into the factors that influence purchasers’ decision making.
“As a responsible business, the drive to reduce the carbon footprint of our developments is high on our agenda. However, we also want to build the homes our customers want to live in and this research helps us to fully appreciate what purchasers are looking for from their home and their homebuilder.
“We hope the findings will also help the housebuilding industry to better understand the extent of customer demand for sustainable homes and, by doing so, put more effort into communicating these benefits to potential buyers.”
With 60% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that they would be more likely to buy a new home from a company building sustainable homes, the evidence suggests that constructing more environmentally friendly properties, and promoting their credentials, can add value for our wider business.
Our study also highlighted some areas that can be addressed by housebuilders to assist homebuyers with their purchasing decisions.
While the majority of homebuyers were confident that a more efficient home would save them money (65%) and that it would be more comfortable (62%), a quarter indicated they thought it would be difficult or very difficult to buy a sustainable home and almost half of respondents weren’t confident of how sustainability features work.
Nicola added: “This new research will hopefully provide a benchmark for homebuilders to gear their building methods and marketing strategies towards catering for what is clearly a significant demand from consumers for sustainable homes.”
Families flocked to our open day held in partnership with the RSPB at our development in the Lancashire coastal village of Banks, near Southport.
To support the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch – the world’s largest wildlife survey - we welcomed visitors to The Coppice, where RSPB wardens from the nearby Hesketh Out Marsh reserve were on hand to talk about how residents can attract birds to their gardens and make a home for nature where they live.
The event also provided information on the sorts of wildlife to look out for in the local area and activities including nest box and bird feeder making, badge making and other fun pursuits and puzzles.
The Big Garden Birdwatch is all about bringing people of all ages closer to nature and helping them discover the wildlife which lives on their doorstep. It’s estimated that more than half a million people across the UK took part in the survey by counting the birds in their gardens over the weekend.
We have partnered with the RSPB since April 2015, when we committed to providing new habitats where birds and animals can flourish around our new developments. We have already built features such as nest boxes and bird bricks into plans for new homes in selected areas, and the event in Banks was another way we have helped to encourage local communities to get involved.
Bethan Procter, RSPB spokesperson, said: “The event at The Coppice was a great chance to speak to families about the wildlife on their doorstep and how they can help make a home for nature in their own outdoor space. With the Big Garden Birdwatch surveys now being collated, we’ll soon have a snapshot of how different creatures are doing in this area and what we can do to help – which will be really interesting.”
For more information visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch
We’ve been rewarded for our efforts to become more sustainable with a silver award from NextGeneration, an independent organisation which benchmarks the UK’s top 25 housebuilders on their sustainability performance.
Launched in 2006, to drive greener development and highlight best-in-class performance within the industry, this year’s NextGeneration benchmark saw us moving up into fifth place in the rankings.
Our above-average score of 71% is up 8% on last year and was calculated by assessing the impact our operations and the products we build have on the environment, society and the economy.
A membership based organisation, NextGeneration delivers benchmarking scores in partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency and UK-Green Building Council.
John Tutte, Group chief executive, said: “We’re proud of the strides we have made in improving our score and are delighted to move up the rankings and receive the silver award, particularly as changes to the scoring system this year have made the criteria tougher than ever.
“We’re committed to being a sustainable business. We will continue to build on this as we work towards achieving our 2018 targets.”
We’ve become the first major UK homebuilder to score a coveted ‘Three Trees’ from WWF for our commitment to using sustainable timber.
The world’s leading independent conservation organisation WWF is calling on all UK companies to commit to buying sustainable timber and timber products and inform their customers of where timber is sourced so they can make informed purchase decisions.
The Timber Scorecard assesses UK retailers, manufacturers and traders that buy timber on their policies and performance.
Each company is awarded a score from zero to three trees, the latter reserved for those who source over 70% certified sustainable wood and have policies and control systems in place.
Just 34 companies nationwide scored top marks in the latest round of results, announced in October 2015.
Our research and sustainability director Nigel Smith said: “We are delighted to have been awarded ‘Three Trees’ from WWF, the highest score achievable. We are the only major homebuilder to receive maximum marks. Timber is an important element of our construction process and we recognise the importance of utilising only timber from credible, certified legal and well managed sources. We are also a proud member of the WWF-UK Forest & Trade Network.”
The world’s forests are shrinking fast – and demand for wood is set to triple by 2050. The UK is one of the largest importers of timber in Europe and, as companies, we all play an important role in influencing the global market.
To find out more about the Timber Scorecard visit: www.wwf.org.uk.
On Friday 25th September, a 12 strong team of competitive-commuters met at Exeter central train station for our commuter ‘Top Gear style’ race to determine the fastest, greenest, cheapest, safest and easiest way to commute across the city to our office in Pynes Hill.
As the clock hit 8.45am, the busiest time for travel, the green chequered flag waved the competitors off in a bundle of chaos, consisting of runners, a cyclist, an electric bike, BMW i3 electric car, a taxi, walkers, a bus and a train to Newcourt, who completed the last leg by walking.
As this is was a green challenge, the winner wasn’t decided by coming first across the finish line. Each mode of transport was also scored on carbon emissions, cost, comfort, accessibility, image rating, safety and the time to complete the journey.
Back in the office, there was a crowded reception ready to welcome their racing heroes across the finish line with another green flag and plenty of cheering!
And the overall winner was… The Cyclist! Well done to Sean Papworth, Head of Customer Services, who not only cycled at an incredible pace, but had one of the lowest carbon outputs, little cost and a good image rating. It helped, of course, that Sean is a keen cyclist, and had the same equipment as Team Sky did for the Tour de France!
The next fastest mode was the electric bike, closely followed by the electric car, who completed the race in an amazing 14 and 17 minutes respectively, but were let down by accessibility and cost. However, with such speed, it proved what a great way of travelling across the city an electric bike can be, especially with its green credentials and pedal assistance.
In last place was the taxi, this was mainly due to its cost, CO2 rating and the fact that there weren’t any readily available taxis at that time of the morning, which caused this method of transport to take the longest.
It also proved an interesting test in to which commuting methods are actually available in Exeter. Whilst the race has helped determine the most effective travel methods, and show where improvements can be made, it has also helped trigger a lot of discussion about sustainable transport and how small personal changes could make a big difference to the city.
"The race has proved a great advert for cycling in Exeter, showing that it is actually the quickest way to get around the city, beating cars and taxis. And to discover that getting a bus from town is only eleven minutes faster than walking has been a real eye opener. The event has generated a lot of discussion about sustainable travel and hopefully posed a few questions, like how can public transport be improved, the price of electric bikes and would electric cars be suitable for the Redrow company car list?” Reuben Cooke, Technical Manager & Head of the Green team for the West Country office
We look forward to organising our next green event within the region, promoting a greener lifestyle in work and at home and continuing to raise awareness on our impacts as a business.
The (very scientific) official results table
We’re supporting ambitious research into the impacts of urban living on people’s health.
Funded under the Wellcome Trust's prestigious new initiative, Our Planet, Our Health, the three-year project will provide valuable insights about current and future health costs and benefits of urban environments in order to inform future design.
As the first volume housebuilder to pledge its commitment to the project, we are offering the research team access to our portfolio of housing developments.
Starting in February 2016, the study will be led by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) in partnership with urban planning and research consultancy, Daniel Black and Associates (db+a), and the University of Bath, with support from the University of Washington and United Nations University.
“It’s fantastic that Redrow are committing to this exciting research project. The links between health and urbanisation are complex, but there is an increasing urgency in tackling the health challenges that the Wellcome Trust are now focusing on, particularly those resulting from climate change, increasing population and urbanisation. Volume housebuilders play a key role in urban development in the UK and therefore must be central to the discussion.” Daniel Black, director of db+a and research project manager
By 2050 the planet will need to support nine billion people, the majority of whom will be living in urban areas. Availability and access to essential resources, including food and water, is reducing, while incidence of extreme weather events and trends in non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardio-vascular and respiratory illness, are increasing.
“This is vital research if we are to ensure future development supports the health and wellbeing of those living there. We are pleased to support the research team by offering access to our current developments. We will be following the results of the study with interest so we can continue to be at the forefront of quality design and create sustainable communities for the future.” Nigel Smith, Redrow's research and sustainability director
The project will aim to demonstrate to decision makers the hidden costs to society of poor-quality urban development. In collaboration with partners on the ground, new models of urban development delivery will be developed where health and long-term health impacts are considered and integrated from the start.
For more information on the project visit www.wellcome.ac.uk.
We’re committed to improving timber regulation and have signed up to the WWF Industry Statement to prove it.
As a major purchaser of timber products, we have welcomed the introduction of a regulation that is more effective at stopping illegal timber from being traded on the European market.
You can read the Industry Statement in full here which outlines our pledge.
We’re committed to reviewing our processes on environmental and sustainability issues – from initial design choices at conception to the completed building.
Timber is an important element of our construction process and we recognise the importance of utilising only timber from credible, certified legal and well managed sources. In 2015, 99.82% of our timber was responsibly sourced.
We are also a member of the WWF-UK Forest & Trade Network (FTN).
Run by CIRIA (the construction industry research and information association), the awards invite organisations to ‘do one thing’ to enhance their construction site, development or existing building.
Winners will be announced at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, on October 15 and Redrow is a finalist in two different categories.
Efforts to help birds, bees, hedgehogs and other creatures flourish at our UK headquarters in Flintshire are shortlisted in the ‘small scale permanent’ projects category; while an outdoor classroom that nine Redrow apprentices helped to create at a rural village school in Gloucestershire will compete for top honours in the class for ‘community engagement’.
At St David’s Park headquarters, in Ewloe, we’ve installed 152 homes of a different kind, comprising:
• 60 bird boxes
• 50 roosting pouches
• 10 bat boxes
• 24 bee/bug/insect homes
• 5 butterfly homes
• 3 hedgehog homes.
We’ve monitored and recorded activity in each across the year and noted that around 80% of the new homes have been used. A key feature of the project was a bird box with a camera installed, which allowed our employees to observe the nesting and raising of chicks in the company’s very own ‘Nestwatch’.
The new outside eco-classroom at Ann Edwards C of E Primary School, South Cerney, was created in just seven days with no budget. Designed to help the school’s pupils learn more about natural habitats, biodiversity and provide an area where the school’s eco club can thrive, it includes biodiversity enhancements such as a log pile hibernacula and bug hotel.
The challenge saw the team of Redrow construction site and office-based apprentices work together to source free materials from local suppliers before building the structure on a previously unused bit of land within the school grounds.
“To be shortlisted for one award would be achievement enough, but for two of our sustainability projects to be singled out is truly amazing. We’ve worked hard within the business to be more eco-friendly and to make sure all of our staff recognise the importance of developing homes in a sustainable and responsible way." Nicola Owen, Redrow’s sustainability manager
In a bid to reduce their carbon footprint, employees at our head office have taken part in a ‘green day’, swapping their cars for alternative methods of transport and learning how to drive more economically in an eco-driving simulator. In total, 765 car-miles were saved by employees opting to car-share, cycle, run, walk or use public transport to get to work. Everyone who took part was rewarded with a well-deserved breakfast sandwich upon arrival!
NW technical director Paul Sinclair was awarded the prize for ‘most impressive commute’ winning a Fair Trade hamper after cycling and using the train to travel 84 miles to the Ewloe office from Wigan and back, while Group sales and marketing director Dave Bexon cycled the 60 mile round trip to and from his home in Nantwich. Colleagues also competed to find the most ‘fuel efficient’ drivers using a driver training simulator, with Laura Wood from Group Marketing achieving the best individual score.
Staff also took part in bumblebee walks around the grounds of our head office at St David’s Park, Ewloe to learn more about Redrow’s partnership with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT). Sinead Lynch, a conservation officer from the BBCT led the walks, teaching employees about the pollinator friendly habitats we have planted and their important role in attempting to reverse the dramatic decline of many British bumblebee species. Find out more about our partnership with BBCT on our Partnership Pages. Lots of other activities were running throughout the day, with raffles, an eco-themed cake sale and ‘best green dressed’ competition, all raising money for our chosen charities for the year - Hope House Children’s Hospice and D.A.F.F.O.D.I.L.S.
“It was a fantastic day to raise awareness of the simple steps we can all take to reduce our carbon footprint and help the environment. Organised by our St David’s Park ‘Green Team’, our aim was to get as many people involved as possible. Every member of staff arrived to a pack of wildflower seeds and Fairtrade Green Tea on their desk and everyone who left their car at home for the day was entered into a raffle to win a prize donated by one of our generous suppliers.” Nicola Owen, Redrow’s sustainability manager
To further embed our sustainability values throughout the business, all staff have been undergoing sustainability training, which has been delivered in a suitably eco-efficient way; through the introduction of a new eLearning module that is completed online at a time to suit each individual employee.
Delivered in ‘bite-size chunks’, by the end of the module all learners are able to discuss the key concepts of sustainability and its importance to the planet, people and businesses in general. They’ll also be able to engage further with our sustainability vision, understanding how the company is working to improve its impacts on the environment and society, as well as identifying ways in which they can get involved with our sustainability agenda.
“The eLearning module is an engaging, interactive way to involve all staff with the important issue of sustainability regardless of their role. We also provide more detailed, job specific training for our sales and site teams. This includes delivery of the CITB’s (SEATS) to all of our site managers, area construction managers and construction directors.” Nicola Owen, Redrow’s sustainability manager
We are also in the process of ‘threading’ sustainability through all of the training courses we run; even those which, on the face of it, might seem unrelated.
“We ensure that all the training we do, whether it’s time management, leadership skills or customer service, relates back in some way to Redrow’s Aspirations 2018 agenda. Sometimes the sustainability element within a specific training course is quite detailed according to an individual’s role and skills required, but at other times it is more subtle and only represents a small part of the course content. The important thing is that sustainability is embedded at the heart of everything we do.” Jon Chadwick, Redrow’s group learning and development manager
Separately, members of Redrow’s ‘Green Teams’ – eco champions at different locations across Redrow’s business - have undertaken IEMA/City & Guilds (level 2) training in environmental sustainability. This course covers the importance of resource efficiency, pollution prevention guidance, the impact of transport and understanding how employees can support environmental aims. It will be rolled out again to newer Green Team members each year.
We are delighted to have been recognised for our efforts in sustainability, by winning the ‘Green Award’ at the 2014 Daily Post Business Awards, which were sponsored by the Welsh Government and Bangor University. The accolade recognises good environmental or sustainability practice by businesses that are reducing energy costs, minimising waste or otherwise taking steps to shrink its carbon footprint.
We have set ourselves a number of targets to make our business more sustainable and, while we are still working towards many of these, we are delighted that our efforts over the past year have been recognised. This award shows we are on the right track and we want to build on that momentum to take further strides in coming years.
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