Corporate Social Responsibility Interactive Report



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Environment

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HOUSEBUILDERS HAVE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT UPON THE ENVIRONMENT, BOTH ON THE COMMUNITIES IN WHICH WE OPERATE AND ON THOSE FURTHER AFIELD >>
SUMMARY
Our Aim To minimise adverse impacts while taking steps to protect and enhance the natural environment
Our Priorities
  • Environmental management and waste management/minimisation
  • Land use and remediation
  • EcoHomes and sustainable solutions
  • Employee and contractor training
  • Site inspections and audits
  • Engaging with stakeholders
2004 KPI Measurements UK Business
  • 68% of homes built on brownfield sites
  • 94 - average SAP rating of new houses
  • 9.6 tonnes of waste produced per unit of housing completed
  • 83% of waste segregated on site
  • 35% of waste sent to landfill
  • 65% of waste recycled

US Business
  • 44% of homes completed with a Freon-free HVAC system

Housebuilders have a significant impact upon the environment, both on the communities in which we operate and those further afield that are affected by the sourcing and manufacture of the materials we use.We have a responsibility to minimise adverse impacts on these communities and we take steps to protect and enhance the natural environment in ways that are consistent with upholding shareholder value.

Climate change poses a massive threat to the world's environment and its inhabitants. We can and must play our part to minimise emissions and maximise energy efficiency.

We take regulatory requirements extremely seriously. In addition,we undertake environmental initiatives that go beyond legislation.The vast majority of these initiatives make business sense in terms of cost savings, efficiency, customer benefits and ultimately increased site value.

GEORGE WIMPEY UK

UK incident reduction figures In the UK, we have a comprehensive and detailed approach to managing environmental issues, as follows:
  • Our continuously updated Environmental Management System (EMS) covers all aspects of on-site environmental management and is externally verified by auditors, RSK ENSR Environment Ltd. We are working towards ISO14001 accreditation.
  • The EMS includes our pioneering Guide to the Assessment, Remediation and Validation of Land (adopted by the National House Building Council as an industry standard). We build the majority of our homes on brownfield land and specialise in decontaminating and remediating land.
  • We have extensive procedures in place to identify, avoid and manage potential causes of pollution. All environmental incidents must be reported and our reporting system provides complete and accurate data for analysis. A 24 hour hotline is available for advice and emergency support.
  • We work with specialists Wastefile and other suppliers to further reduce, segregate, manage and find sustainable disposal solutions for our waste.
  • All sites are required to produce a Site Specific Environmental Action Plan (SSEAP) to identify and manage ecological issues before construction begins.
  • We try to maximise the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) ratings of new homes and encourage our regional companies to incorporate EcoHomes standards wherever possible.
  • Many of our companies have introduced features such as Home Zone areas; alternatives to car use; recycling and sustainable waste solutions; home office space; re-used and recycled materials; renewable energy sources; sustainable urban drainage systems and other beneficial initiatives. Our policy is to encourage those features to be used whenever possible and practical.
  • Our staff and sub-contractors receive extensive environmental training.Working groups address specific issues,we run regular awareness campaigns to promote best practice and we produce an internal environmental bulletin.
  • We minimise the use of toxic and hazardous materials.We use dual flush toilets, low emission boilers, stock energy efficient (A and B rated) white goods in our options centres and train sales staff on energy efficiency.
  • We work closely with the Environment Agency, planners, industry bodies, subcontractors, suppliers and other stakeholders on environmental initiatives.
CSR HIGHLIGHT
1,453

OF OUR HOMES WERE BUILT TO ECOHOMES STANDARDS DURING 2004

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

During 2004, we developed and undertook a pilot sustainability survey of our major suppliers. We adapted the survey with the help of supplier feedback and will send the final version to all of our remaining suppliers in 2005.

Also in 2004, we undertook a full gap and cost benefit analysis of gaining ISO14001 accreditation. We found that the main differences between our EMS and the ISO requirements related to the structure and extent of our documentation.We concluded that ISO14001 would provide increased assurance and we are therefore working towards certification.

We conducted a waste management audit of our UK operations.We addressed issues relating to design, procurement,waste contractors, site operations and office waste. We introduced a waste minimisation working group and set objectives for 2005.

We will continue to work with Wastefile and other partners on innovative waste solutions.These include Eco-bond, an initiative to turn waste materials into new building products.

SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT

We seek to use environmentally preferable materials from sustainable sources wherever practicable. Our ongoing sustainability survey of suppliers will help us to improve our sourcing practices.

The vast majority of our timber comes from FSC accredited sources or is PEFC certified softwood from Scandinavia or the Baltic states.We are aiming for all of our timber to come from sustainable sources and will continue to explore this issue. For practical reasons we also use a large quantity of MDF and chipboard, which is made from timber residues or off-cuts. Our MDF suppliers are FSC certified and our chipboard suppliers have ISO14001 accreditation.

MORRISON HOMES

The predominant focus for Morrison Homes is compliance with all federal, state and local laws that relate to the environment.We also encourage environmental initiatives at a Divisional level, particularly where these provide customer, community or commercial benefits. The Morrison Homes approach is as follows:
  • All environmental and other planning risks are taken into account during due diligence stage before we purchase any land. Unless the vendor has already done so, we perform a 'phase 1' environmental assessment during due diligence to identify the range of environmental issues that may affect the property. This allows us to fully analyse any risks and approve the environmental feasibility of the site.
  • If necessary, we will then undertake a further biological assessment of flora, fauna and habitat.
  • In terms of environmental management, each of our Divisions has detailed procedures to cover all applicable regulations.

EXAMPLES OF CURRENT PROJECTS

The location of our Divisions and their operations varies from desert to wetlands, which means that we are experienced in tackling a wide range of environmental issues and constraints.

Morrison Homes' Divisions in Dallas and Sacramento take part in the government's Energy Star programme.This evaluates new homes in terms of insulation and energy efficiency.

To receive Energy Star certification, energy efficiency must be at least 30% higher than that of a comparable, conventionally built home.

Our Tampa Division is helping homeowners save money and protect the environment by using grey water for irrigation in their Florida gardens. Instead of using groundwater, 60 homes in the Waterchase community receive safely treated, recycled waste water.

We are currently fitting the same system in 80 plots in our Arista community, so that residents will be able to use grey water if and when the local authority makes it available in the future.

In Denver, we build communities near existing or abandoned oil and gas wells.We need to take a range of health, safety and environmental precautions before and during construction. Existing wells involve a no-build zone in case of explosions and other hazards. If the well is abandoned,we follow specific procedures to cap it and produce a detailed environmental report on dealing with contamination.

FUTURE TARGETS

In the UK we have started work towards ISO14001 accreditation and hope to be certified by the end of 2005. Having undertaken a pilot survey in 2004, we will conduct a sustainability survey of the rest of our suppliers in 2005.

Morrison Homes is continuing to work with two major suppliers to introduce environmentally preferable, Freon-free heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems into all our new homes over the next couple of years.

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