Wates to go waste and carbon free by 2025

Wates has committed to eliminating waste and carbon from its operations by 2025.

The company has committed to three headline targets to help ensure it does ‘zero harm’ to the environment:

  • Zero waste from Wates operations by 2025reduce and then eliminate the production of all waste created from on-site operations.
  • Zero carbon from Wates operations and operational vehicles by 2025reduce carbon emissions and become carbon neutral.
  • Positive impact on nature from all operationsenhance the natural environment wherever it operates and to increase the value and community benefit of natural environments.

Measure taken will include switching to an all-electric commercial vehicle fleet and eliminating single-use plastic from its operations and supply chain.

Wates will also be investing in sustainable building techniques, organising sustainability placements for graduate and apprenticeship staff, planting 5,000 trees annually and ensuring that all sites or frameworks deliver at least one nature enhancement project.

This year the focus will be on raising awareness, education and engagement and using data collection to set accurate benchmarks.

The company is using a similar approach to its health and safety programme where a target-led approach has resulted in a “sea-change” in culture and behaviour.

David Allen, Wates Chief Executive, said: “We have established bold, ambitious, deliberately stretching targets for creating zero harm to the environment by 2025 because we believe that by committing to something extraordinary, we can achieve something extraordinary.

“Together with our partners, we will reduce waste and carbon, and improve our natural environment for generations to come.

“Our industry has made and continues to make an unhelpful contribution to the global climate crisis.

“We have a responsibility to reduce and eventually to reverse the impact we’re having on our planet and are determined that everyone in the Wates Group will do what is necessary to make a real and lasting difference.”

John Dunne, Group Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Director, added: “We are choosing to take a leading role in reducing our industry’s environmental impact.

“We work with a diverse range of public and private sector partners and businesses of all sizes are part of our supply chain.

“A key part of achieving zero harm to the environment will be working collaboratively with these partners.

“Our strategy will focus our attentions and energies on achieving zero waste, zero carbon and positive nature enhancement by 2025; and everyone has a vital role to play in achieving it.”

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Audit watchdog needs more time to probe Carillion collapse

Watchdogs at the Financial Reporting Council need at least an extra six months to complete the first stage of their investigation into the collapse of Carillion.

The FRC launched a probe into KPMG’s auditing of Carillion’s books when the contractor collapsed in January 2018.

In an update the FRC said: “The scale and complexity of this case is exceptional, with a huge volume of documents and information that has had to be reviewed and analysed.

“The investigation encompasses a four-year period, and numerous significant audit areas, including the accounting for construction and services contracts, pensions liabilities, goodwill and going concern.

“All of the accounting years and each of the audit areas identified remain under active consideration.

“The FRC therefore currently expects to complete the first stage of its investigation by summer 2020, rather than by January 2020.”

The FRC is also investigating the conduct of former Carillion directors Richard Adam and Zafar Khan.

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Breedon swoops to buy 100 Cemex UK sites for £178m

Breedon has struck a deal to buy a major slice of the aggregate operations of global materials giant Cemex for £155m cash and liabilities of £23m.

Breedon boosts aggregate reserves to 1bn tonnes and aims to expand asphalt business

The Cemex business that is being sold employs 650 staff across 100 active operations in the UK and will drive further consolidation of the heavyside material sector.

The sale consists of 49 ready-mix plants, 28 aggregate quarries, four depots, one cement terminal, 14 asphalt plants, and four concrete products operations.

These sites are grouped across six divisions located in Scotland, Wales, North-East England, Norfolk, the East Midlands, and Yorkshire.

Part of Cemex’s paving solutions business in the UK, together with some inactive sites, are also included in the sale to Breedon.

Cemex said it would still retain a substantial operation in this country, including cement production, ready-mix concrete, asphalt, and paving solutions.

Pat Ward, Breedon’s group chief executive, said: “This is a unique opportunity to extend our national network through a single value-enhancing transaction, substantially increasing our footprint in several regions of Great Britain where we are currently underrepresented and adding 170 million tonnes of mineral reserves and resources. “

He said that the enlarged group’s total mineral reserves and resources would stand at more than 1 billion tonnes. Several greenfield sites are also included as part of the deal offering further potential for expansion.

Ward added: “It also delivers a step-change in the development of our national asphalt strategy.

“There is potential to drive significant performance improvements across these new assets and they will also strengthen our platform for further organic growth and bolt-on acquisitions.”

Ward said: “In addition to the cost synergies we anticipate, we also expect the deal to be accretive to both earnings and free cash flow in the first full year, with a positive ongoing impact on the cash generation of the enlarged Group.”

Last year Cemex generated £178m revenue, delivering a £23m in trading profit.

Breedon will notify the UK Competition and Markets Authority for clearance but said that completion was not conditional on conclusion of the CMA process.

The deal is expected to be finalised in the second quarter of this year, subject to completion of a TUPE consultation process.

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ENGIE Wins £9m East Grinstead Contract

Leading energy, services and regeneration specialists, ENGIE, has started work on a £9 million project in East Grinstead.

The development, named Lingfield Lodge, will comprise of 48 contemporary extra care sheltered apartments, complete with associated communal facilities and landscaping, and will be carried out in partnership with Eldon Housing Association in addition to local charitable providers.

Work is set to be completed in January 2021, with the scheme aiming to provide a better standard of affordable housing and facilities for residents and the community, with ENGIE working in partnership with Mid Sussex District Council and West Sussex County Council through Eldon Housing Association.

The site, located in East Grinstead, saw the demolition of the existing apartments to make way for the new modern facilities.

Simon Lacey, Regional Managing Director at ENGIE, commented: “It’s great to be involved in a project that will make a real difference to residents’ living standards with brand new apartments and the development of communal areas.

“The project will see us make the most efficient use of the land, without disrupting existing amenities in the surrounding area. It’s an exciting project, and we’re looking forward to seeing the positive impact providing 100% affordable homes will have on the local area.”

Working in conjunction with FUSE Architects, ENGIE plans to build a variety of high quality properties, ranging from 1 – 2 bedroom appartments.

For further information on ENGIE, visit

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HS2 phase 2 civils design costs rise 50%

HS2 has extended its civils design and environmental services contracts for routes from Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester with values rising by 50%.

Design fees and environment services work needed to support the hybrid Bill for the route was originally expected to cost around £350m.

That figure has now soared to £524m as HS2 has extended the scope of works to include junctions and connections with Northern Powerhouse Rail plans and the timescale for achieving Royal Ascent for phase 2 has slipped from this year to 2020.

The biggest winner is Arup which sees the value of its package rise from £150m to £269m.

The consultant is delivering civils design for L3 and L4 — Leeds Leg Central and Leeds Leg North – as well as acting as environmental overview consultant.

Mott MacDonald working with WSP sees its fee for the Manchester Leg Spine and Manchester Leg Spur design rise from around £100m to £120m.

The three-way joint venture between Aecom, Capita Property and Infrastructure, Ingeniería Economía Del Transporte sees the value of its work increase from £100m to £135m on its section L1 and L2 — Leeds Leg South and East Midlands.

HS2 routes from Birmingham to the north

Together, they are providing the expert engineering and environmental support needed to take forward the development of the route to allow a hybrid Bill to be presented to Parliament.

Both the forecast dates for this Phase 2b hybrid bill deposit and for Royal Assent have changed since the original contract deal.

This has extended the existing scope and activities provided by consultants.

The project is now also being held up by The Oakervee review into HS2. This is rumoured to recommend that the infrastructure scheme go ahead in full despite ballooning costs to over £88bn.

Major project veteran Douglas Oakervee is understood to recommend changing the excessively expensive contracting model and floats the possibility of re-procuring phase one works for best value.

He also calls on the Government to update and publish a revised business case for the project as a whole.

Oakervee also warns that there are no shovel-ready alternative investments in the existing network to provide for much-needed additional rail capacity.

The review is expected to be published early next year, with the industry then having to wait for the Government’s final verdict on his report.

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14 firms named for Government projects over £80m

Fourteen firms have won framework places to deliver major Government projects valued at over £80m.

The Government’s Crown Commercial Service has revealed the latest tranche of contractors to gain places on its record-breaking £8bn construction works framework for the next seven years.

The prized Lot 5 winners are: Balfour Beatty, BAM, Bouygues, Bowmer & Kirkland, Galliford Try Building, Interserve Construction, ISG, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Mace, Skanska, Tarmac Trading and Wates.

Winning contractors were also revealed for construction works lots: (project values £30-£80m) in England & Wales; (£10m-£30m) in the south of England; and (£3m-£10m) in the north of England.

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