Higgins Construction Group reduced its overall carbon emissions by more than 11 per cent in 2015, according to its latest certification report by The Planet Mark™.
The family-run business, which operates from offices in Loughton, Essex, cut its total carbon footprint equivalent to 637 tonnes between January and December 2015 – an 11.4 per cent fall on the previous year. The reduction is more than double the 5% carbon reduction target the company was committed to achieving in 2015, as part of its Planet Mark certification. It equates to a 13.8 per cent carbon emissions reduction per employee. The Planet Mark™ is awarded to organisations that show a continual improvement in sustainability.
The biggest carbon savings were across Higgins Group’s Scope 1 emissions (natural gas and fleet). This was mainly due to a 32% cut in its diesel and petrol use across its 212-strong fleet. Among the measures it has introduced is the use of hybrid and low CO2 emission vehicles and the installation of a new electric car point at its Loughton premises in 2015.
Employees are also being encouraged to car share or use public transport. These actions have helped reduce Higgins Group’s fuel use by 74 tCO2e to 159 tCO2e over the reporting period. The company also became Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) Bronze accredited in 2015. FORS is an accreditation scheme encompassing safety, fuel efficiency, vehicle emissions and improved operations.
Higgins, which was certified across Scope 1, 2 (electricity) and 3 (water) emissions in 2015, also recorded a 2.2% drop in its emissions from electricity usage during the same period. Overall water usage increased by 28% over the previous reporting period. The increase was due to three leaks that have since been rectified.
Commenting on the results, managing director of Higgins Construction, Steve Leakey said: “As a business we are extremely committed to reducing our overall carbon emissions and have taken every step to ensure this has continued to happen over the past year. We are delighted with the results we have achieved and will continue to strive to reduce them further. The company has implemented a number of changes including hybrid cars within our fleets, half hourly meters on sites, water and energy reduction strategies and use of LED lighting.”
Steve Malkin, CEO of The Planet Mark™, said: “We congratulate Higgins Construction on its achievement. A 13.8% carbon reduction per employee is excellent, but the reduction of 11% in absolute emissions is outstanding, particularly within the construction sector.”
Higgins Construction’s target for 2016 is to reduce its emissions by a further 5% overall. The company is instigating a number of further measures to meet or exceed its target, including replacing emergency lighting with LED lighting across its Loughton offices and speeding up the installation of temporary supplies on site to avoid using generators.
Higgins, which was founded over 50 years ago, is an award-winning construction company that specialise in residential and community-led regeneration projects ethically sourced, environmentally conscious designs and building processes. One of its latest projects is the £64m regeneration of Kings Crescent Estate in Hackney.