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HomeCorporate ResponsibilityOur approach to Carbon reduction

Our approach to Carbon reduction

We recognise that the way we design, build and execute our projects has a carbon impact, and, critically, it is within our gift to reduce this impact through engineering excellence and working collaboratively to reduce operational carbon. 

Recognising and accepting that the choices we make today have consequences that will affect the stability of our future is key; now is the time to act. The challenge in front of us, however, is not insurmountable and it is important that we remain optimistic. 


Our carbon reduction targets

As part of our commitment to long-term protection of the natural environment, we initially aim to be Net Zero by 2035 for all Scope 1 and 2 emissions and for those Scope 3 emissions that are under our direct control, and ultimately Net Zero for all emissions by 2050 in line with UK Government strategy.Progress towards this carbon reduction target will be externally verified to ensure credibility and transparency.

To support this, we are a signatory of the Science Based Targets Initiative ‘Business Ambition to 1.5°C’, confirming that we have committed to setting a science-based target that is in line with a 1.5°C future. 

Our carbon reduction strategy

Our Carbon Reduction Strategy outlines our plans to ensure good quality data informs our decision making, and the need for emission specific reduction plans, education and engagement, and collaboration to ensure we, and the wider industry, achieve our goals. 

The Carbon Reduction Strategy includes a specific Carbon Reduction Plan for each business in the group, aligning with the requirements of Policy Procurement Notice (PPN) 06/21 – ‘taking account for carbon reduction plans in major government contracts’. 

Read the full Carbon Strategy for VolkerWessels UK 

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CASE STUDY - VolkerFitzpatrick Apex project uses site subsoil for construction

At the VolkerFitzpatrick Apex site in Camden, the business is combining sustainable alternatives with traditional construction methods by using bricks made from excavated clay from the site to construct the basement perimeter walls. 

Working with client, Reef, and architect, Bennetts Associates, on this sustainable project, the subsoil (clay) from site was sent to brickmakers HG Matthews, who are combining it with sand and straw to create unfired bricks known as earth blocks. The earth blocks, which are tested to British standards, regulations and strengths, are then being sent back to site to be used to create the perimeter walls in the basement of the new buildings. 

The Apex is the first building of its scale to make use of site subsoil as a construction material, and the aim is to set a pioneering precedent on using earth blocks for the construction industry. In total almost 14,000 earth blocks will be laid, covering over 90m³.         

Unlike standard blockwork, which has limited recycling potential, earth blocks can be broken down and reused, or returned to nature at the end of their lifespan. As such, the earth block can store the building resource within the walls of the development throughout the lifetime of the building. This natural material also brings climatic benefits to buildings – it regulates indoor temperature and humidity levels and purifies the air by trapping airborne pollutants.