Environmental and Social Responsibility
We are committed to minimising the environmental impact in what we do and have over time introduced policies into our processes, and continue to make further improvements to our environmental performance and social responsibility.
Environmental Management System
Our commitment to making our operational processes as sustainable as possible is reflected in our success in 2008 in achieving accreditation for our Environmental Management System under ISO 14001: 2004.
Control of Waste
Our Health and Safety and Environmental Manager will ensure on each project that all waste is dealt with under the Environmental Act 1990 and the Employers Site Waste Management Plan, meeting re-cyling requirements as necessary.
As a matter of course we reclaim all waste timber from site for re-cycling under an agreement with a local wood re-cycling company.
Control of Pollution
Our Health and Safety and Environmental Manager will ensure on each project that all pollution issues identified in the pre-construction plan are addressed, and with reference to published guidance issued by Environmental Agency operational procedures put in place under our construction and environmental plan to eliminate or reduce the potential pollution impact of activities on site.
All site personnel are made aware and trained to respond to environmental emergencies should such a risk exist under our environmental procedures.
Large projects are registered under the Considerate Constructor Scheme and set standards to achieve maximum achievable performance under the schemes code of practice criteria which are Considerate, Environment, Cleanliness, Good Neighbour, Respectful, Safe, Responsible and Accountable.
This includes monitoring of water and energy consumption and we have risk assessments for the management of dust, noise and water pollution.
Where the project involves issues that may affect the local community such as difficult access for deliveries of plant and materials, road closures or parking restrictions, etc. we open and maintain lines of communication with a local representative to take on board local concerns.
Our Employees and Supply Chain
We have a long standing and well developed supply chain of suppliers and sub-contractors, many of whom are based in Oxfordshire and who also employ local people.
Currently we employ approximately 90 people, about 30 of whom are management and support staff and the remainder are tradesmen and craftsmen.
Most of our staff live within Oxfordshire and some have families, many of whom also work here.
Engaging suppliers, sub-contractors and people working locally engenders a sense of community commitment and pride and clearly contributes significantly in supporting local economy.
Travel to Work
The majority of our work on site is within a 50 mile radius, or an hours drive from our head office in the centre of Oxford. Generally all of our head office staff travel to work from within Oxfordshire.
Site staff and sub-contractors are encouraged to use park and ride where available and to car or van share. For some very congested sites in Oxford we use our yard as a base for vehicle parking.
Material deliveries to congested sites in Oxford can be stored at our yard or storage depot and can be delivered to site on a just-in-time basis.
Training and Career Development
We regard training and career development as the foundation of our business and have always encouraged and motivated our staff in their personal development which is reflected in our commitment to our Investors In People programme.
We run an apprenticeship scheme across the building trades taking local school leavers from the age of 16 through training at the College of Further Education and other training providers.
We also employ management trainees who are encouraged to study part-time surveying and construction management at day and evening courses. Courses include HNC Building, The National Certificate of construction Management and up to Honours Degree in Construction Management.
Site based staff are encouraged to study for the Chartered Institute of Building Certificate and Diploma in Site Management.
We use the services of local skills training organisations such as Safety Services (UK) from Witney and A.C.E. Training from Kidlington to train site managers and operatives using tools, scaffolding, plant and equipment in a proper and safe manner.
We offer work experience for up to ten children each year from local schools, and have won a number of Education in Business Partnership Awards in recent years.
These activities cement our integration into the local community at a very individual and personal level.
The selection of sustainable materials should involve input from the construction team on a project by project basis including client, consultant and contractor.
Build-ability, sustainability, whole life costing, imbedded carbon, availability and cost are all issues that should be considered as part of collaborative effort.
We believe in alternative sustainable energy sources as a substitute for fossil fuels as the principle source of energy.
We have extensive design and build experience in helping our customers to achieve cost effective solutions that can reduce energy consumption and reduce CO2 emissions working collaboratively with design team.
We have achieved BREEAM Excellent and Very Good Standards on commercial and public residential developments and we were a winner of Oxford City Council’s Sustainable Building of the year in 2008.
We have constructed an exemplar project for a public body exploring the possibilities of using PasivHaus methods to reduce energy consumption.