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Carbon offsetting

We work hard to reduce our carbon emissions, but we don’t yet have the technology to deliver projects without burning any fuel. So we offset our unavoidable emissions by investing in carbon reducing projects overseas. We choose projects that provide social benefits to local communities, in line with the aims of the Willmott Dixon Foundation.

In 2019 we invested in the Uganda Borehole Rehabilitation Project to offset our emissions – the second year we have supported the project. The project works with local communities to identify and repair broken boreholes. This lessens the need for communities to boil water before drinking, thus reducing carbon emissions.

This project is the first to implement the new Gender Equality methodology from the Gold Standard. It supports the empowerment of women because having boreholes nearby means they no longer need to walk vast distances to collect water. This gives them time to learn new skills and generate income.

All the projects we invest in undergo rigorous investigation to certify that they achieve measurable and permanent reductions in emissions. We self-declare our carbon neutrality according to PAS 2060 guidelines.

In 2020, Rob Brown, winner of the 2019 ‘Sustainability Ambassador’ category at our internal sustainability Good Business Awards, visited the project to see the impact that the newly repaired water boreholes are having on a local primary school and its surrounding community.

Rob said: “I had a life-changing week in Uganda. The trip has made me very conscious of how privileged we are in the UK to have clean drinking water at the turn of a tap. The carbon offsetting Willmott Dixon invests in helps rural communities have access to clean water. We visited two boreholes, each of which supply around 750 people daily!”

By chance, Kerry Parker-Wray, who works at IKO PLC, one of our supply chain partners, was in Uganda at the same time as Rob visiting the project. In the film below, they talk about their experience.

Sharing our award winners’ experience inspired our people, who asked what more they could do. So, at the end of 2019, we launched a tool that allows our people to calculate their personal carbon footprint and offset their emissions with this or other projects.

Click here to see our latest PAS 2060 statement.