Willmott Dixon's carbon performance earns top accolade

Willmott Dixon beat a host of blue-chip companies and famous brands to be named Sustainable Business of the Year at the coveted Edie Sustainability Leaders’ Awards.

Judges praised Willmott Dixon’s ‘exceptional progress’ on carbon reduction, which earlier this year included a pledge to halve carbon emissions by 2020, and the scale of ambition on sustainability. The company is already one of the only carbon neutral construction companies and also invests over £2 million a year in communities, a figure set to reach almost £3 million in 2015.

The Edie awards saw 88 finalists whittled down to 14 separate winners, with Tesco, M&S, National Grid and Heathrow Airport among other big names being recognised for their sustainable performance.

In awarding the night’s biggest accolade, judges said:

“What Willmott Dixon has achieved in such a short space of time, relative to the scale and size of the business, is truly remarkable. Everybody plays a part in the firm’s sustainability strategy, which saw it smash 2014 carbon reduction targets and invest £2.3m in local communities. Willmott Dixon’s scale of ambition, achievements, and ethos make it a prime example of a sustainability leader.”

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Edie editor Luke Nicholls:

"The Sustainability Leaders Awards have become a shining example of how the green industrial revolution is entering the corporate mainstream. All of this year's finalists have shifted from talking about ambitious sustainability initiatives to delivering them at scale and at pace. And in many cases, they’re already seeing a huge return on investment."

Rob Lambe, managing director of the company’s sustainability team, Re-Thinking:,

“We were delighted to pick up this award. There is a clear link between being commercially successful and being sustainable; cutting carbon boosts the bottom line. Through our Carbon Management Plan, we are saving around £3m a year in fuel and energy costs and will shortly be issuing a new Energy and Carbon Management Strategy to cut carbon produced by our construction projects and other business operations by half compared with our 2010 baseline. This will also save us a similar amount in fuel and energy costs.”

Read Rob's thoughts on climate change talks in Paris here