Willmott Dixon has joined a select list of major brands in being awarded the Carbon Trust Standard in recognition of a 6 per cent reduction in carbon emissions between 2009 and 2011.

The company joins a very small number of others in the construction and property sector in achieving the standard after reducing its carbon footprint from 16,649 tonnes in 2009 to 15,630 tonnes in 2011. This follows a comprehensive programme to reduce energy use across its transport fleet, construction projects and offices; an approach Willmott Dixon estimates will save more than £4m in energy costs by 2014.

To achieve the standard, Willmott Dixon was assessed across a wide range of carbon management criteria, including having robust governance and measurement systems to demonstrate a year-on-year reduction in its carbon footprint and showing a programme of on-going investment to reduce energy consumption and emissions.

Areas where the company scored highly included its sustainable transport policy, low carbon office initiatives and policies to reduce emissions on construction sites, such as eco-cabins.

The fruits of this work over the years have now resulted in Willmott Dixon joining several big names certified to the prestigious standard; The Co-operative, B&Q, Birmingham City University, Boots, BBC, The FA, GlaxoSmithKline, Marks & Spencer, Co-Op, John Lewis and HSBC all share the quality mark.

Chris Durkin, CEO for Willmott Dixon Support Services and main board director responsible for sustainability says: “This is an important benchmark that shows we are serious about reducing carbon emissions and being a responsible company. Saving carbon also means being more efficient in how we deliver for clients, so the business rationale is strong and clear.

“We are absolutely committed to minimising our impact on climate change, and to further mitigate these impacts we will be offsetting our emissions to become carbon neutral in our operations by the end of 2012.”

Willmott Dixon has set itself stringent targets for its sustainable performance. Alongside year-on-year carbon reduction targets, it has on on-going commitment to send zero waste to landfill, having diverted 96% from landfill in 2011. It also recently launched a new sustainable procurement policy addressing a range of impacts including responsible sourcing of materials used in construction and is also investing a substantial sum to provide sustainable development training to employees.

The Carbon Trust Standard requires that companies keep reducing carbon emissions and to recertify every two years. It means Willmott Dixon has to continue to demonstrate how it is reducing its impact on climate change.