As reported on today’s Contract Journal website, WRAP has published plans for a new standard to measure waste neutrality. Further details and a pdf brochure can be downloaded from the WRAP web site Net Waste Method page.
In simple terms, WRAP considers ‘waste neutral’ to be where the value of construction materials wasted is matched by the value of additional reused and recycled content employed on a project. Adoption of this approach promotes consideration of all aspects of materials efficiency: reducing waste, recycling waste that does arise and using materials with recycled content. This is to be achieved with a reduction in overall environmental impact. By focusing on the commercial as well as the environmental costs of waste, it should deliver real benefits for the construction sector.
In particular, it highlights where companies can reduce costs and increase profits through greater efficiency. It also supports the demonstration of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Don Ward, chief executive at Constructing Excellence reported in Contract Journal said:
“We hope that contractors will look carefully at the real opportunity that the Net Waste Method can unlock in terms of improved profitability and reducing the impact on the environment.”
Comment: But are we still missing the point here – real effort need to be applied upstream in the construction process, in the design, specification, procurement and planning stages to eliminate waste in the first place. With recent reports from Defra that 1/3 of all solid materials going to a site are not used on the project, and the UK Green Building Council that construction accounts for 20% of all waste, we really need to focus on the first stage of the waste planning – elimination, then the other stages of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Dispose are not as much an issue, and reduction in costs along with increased profits will be easier to achieve. Take a look at the pre-construction sections of the WRAP construction web pages
The WRAP website contains a wealth of information and should be on all construction / facilities management managers bookmark or favourite lists. (there is a section on Asset Management – within the construction section !)
It is possible to sign up for a construction wrap newsletter, but unfortunately I cannot see any RSS feed on the site, even for the news items