Sir Robert McAlpine commits to net zero carbon within five years

By Daniel Brightmore
Sir Robert McAlpine, has launched a new sustainability strategy for 2020-2024, setting a clear path to achieving net zero carbon emissions within the ne...

Sir Robert McAlpine, has launched a new sustainability strategy for 2020-2024, setting a clear path to achieving net zero carbon emissions within the next five years and realising year on year increase on social value delivered across its operations. 

The sustainability strategy aims to have a measurably positive impact on local communities and the environment, empowering individuals across the business to drive the sustainability agenda. Working hand in hand with the supply chain, it tackles the challenge to deliver sustainable construction, operate ethically and address issues known to be underlying causes of climate change. Building on the previous sustainability roadmap, which earned Sir Robert McAlpine the title of ‘Environmental Contractor of the Year’ in 2018, the strategy incorporates lessons learnt from employees, projects and supply chain partners. The result is a sustainability framework with the flexibility to allow for targets that are specific and adapted to each project.  

The overarching strategy will focus on four key areas:

Becoming net zero carbon: Sir Robert McAlpine is focusing on reducing emissions through carbon reduction initiatives implemented across the business and industry collaborations resulting in year on year reduction in carbon emissions and achieving net zero carbon emissions within five years. The Carbon Trust will provide third party certification to validate the claims.

Resource efficiency: year on year reduction of construction waste, maximising resource efficiency and applying circular economy principles in the delivery of projects. Achieved through the implementation of modern methods of construction, modularisation, offsite construction, as well as collaboration across the industry.

Ethical procurement: increasing the transparency of supply chains to ensure services are ethically sourced, and improving the responsible sourcing of building materials to minimise impact on the environment.

Social valueyear on year increase of social value delivered across the company’s operations. A partnership with the Social Profit Calculator allows the business to set targets, forecast, monitor and improve the social value delivered by each project. 


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A core driver of the company’s ambition to be the best place to work, the best builder and the best business, the new strategy constitutes a veritable culture change in the way the company approaches sustainability. It provides flexibility for projects, improving buy-in and ownership, ultimately allowing each project to deliver meaningful improvements. The specialist skills and expertise of the core sustainability team will drive the strategy and embed innovation and continuous improvement into their operations.  

Simon Richards, Head of Sustainability at Sir Robert McAlpine, commented: “As individuals, we are passionate about the work that we do and delivering quality projects for our clients, yet the impact that our industry has on the environment and society cannot be ignored, Climate Change being a prime example. 

"It is collectively our responsibility to address this, and this strategy gives our people and projects a framework to do so proactively and collaboratively with our supply chain partners and the wider construction industry.  

"We all have a role to play, our strategy emphasises our skills and expertise to take up the challenge and lead on embedding change, making a meaningful, lasting difference.”

To find out more about Sir Robert McAlpine’s commitments to sustainability, visit



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