CALA commits to the future with launch of Sustainability Strategy
CALA Group has launched a Sustainability Strategy to help the business achieve its targets of building homes that are operationally net zero carbon from 2030.
The strategy will see the firm reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Scottish Government’s 2045 target and ahead of the UK Government’s 2050 target.
The goals reflect owner Legal & General’s commitment to make all its new housing stock operational net zero carbon enabled from 2030, as part of its wider commitment to set Science Based Targets and align with the UN Paris Agreement and global efforts to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
CALA said its plan promises to both empower its entire team to act now and cement the drive to reduce its environmental impact in the future.
Brian Johnson, development director at CALA Group, said: “Sustainability has been a focus area for some time and we have already taken steps to begin lowering our environmental impact. Timber frame construction is already being used on around 40 per cent of the homes we build per year, with plans to increase this, and work is also underway to meet our target of homes being gas free on all sites starting in 2024.”
Internal working groups have been formed to look at other tangible ways that CALA can decarbonise its operations. Drawing on expertise from across the business, CALA aims to make strides forward in specific areas such as zero carbon homes, office environment, site environments, procurement and zero carbon transportation - producing a roadmap of targets, measures and areas of interest to pursue as priorities.
Brian added: “Our roadmap includes exciting research and testing of various innovations, for example we are investigating measures such as infrared heat mats and panels, battery and thermal storage technology, hydrogen and electric boilers, mechanical ventilation systems and more.
“To support the use of such technology in the future, we’re also working with utility providers to inform discussions around the decarbonisation of the grid. We have already put in place pioneering measures such as utilities calculators and monitoring stations on some of our developments, to provide data which supports our net zero carbon commitment and ties in with wider infrastructure.
“We’re also looking at the basics of how we operate - from how we engage with our suppliers and subcontractors, to how we travel and run our offices, and the ways we interact with communities and wider infrastructure.”
Green Teams have been established in CALA’s eight regional offices and two head offices to brainstorm, research and implement initiatives which will help bring about positive change at a local-level – from energy saving and recycling measures within the CALA offices, to employee wellbeing and meaningful community support initiatives.
Over 90 employees across the CALA businesses are actively involved in helping to achieve its sustainability objectives as part of their roles, in a drive to include the whole team in sustainability efforts. In addition, full-time sustainability technicians have been appointed to explore innovations, implement trials, and measure results.
Piers Banfield, group operations director at CALA Group, said: “A crucial part of CALA’s Sustainability Strategy is to establish a sustainable approach into the culture of the business and to that end, we want all team members from across the business to help drive it. We’re actively encouraging our teams to take the initiative, bringing forward the changes needed to reduce our environmental impact; they appreciate that sustainability is not the job of one department, but something we all must live and breathe.
“While our new strategy is heavily focussed on a measurable reduction in our environmental impact, wider CSR activity and health and wellbeing measures for employees are also being stepped up.
“Our vision is that all of this will add up to not only dramatically reducing our environmental impact, but to CALA being a place to be proud of, for our customers, our contractors and our colleagues.”