Persimmon’s approach to addressing the challenges presented by climate change is incorporated within, and is a central element of, the Group’s sustainability strategy, further details of which can be found in Managing Corporate Responsibility and Link to Business Strategy.
Corporate responsibility and sustainability is regularly reported on at Board meetings and performance is monitored using KPIs. Please see Governance for further information. This senior level of involvement ensures that our management communicate the importance of sustainability throughout the business and to all of our employees.
The identification and management of sustainability and climate change risks are integrated into the day-to-day operations of each of our businesses. Significant medium and long term sustainability risks that could impact on the future of the business are discussed as part of the Board’s annual strategy meeting. Climate change risks and opportunities – both current and in the future – are assessed carefully by the land and planning teams at individual site level. This work is incorporated into the design for each scheme. We explain below the nature of the mitigation and climate change prevention measures we implement at all stages of the build cycle.
Persimmon aims to build quality family homes that meet the needs of its diverse customer base throughout the UK. The recognition of the risks that climate change creates is addressed throughout the business process from buying land, designing a site, obtaining permissions and completing construction. We design homes which provide customers with a quality product that incorporates features which reduce the environmental impacts that can contribute to climate change.
Planning requirements and building regulations often require us to plant trees and include features such as sustainable drainage systems. In addition we offer customers the option of incorporating alternative energy sources, such as solar panels, into their homes.
One of Persimmon’s advantages in reducing environmental impacts during the build process comes particularly from Space4, our modern method of construction facility which uses off-site manufacturing techniques to produce timber frames, highly insulated wall panels and roof cassettes. Timber framed houses are quicker and easier to erect on site than those built using traditional building methods and reduce energy and water use on site. The accurate panel fit also reduces waste and simplifies the internal finishing stage.
Another area where we are minimising our emissions and improving environmental performance is through our increasing use of concrete bricks. Concrete bricks are excellent quality and, because they use less energy than clay bricks to manufacture, reduce carbon emissions. Persimmon has decided to bring production of these bricks in-house thereby ensuring good supply and allowing us to exercise greater control over the production process (for more information on this see Off-site Manufacturing).
We collate data on energy and carbon emissions and the level of waste sent to landfill for each operating business. Our aim is to reduce each of these, on a per home built basis, each year. In support of this objective, we have set ourselves a target of reducing the intensity of our carbon emissions by 10% from 2016 to 2025 (excluding our brick manufacturing plant).