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At Fletcher Living we’re serious about finding ways to eliminate or minimize waste generated in the construction of the homes we build.
We know the smarter we are at the earliest stage of design, the more we can save down the line at actual construction time.
To make a real impact, we’ve had to rethink our design and construction methods, the materials used and worked closely with our many suppliers to generate a more sustainable, circular, supply chain.
Our efforts have been wide and deep and have recently been recognised at the 2022 WasteMINZ Awards for Excellence for our outstanding contribution to the disposal to land sector.
So here are 10 achievements so far on our road to better sustainability:
- A passionate team to lead the charge. We formed a cross-functional Sustainability Working Group and Waste Workstream to establish our waste baseline, formulate an elimination and reduction roadmap and set targets.
- Working with waste experts. We switched to Green Gorilla as our new Auckland-based waste management provider who achieve 70% waste diversion from landfill rate and introduced smaller skip bins to grow awareness amongst staff and contractors about how much enters the mixed waste bin.
- From Gib to gypsum. Gib isn’t just in short supply, the offcuts are a valuable resource. So we introduced plasterboard separation bags at all of our house sites for gypsum to be recovered and reused for fertiliser, compost or as a cement additive.
- Exceeding our 20% reduction. Year to date (August-April 2021) we have consistently exceeded our 20% reduction from landfill target. Of the 1,549 tonnes of waste generated, we successfully diverted 25% including 50% plasterboard.
- Sorting on site. Separating materials on site is a challenge. At our large scale residential development at Homai, Manurewa, we recently conducted a successful trial separating steel, cardboard, cladding, timber, polystyrene and soft plastics.
- Turning timber to cement. Treated timber is difficult to dispose of. So on sites with timber separation bins, treated timber is now being sent to Golden Bay Cement where it is replacing coal to fuel the cement kilns.
- That’s a wrap on wrap. We completed a material/packaging audit to identify key packaging waste streams including the future elimination of plastic wrap on frames and truss delivered to site.
- Gifting materials to community. We gift materials such as pipes, tree stumps and rocks for playscapes in local schools and the tiger enclosure at Auckland Zoo.
- Leading the savings. Our monthly Waste Leader board helps our branch teams to track the waste (kg) per development. This gives us valuable insights into what makes up waste by construction phase and house type.
- Clever to the Core. Scaled up operations at our Clever Core offsite manufacturing plant at Wiri are having a real impact. In FY22, one in six new Fletcher Living homes were delivered by Clever Core. Less than one wheelie bin of waste is produced in the factory per home with timber off-cuts repurposed for trusses and used in walls.
Sustainable building isn’t just vital for our environment – it’s for the good our industry and as a major player, we are sharing our learnings with research institutions including:
- Āmiomio Aotearoa / Waikato University on material flow through the construction sector
- Massey Uni / BRANZ / Auckland Council on the development of the Residential Construction Waste Tool
- Massey University / BRANZ / Environmental Solutions Research Centre via a full plastic audit of a 42 unit apartment building
- Auckland Construction Sector Building out Waste Group
- Construction Sector Accord Environmental Roadmap.
Our learnings and new work practices are making a real impact on waste reduction, but there’s always room for improvement as we work towards a lighter footprint on our planet.
Contractors at a Toolbox Talk on site waste separation at Homai, Manurewa