The ‘S Plan’

BRE launched its Sustainability Strategy – ‘S Plan’ – in 2008. It set out 17 overarching sustainability targets and 131 milestones to reduce BRE’s environmental impacts, initially up to 2012. Some of the key accomplishments of the original S Plan include:

  • achieving the zero non-hazardous waste to landfill target,
  • achieving our target to reduce CO2 emissions from travel per employee per year by 40% or less than 1 tonne,
  • reducing our electricity consumption by 14% compared with 2008 levels, and
  • reducing our gas consumption by 17% compared with 2008 levels.

In subsequent years the S Plan has continued to make impressive improvements. In 2016 we achieved a reduction in energy consumption oat the Watford site, compared to our baseline energy in 2010 and a 47% reduction in water use. Carbon dioxide emissions from BRE people commuting to work was 48% less in 2016 than 2010. We achieved an overall 4% reduction in waste materials in 2016 over the previous year, with 60% of waste segregated on site, 2% recycled off site, 48% sent to energy for energy recovery and just 0.01% sent to landfill.

With the achievements realised through the S Plan we have made a tremendous step change in the way we approach and integrate sustainability into our everyday business activities. But this requires continuity of commitment at both a corporate and individual level, along with joined-up thinking and the investment of time, energy, passion and resources.

Green travel

BRE operates a Car Share Scheme, in which any BRE employee or tenant can participate, and makes company bikes available at BRE Garston, Wales and Scotland for staff to use freely.

Useful travel tips include:

  • Eliminate the need to travel by setting up a Skype for Business conference call or standard telephone conference call.
  • If you must travel, public transport should always be the default option.
  • When arranging external meetings choose venues with good public transport links, and minimise participants’ journey distances.
  • Arrange meeting times that avoid peak periods and coincides with public transport time tables, both for travelling off site and also when inviting visitors to BRE.
  • If car use is unavoidable and there is more than one person attending, share the rental car which should be booked, whenever possible through, BRE’s rental car provider.
  • Think carefully about how many staff really need to attend the meeting/event, saving both time and money.
  • When hiring a car on business please ensure you select the lowest impact vehicle for your needs. Unless you are transporting bulky/heavy equipment a compact car is sufficient and reduces emissions.

Please refer to the BRE Group Green Travel Staff Guidance, BRE Car Share Scheme and BRE Bike Pool Guidance in the BRE staff area of this site for further details.

BRE Climate Pledge 2020

Looking ahead, BRE has pledged that by 2020 it will halve its environmental impact compared with the 2010 level. Supporting the UK Green Building Council Climate Pledge initiative, the BRE S Plan 2020 sets a number of targets to deliver real and measurable improvements in our business and reduce our major impacts.

BRE S Plan 2020 targets:

  • By 2020, we will halve our CO2e emissions associated with the energy consumed (electricity and natural gas use) on the BRE Garston site
  • By 2020, we will halve the amount of unsegregated non-recyclable waste produced at BRE Garston site, and continue to send zero non-hazardous waste to landfill.
  • By 2020, we will halve associated CO2 emissions from BRE staff travel to work.
  • By 2020, we will deliver face-to-face teaching on climate change and sustainability to 19,000 school children through BRE’s Sustainable Development Programme for Schools

2010 Baseline figures for BRE Garston site:

  • Energy – 16,945,807 kWh (electricity and gas)
  • Waste – 210 tonnes (unsegregated office and construction waste)
  • Travel – 1.97 tonnes/CO2/person (all staff across BRE)

Progress made against our targets from 2018

Energy 12% decreased CO2 emissions associated with total energy use since 2010; 19% decrease in electricity and 5% associated with natural gas.

Waste Of our 972 tonnes from our Watford campus, 55% was recycled and 45% was sent for energy recovery.

Water Increase of 5% against baseline. This increase is from a number of leaks onsite, which have been detected and stopped.