Housebuilder launches new sustainability strategy

Brian Johnson

CALA Group has announced the launch of a new sustainability strategy to help meet environmental ambitions.

The housebuilder said the move is designed to assist the business in achieving its goals of building homes that are operationally net zero carbon from 2030, and reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Scottish Government’s 2045 target and ahead of UK Government’s 2050 target.

Brian Johnson, development director at CALA Group, explained, “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.”

CALA revealed internal working groups have been formed to look at other ways the company can decarbonise its operations.

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.

Piers Banfield, group operations director at CALA Group, added, “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 focused on a measurable reduction in our environmental impact, wider CSR activity and health and wellbeing measures for employees are also being stepped up.”