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Willmott Dixon sets the most ambitious science-based target in the construction sector

By Grace Melville
1st October 2020


Carbon Intelligence has been working with Willmott Dixon on developing incredibly ambitious carbon reduction targets aligned with climate science. Willmott Dixon is a privately-owned contracting and interior fit-out group, founded in 1852. They have long embedded sustainability within their operations, from constructing energy efficient buildings to encouraging supply chain partners to reduce their carbon emissions.

Willmott Dixon has committed to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions GHG emissions by 100% by 2030 from a 2018 base year. They have also committed to reduce absolute Scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services by 55% by 2030 and 100% by 2040 from a 2018 base year. This makes Willmott’s Dixon’s targets the  most ambitious in the construction sector.  

Achieving this level of ambition will require continued focus and commitment

Achieving this level of ambition will require continued focus and commitment, alongside a robust strategy. For existing Scope 1 and 2 emissions they already procure 100% of their electricity from natural renewable sources, but in order to continue driving reductions they are looking to investigate ways to generate renewable electricity for their own use.


Travel emissions are notoriously tricky to reduce and Willmott Dixon has a strategy to support their employees to work and travel sustainably with incentives to dramatically reduce mileage by 65% by 2030 and transition to 100% electric vehicles.  This includes, for example, installing charge points at all sites and offices. 

Another focus will be to eliminate fossil fuels on construction sites, initially by continuing the existing focus on using electric supplies rather than generators with greater use of battery storage and will aim for all offices to be zero carbon in operation.

The most challenging element of the target relates to the scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and services and this will be an area of focus for the strategy, working collaboratively with their customers and supply chain.

Emma Watson, Senior Consultant at Carbon Intelligence worked with the team at Willmott Dixon to set the targets. Emma co-authored guidance for the commercial real estate on Scope 3 emissions with the UK Green Building Council, underlining the importance of reducing emissions in all areas of the value chain.

The most ambitious science-based target in the global construction sector

She said “Willmott Dixon has set the most ambitious science-based target in the global construction sector by aiming for zero emissions in its operations by 2030 and supply chain by 2040. We’ve been privileged to collaborate with Willmott Dixon on this project, by supporting and upskilling its teams in Scope 3 carbon accounting and science-based target setting. Willmott Dixon will work closely with its supply chain to support those companies towards achieving this goal, and the domino effect their targets will have, with both its suppliers and peers will be a significant step toward reducing the climate impact of the built environment in the UK.” 


In the press


Carbon Intelligence considers setting a science-based target as one of the strongest and most credible ways a company can demonstrate their commitment to tackling climate change. We are proud to have now worked with 1 in 3 UK companies on their approved science-based targets. Find out more here


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