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Circular Economy

The principles of a circular economy and efficient use of resources will be embedded in our business. The materials required for network construction and operation will come from sustainable sources. We will produce zero waste, with the components of all end-of-life assets being reused or recycled into new products. 

We work collaboratively to improve the circularity of our resources, recognising the value of keeping them in use for as long as possible and retaining their value. In line with this, we have set challenging business targets to divert 95% of our waste from landfill 2023, and 100% by 2030 (excluding compliance waste). 

We have exceeded our target of 95% of waste diverted from landfill by 2023, in 2022 SPEN diverted nearly 96%. We achieved this through enhancing contractor requirements to include the sustainable management of resources, prioritising and promoting the waste hierarchy. A significant percentage volume of waste moved up the hierarchy from landfill to recycling and reuse. An example of this is our approach to soil management, one of our most significant historical waste streams, recognising the importance of prioritising at the design stage the minimisation of soil excavation and the identification of early opportunities to reuse on and off site.


We need transformation at every level of our business. We have a responsibility to lead the way in sustainability practices, influencing our entire supply chain, stakeholders, and beyond. As a result, we have empowered our staff to make a real impact in achieving our sustainability targets.

We ran two internal innovation campaigns in 2019 and 2022 that asked our employees to suggest ideas to increase circular resource use within the business. The suggestions ranged from ideas as diverse as the re-use of plastic for operational road construction to an internal recycling segregation awareness campaign focused on educating and upskilling our staff. As of 2022, we are also running a campaign aimed at reducing waste output at depots. Led by our early careers staff, this acts as both a method of educating our recent recruits on the importance of waste management and implementing real, tangible changes and best practice throughout our entire UK operations staff.

For more information about our most recent initiatives, check our case studies!



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