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Green teams take a walk on the wild side

The green surroundings of a nature reserve  provided inspiration for a group of Redrow employees tasked with making the housebuilder’s operations more eco-friendly.

Redrow’s ‘green teams’ gathered at the Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve, the headquarters of the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust (WKWT) in Coventry, to see how the organisation’s work could help them in their own environmental mission.

With eleven divisional offices around the country, Redrow Homes re-established its green teams earlier this year. These are small groups of employees based in each office with a focus on improving Redrow’s sustainability credentials.

Nicola Owen, Redrow’s sustainability manager, said: “It was a day for our green teams to share ideas and also to generate new plans to further reduce the company’s carbon footprint and other impacts. The nature reserve provided the perfect backdrop to get everyone out of a corporate setting and really thinking about the environment and how we can help to protect it.”

Guest speaker Simon Graham, from business services specialist Commercial Group, inspired the group by explaining how his company has transformed its business by engaging more than 97% of employees in sustainable activities through its ‘green angels’ programme.

This was followed by a talk from Martina Irwin of the WKWT, an organisation which has worked for more than 50 years to protect wildlife and educate people about nature conservation.

Martina said: “We were delighted to welcome the green teams from Redrow Homes to our nature centre and reserve at Brandon Marsh in Coventry. It's great to see a new home builder taking such an engaging and proactive approach to sustainability. By spending time with us both indoors and outside on the SSSI nature reserve, the teams really put their ideas about good environmental practice into context.

“Homes and communities built with nature in mind become great places for people to live and the benefits to health and social wellbeing of this relationship are significant.”

Nicola added: “Our guest speakers were really motivating and provided some fantastic information and advice that will help us to drive our own environmental ambitions forward. We were fortunate to be given a tour of the reserve, which included seeing the many bird species, otter runs and other wildlife areas.

“With the help of our green teams, our aim is to make Redrow one of the most sustainable and socially responsible construction businesses by 2018. In 2014 we achieved an Environmental Management System external accreditation, sourced 99.55% of our timber from responsible sources and diverted 94% of waste away from landfill. In addition, 96% of materials used to construct our new homes were locally sourced.”

For an overview of Redrow’s sustainability achievements, see its latest report

Currently celebrating its 40th year, Redrow Homes is one of the UK’s leading house builders, operating across England and Wales, with a strong emphasis on high quality family housing in prime locations. Its Heritage Collection of family homes combines traditional looking, ‘Arts & Crafts’ influenced exteriors with bright, modern, high specification interiors. The company has won numerous awards over the years, including, most recently, the Gold Award for Best Large Housebuilder at the WhatHouse? Awards 2014, the 2014 Building Awards Housebuilder of the Year and four consecutive 5* awards in the Home Builder Federation (HBF) annual customer satisfaction survey. Redrow also collected the award for best marketing initiative at the 2014 Housebuilder Awards and its ‘My Redrow’ online tool won the overall Customer Engagement category at the 2013 Peer Awards for Excellence.  Web: