Kier Living, part of the Kier Group, has committed to planting 45,000 trees by 2020 to offset its carbon usage.
As part of its new Greener Living campaign, it has partnered with Forest Carbon, a company leading the way in voluntary carbon woodland creation in the UK to create new woodlands over the next three years – to balance, in time, its annual 3,500 tonne CO2 footprint.
Kier Living is also implementing greener working practices across all of its development sites, including changes in the way it uses energy, disposes of waste and how it uses equipment. It is also helping new home buyers at all Kier developments to become more energy efficient in everyday life, providing guidance on using household appliances, transport and energy resources.
John Anderson, executive director, Kier Living, said: “Although we are pleased to be leading by example and to be the first UK housebuilder to commit to this initiative with Forest Carbon, we know that we – and the house building industry – need to do more for the environment. It is a major undertaking but one which we are 100% committed to achieve, and we’re looking forward to becoming a more carbon efficient house builder by 2020.
“As well as rolling out the Greener Living campaign across our business, we are talking to the communities we work in about the impact everyday actions have on the environment. Our communication with a wider audience means we ensure as many people as possible benefit from our commitment to becoming a more sustainable business.”
Stephen Prior, director at Forest Carbon, added: “UK forestry is in desperate need of expansion. We are among the least forested countries in Europe, and yet for example a staggering 80% of the timber we use is imported. We also need new woodlands for habitat, flood mitigation, cleaner rivers and community access, all on top of carbon capture. Kier Living’s tremendous contribution is across all these project types.”
Forest Carbon has planted 5.5 million trees in the UK since 2006 and, through partnerships with businesses like Kier Living, is removing over 1,200,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere. Its efforts also support flood mitigation, river improvement and public access and are assured by the UK government’s Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) for important areas such as additionality, risk management and carbon capture estimates.