Throughout FY17, we have carried on managing waste using our six key strategies: avoid, reuse, recycle, recover, treat and dispose.

Post-audit progress

After carrying out waste audits across a range of our assets last year, our national resource recovery manager has been able to implement strategic measures, such as improving cleaning processes and introducing a pre-sort to prevent contamination.

Keeping it clean with pre-fab

We’re continuing to see the positive impact pre-fabricated components have on waste. At Yarra’s Edge in Melbourne, using pre-fabricated bathrooms contributed to a 17 per cent waste reduction from a 2015 baseline. One of the standout examples is the structure of Building 2 at the Australian Technology Park in Sydney, which will be fabricated out of structural steel with an emphasis on prefabricated elements and modules. In addition to a significant reduction in waste generation, there are other advantages including reduction of temporary formwork and scaffolding resulting in site labour and program efficiencies.

The financial side of waste

Our work on waste is certainly helping to deliver value. Apart from its environmental impact, waste is costly to our business – when we create it, we not only have to pay landfill taxes, we need to pay to have it removed. As landfill levies continue to rise, we are appreciating the financial savings our work on waste is creating. Working together smarter and reimagining our resources, we are finding innovative solutions to help us reach our zero waste target.

New construction targets

Two years ago, our construction team did a benchmark survey on waste. The 2015 Baselines was set per product line (that is, office, apartments and homes) that have been normalised for each area. From these, we’ve set 95 per cent recycling targets on every new construction site, and an internal target to reduce overall waste by 10 per cent. It’s a stepping stone to get to zero waste by 2030.

95%

recycling targets on every new construction site

$2,289,502

in avoided landfill cost by sending less waste to landfil

Closing the loop

We are now a few steps closer to our target of implementing three closed-loop recycling projects by 2018, with three separate initiatives either in development or underway. Closed loop systems are those in which used products are recovered and recycled reducing overall resource costs for companies as well as their carbon footprint.

Second life for timber

At Gainsborough Greens, we collaborated with a specialist provider to recycle and reuse around 40 tonnes of timber that had been felled during the development process. Most of this timber was locally milled and repurposed, with lower quality timber becoming non-critical items like tree stakes and survey pegs, while higher quality wood was transformed into permanent structural elements, such as shelters. The wood that couldn’t be milled was used for natural play features in the community’s Forest Green park.

Through this initiative, we permanently sequestered over 140 tonnes of carbon (the equivalent to annual emissions from three houses) and saved approximately three hectares of forest from being mulched.