Skip to main content

A conversation with Redrow

Supporting greener industry

To achieve net zero by 2050, the construction industry must place the environment and sustainability at the heart of its business

The World Green Building Council has set a target for all buildings to be net zero by 2050. To deliver on this ambition, the construction industry must take action to eliminate the carbon emissions that are produced from domestic and commercial buildings and, most importantly, from the supply chain and raw materials used to help construct these buildings.

Redrow is one of the UK’s leading housebuilders; their work is underpinned by a purpose of giving people ‘A better way to live’ and they achieve this by delivering high quality family homes that are attractive and sustainable. The company recognises the need to adapt to a world threatened by climate change and is exploring how to turn its green transition into a commercial advantage while keeping the customer at the heart of their business and meeting their evolving needs.

Company action

Redrow is reducing operational and embodied carbon emissions

In 2022 Redrow are setting interim science-based targets for scopes 1, 2 and 3 across its operations, housing portfolio, and supply chain via its pledge to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 (in line with the recommendations of the Science Based Targets Initiative).

In order to meet these rigorous commitments, Redrow is working with the Carbon Trust to measure the baseline of its Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, model its Science Based Targets and advise on solutions and changes to business practices.

Equally important to their science-based targets is Redrow 2025, an initiative announced by the business. Redrow 2025 is a change management programme focused on accelerating innovation under the biggest team consultation in Redrow’s history.

The business asked their employees to submit thoughts and ideas to leadership through a combination of methods including surveys, focus groups and one-to-one meetings. These collated ideas are helping shape Redrow’s business strategy and kickstart sustainability projects. A number of key elements emerging from this consultation are climate change, community collaboration and waste reduction which will inform the update of the business’s sustainability framework. Redrow 2025 aims to be a catalyst for change, innovation and sustainability in preparedness for upcoming regulatory change.

Product innovation

As part of its commitment to building responsibly, Redrow launched a pilot of its first low-carbon gas-free smart home in Yorkshire in 2021, using the innovative Wondrwall technology. The pilot was launched on Energy Day at COP26, where global leaders were discussing the transition away from fossil fuels. Wondrwall generates power from its own green renewable solar energy system and integrates battery storage solutions to replace a traditional gas boiler, reduce carbon emissions and promote clean energy. It also uses artificial intelligence and smart automation to reduce consumption and maximise renewable energy use. During the pilot phase, the Yorkshire home will be monitored against a traditional property as a ‘control’ to evaluate the benefits delivered in terms of performance and energy efficiency.

Another core component of Redrow’s commitment towards sustainable building is the use of air source heat pumps. From 2025, the Future Homes Standard will require new homes to have carbon emissions 75% lower than those built in line with current standards. The UK government is anticipating a large-scale uptake of air source heat pumps to provide lower-carbon heating on a mass market scale, which will require both assessment of the implications of introducing such pumps and the development of supply chains to meet expected demand.

Exemplifying its work in product development, Redrow is trialling air source heat pumps at one of its developments in Wales. Through collaboration with its supply chain, Redrow is assessing practical and design implications, the impact of new systems on customer behaviour and product development to deliver net zero homes.

The Lloyd’s Link

Collaboration between the construction industry and the insurance industry is required to share risk and achieve mutual gain

Redrow recognises that there is a strong link between long-term value and a strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda. Its focus on building sustainably and responsibly, whilst also continuing to operate a productive and profitable business, offers a competitive advantage within the industry.

With increasing stakeholder and regulatory focus on climate change, and ESG more broadly, appropriate insurance cover will be key in preparing for changing weather patterns, supporting research, product development and modern methods of construction to reduce future emissions. 

A connected cross-industry effort is required in the transition towards net zero, with regular collaboration and the sharing of risk insight and expertise being central to achieving this goal. Lloyd’s Futureset, launched by Lloyd’s in 2021 as a response to the significant challenges that arose out of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been set up to do just that. By commissioning cutting-edge risk research, developing new insights with leading experts and promoting cross-industry dialogue, Lloyd’s Futureset helps innovators to mitigate the risk of tomorrow.

The construction industry must work with its suppliers and the insurance industry to identify and manage climate risks across the entire value chain in order to do its part in preventing temperature rises above 1.5°C.

A connected cross-industry effort is required in the transition towards net zero.

The future

Responsiveness to change is vital to remain productive, profitable and sustainable

As the regulatory environment continues to evolve, with new building regulations being rolled out over the next few years (such as the Future Homes Standard) Redrow recognises the importance of being positioned ahead of the curve in order to remain competitive and minimise risk.

To deliver on its commitments for reductions in scope 3 (associated emissions), and to reduce associated supply chain risk, construction businesses must collaborate with stakeholders across the end-to-end supply chain.

To understand its starting point, Redrow recently undertook a study on embodied carbon, focusing on the product and construction phase, on its most popular type of house. Redrow is undertaking further, more detailed assessments of its indirect scope 3 emissions to ascertain how it can best support and collaborate with its supply chain to achieve its net zero ambitions.

As leading housebuilders like Redrow and the broader construction industry transition to more sustainable construction materials, their innovations will come with increased risk. The Lloyd’s markets history of innovation and insurance of ‘firsts’ make it the perfect partner to support the sector as it transitions to net zero.

You can find out more about Redrow’s sustainability ambition and Lloyd’s climate actions below.