Utility companies from across the sector have signed a first of a kind agreement to reduce waste from street works and use more recycled materials.
The move follows an industry consultation and work by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to increase the utility industrys focus on reducing waste.
Under the agreement the industry will tackle the 4.8 million tonnes of waste which arises from trenches, more than half of which is sent to landfill.
Familiar names such as EDF Energy, the National Grid, Thames Water, Three Valleys Water and Scotia Gas Networks have committed to the agreement already.
Agreement signatories commit to writing policies and setting targets to improve material resource efficiency.
A supporting agreement has also been developed for contractors to aid the utilities sector. It will enable them to write their own policies and set requirements for sub-contractors. Balfour Beatty Utilities, Clancy Docwra, Morrison Utility Services and Skansa has signed this agreement.
According to WRAP, local authorities will also make an important contribution, via the Highways Authorities and Utility Committee memorandum of understanding. Through this LAs will be able to approve and encourage the use of recycled and stabilised materials.
National Grid sustainable construction manager Paul de Jong said: This unique agreement provides the utilities industry with a common approach to improving the environmental impact of its work. It will be challenging at first, but through sharing best practice we can work together to break down any barriers that are preventing us from being more sustainable. The agreement acts as a catalyst for ongoing improvement in both environmental and financial terms.
To find out more visit www.wrap.org.uk/construction.