Just as the Courtauld Commitment set voluntary waste reduction and recycling targets for retailers, the Construction Commitment will aim to halve the amount of waste sent to landfill by the signatories by 2012.
Businesses that have already signed up include Berkeley Group, Bovis Land Lease, Laing ORourke, Stanhope, Defence Estates, Segro and Willmott Dixon.
The aim is to reduce the £1.5 billion in unused materials that are wasted by the construction sector and prevent 25 million tonnes of waste being sent to landfill every year. Much of this is due to materials being over-ordered, according to WRAP.
Environment minister Jane Kennedy said: This agreement sends a clear message to the construction supply chain: it is time to stop the waste. These initiatives outline clear targets for waste reduction. Today WRAP offers the whole construction industry a robust and structured framework to help deliver these targets.
WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin added: Waste by its very definition is a missed opportunity. Indeed, the true cost of waste is over ten times higher than the cost of disposal, once the value of the waste material is taken into account.
The time, now, more than ever is ripe for change and change will happen through collective action from the whole of the construction supply chain, including, crucially, construction clients.
Construction waste represents a third of the UK waste stream and the signatories will work with WRAP to benchmark, measure and report progress on how much they are reducing the amount of waste created.
Targets have been set for the firms with the help of the Strategy for Sustainable Construction and the Strategic Forums Construction Commitments.