Generate Zero Waste

2030 target Measurement Primary UN Sustainability Development Goal 


40% reduction in tonnes of waste1
generated per £1 million of revenue2


Tonnes of waste1 generated per £1 million of revenue


Primary UN Sustainability Development Goal: 12 Responsible Consumption and Production

Waste has become a growing environmental threat which has a significant impact on public health and on our natural environment. We aim to be bold and set the pace in addressing this.

From the depletion of natural resources to the emissions and runoff generated by landfill and the pollution associated with manufacturing and processing materials, waste is an issue of increasing global concern. As cities grow and populations increase, so will the demand for infrastructure and the raw materials required for its construction. The construction and infrastructure industry needs to take action now to make sure it is acting responsibly.

Curbing the amount of waste our schemes generate, recovering materials and properly managing the waste we do create has long been a priority for Balfour Beatty. We are proud of our track record in this area and in 2022 we diverted 2.2 million tonnes of our waste from landfill in the UK and Hong Kong.

But our aim is to go further and to do more. That’s why we are setting out a clear ambition to generate zero waste from our operations by 2040.

To make sure we deliver this, we’ll be working with our partners right from the start of every new scheme to make sure we’re looking for solutions that Generate Zero Waste through design and construction, applying the waste management hierarchy as shown. Where this is not possible, our priority will be to maximise the value of materials throughout their lifecycle.

Bringing all of the parties – customer, designer, contractors and supply chain partners – to the table from the outset will allow projects to be developed in a manner that eliminates waste by design and enables circular economy initiatives such as take back schemes for packaging and unused materials to be utilised.

Increased demand for materials and dwindling natural resources will help drive the development of innovative new ways of working that will help us achieve our ambition to Generate Zero Waste by 2040. Modern methods of construction, such as off-site manufacturing and modularisation, will also help to streamline the sector’s operations, helping to reduce waste and activity on-site and delivering significant quality, productivity and safety benefits.

Modern tools and construction methodologies such as virtual and augmented reality and scanning technologies will also help to reduce waste, with smart material selection and management leading to a high percentage of an infrastructure asset being recycled at the end of its lifecycle.

Case studies

Find out how we're reducing and recycling waste across our business. 

¹Excluding hazardous waste

²Measured against a 2021 baseline