Don’t Give Up On Construction Waste – Use A Green Compass Company?

Welsh construction remains one of the biggest generators of waste in our economy. In order to change this, we have to encourage behaviour change and provide straightforward and effective solutions.

25th September 2014

Wales is working towards a low carbon economy and as an industry, Welsh construction is achieving some great results with regard to sustainability. Linked to the sustainability agenda is waste – something that is from time to time either over looked or just forgotten about. 

Paul Jennings, the CEW Construction Waste Programme Director said at the launch of Enabling Zero Waste: “The latest figures released by the Welsh Government suggest that we are moving in the right direction, with 87 percent of construction and demolition waste now being recycled. However, there is still much work to be done to reach the initial target for 90 percent or more of the waste generated by the construction and demolition sectors in Wales to be re-used or recycled by 2019/2020.”

There are a number of ways of achieving this. Firstly, by changing behaviour on-site so that waste minimisation is prioritised at the beginning of a project rather than at the end. . In reality, no matter how much time and resource is given to the waste reduction agenda-– every project will generate waste. However, it is vital that this waste should be managed and treated by well regulated and approved waste handlers that meet all of the industry’s requirements. 

The Green Compass Scheme achieves this. The scheme confirms compliance with PAS402:2013 (Waste resource management- Specification for performance reporting) which requires the production of an annual report on a waste management company’s performance including its data for waste stream recovery. The report is independently audited by a UKAS accredited inspection body and is publically available. Paul Jennings explains: “The scheme stemmed from the published recycling claims of construction companies which predominantly stated that 80% of waste had been “recycled”. Closer examination of these figures identified that these had been obtained from their supplier and were not necessarily validated nor independently verified. 

We recognized that there was an opportunity to allow the waste management industry in Wales to present their performance in a substantiated and independently audited report. This has led to growing confidence in the published performance of the Scheme members, which in future years will provide a valuable source of verified data for waste management”.

To find out more about the Green Compass Scheme and PAS402:2013 and the rest of the CEW programme please visit: