Date: 06/11/2023

In light of green Careers Week, Fortem are taking the time to highlight the steps being undertaken to reduce its carbon footprint, as well as recognise that career paths into the construction industry are now looking greener than ever before.

Sustainability and environmental performance within the construction industry has come under scrutiny in recent times. In line with the core values of Fortem’s Social Value initiatives, as well as environmental regulation and legislation, Fortem has been looking into the implementation of an all electric fleet of vehicles.

Through conversations with Fortem’s vehicle partners Dawsons & Northgate, insight has been gained into its local fleet performance. Fortem have a unique ability with their positioning in south central London, dovetailed with the tight geography of its housing stock, underpinned by a good local infrastructure of charge points to make that switch to an EV based fleet. Over a sample of 37 vehicles, the data highlighted an opportunity to save up to 25,000m3 tonnes of carbon per annum. Fortem’s contract delivery method is gearing towards a high proportion of self-delivery and the fleet size, already in excess of 65 vehicles, is likely to top out at c.80 vans.

Fortem vans in a car park

Kevin Griffiths, General Manager of Fortem’s Lambeth site, says;

“As the leader of our Lambeth contract, I need to consider opportunities for us to improve our carbon footprint. Of course, we must try to balance this with the needs of our business, our obligations to our customers, and doing this with consideration of the potential consequences on service delivery each decision can make.

“EVs won’t suit everyone, but an average daily mileage of 25 miles does give confidence that it’s a viable solution. With 90% of our fleet expected to transfer, it will improve not just our own credentials, but it will support Council & GLA initiatives to improve the air quality in our Borough.”

Fortem’s waste management has also shown an uptake in performance, and the company have recruited an employee to manage this. Fortem will have access to more accurate data relating to waste that is diverted from landfill along with what can be recycled. Fortem now have greater control on what is disposed of and how this is carried out. For example, recent changes in timber disposal might require certain types of timber from pre-2007 built homes to be treated as hazardous waste. These controls were not easy to police with previous waste arrangements and improvements in Fortem’s internal reporting will provide further insights into performance.

It’s no secret that Climate change affects us all and it’s frustrating at times that the small positive changes people make, appear to be undone by factors that cannot be helped. Issues with damp and mould are a consequence of inefficient and ageing housing stock. These profiles in Lambeth are exacerbated by large areas of social and economic deprivation, rising cost of living and fuel poverty. Fortem are discussing with Lambeth their ambitions to support them with their retrofit and decarbonisation programmes, in which lies the single biggest opportunity to positively affect poor living conditions and leaky homes.

It is an exciting time to become part of the Fortem family, and there will be plenty more news to come of huge milestones being reached in terms of the decarbonisation strategy that is currently taking place.

Fortem vans in a car park