Wates Group, one of the UK’s leading family-owned construction, development and property services companies, has launched a self-service, interactive and intelligent marketplace for sustainable innovation.
The Wates Innovation Network (WIN) portal is said to be the first initiative of its kind, designed to help businesses ‘build back better’, connecting companies directly, and free of charge, with partners that can offer solutions to help meet sustainability targets. It aims to create an industry leading network that will accelerate the transition to net zero by showcasing smarter solutions to design, construct and maintain buildings.
The marketplace is currently home to 42 innovation partners approved by a screening panel including 40 environmental experts, from systems that improve energy efficiency to circular economy office furniture. Users can filter sustainable innovations based on their requirements to find the product and supplier most suitable for them.
Wates has been working to connect businesses with tech-led innovations for eight years through its Wates Sustainable Technology Services (WSTS) offering. Organisations, including Barings, Merseyside Police, Standard Chartered Bank Plc and the Wates Group itself, have previously used the innovation network to source technologies, improve efficiencies, and further develop ambitious new climate pledges. The new online portal will streamline this process with a more dynamic and efficient customer experience, enabling the Group to better support partners in providing tangible environmental and operational savings. Wates also intends to use the portal as a means of expanding the current marketplace of green technologies which can be used within the built environment.
Through WSTS, a leading UK bank was able to identify 20 potential sustainable innovations to help reduce its carbon footprint across more than 1,300 buildings. One already in place is Endotherm, an energy saving additive for heating systems, that has been independently proven to save up to 15% on heating bills. Managed workspace company Needspace? has also piloted the technology, projecting 98,891kWh of energy savings, £2,967 of financial savings, and a reduction in carbon emissions of 18,295kg CO2e, over a five-year period at its office at Earlsfield Business Centre.
John Dunne (pictured above), Group Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Director at Wates Group, commented: “The market for sustainable solutions is expanding fast and companies who are not investing in innovations will soon be unable to compete. The issue is 95% of market ready sustainable technologies never get considered because key decision makers do not know they exist, or suppliers don’t have access to the key corporate decision makers. The WIN portal is bridging that gap, showcasing innovation and helping businesses to meet bold environmental targets.”
The WIN portal has been launched after the Group announced its five-year strategy to help reduce the industry’s environmental impact, supporting the Government’s target of net zero buildings, and fostering the growth of sustainable, innovative SMEs across the UK. Wates has committed to eliminating waste and carbon from its own operations by 2025.
In November, Wates joined forces with Energy Specifics to deliver a zero carbon retrofitting service for social housing landlords, which will deploy technologies from WIN to help local authorities and housing associations to prepare their housing stock to meet zero carbon obligations.
Wates Construction recently completed its first project for Gateshead Council with the delivery of a £12m new school for children with special educational needs (SEN). You can read about that project here.