Case studies

Our regions have been putting our sustainability strategy into action and delivering on our six positive outcomes.

See Sustainability in action for our top stories.

In 2015, we finished constructing a section of the A465 in South Wales. Part of the Heads of the Valleys project, this connects Abergavenny in the east with Neath in the west. Eager to overcome challenges even at the design stage, the team applied a new logic. For example, by reusing excavated material to create a large embankment, they designed out the need for a 170 metre-long viaduct – saving significant costs and carbon.

Around half of the project’s funding was based on the scheme’s regeneration potential (provided by the European Regional Development Fund), given that the road passes through an economically deprived region: “It will kick-start regeneration, allowing people to get to and from jobs, and hopefully encourage businesses to open up along the road,” comments Mike Cummine, Carillion Project Manager.

To support local businesses, 84% of the project funds went to Welsh companies, reflecting an estimated economic benefit of £180 million. Nearly two-thirds of the team supported work experience, community volunteering and schools engagement, investing £64,000 and supporting 4,100 pupils.

An on-site Job Shop was created in partnership with Blaenau Gwent Council, with 99% of the workers employed through this scheme being local residents. It was the first project in Wales to receive the status of a National Skills Academy for Construction, offering 86 new-entrant trainee jobs and 27 apprenticeships at Levels 2 and 3.

This single project shows the potential of how small, local interventions – and sustainable thinking – can catalyse economic regeneration on a large scale.

Building a successful business

Trust in business came under threat in certain sectors during 2015, so we were especially proud to win the PwC Building Public Trust Award for a third successive year. Independently assessed, the review process examines the depth and relevance of sustainability reporting offered throughout the publicly available information provided to stakeholders. Carillion was commended for a clear reporting structure, honesty around our challenges and a robust business case for sustainability, quantifying our profit contribution and strong governance.

One judge summed up: “This is outstanding sustainability reporting, easy to engage with and navigate – and making a strong case for sustainability throughout.”

Building a successful business

In 2015, the Dubai Chamber awarded its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Label to Al Futtaim and Emrill, two Carillion Joint Ventures in the Middle East. This voluntary standard recognises a structured approach to responsible business, based on international best practices implemented in the Middle East.

“The Dubai Chamber of Commerce has very stringent criteria on the basis of which the CSR Label is awarded. Using international standards this recognition truly reflects our uniqueness as the leading facilities management company in the Middle East for which we openly declare volunteering initiatives, equal opportunities, staff engagement, commitment to the communities that we work in and, most importantly, delivering a sustainable business.”

Jason Ruehland, Carillion Emrill Managing Director

Building a successful business

Great companies are built on great ideas, with each of us playing an important role in our company’s success. That’s the foundation of the Carillion Ideas Programme. Kevin Murray, a Carillion skilled tradesman at our Sault Area Hospital contract in Canada, submitted an idea that saved the company maintenance costs and provided exceptional savings to our client. With his detailed knowledge of the building systems, Kevin determined that we could install a boiler sequencer for approximately $450 (£238), improving regulation of the hospital’s heating and cooling sequence. It’s estimated that Kevin’s idea will save the hospital as much as $45,000 (£24,000) over an eight-month period.

Building a successful business


Financial service provider Nationwide is transforming its retail branch network to gear up to a digital society. As the provider of facilities management (FM) services to the client, we are working together to ensure a seamless transition.

The Carillion–Nationwide team won the British Institute of FM Team of the Year Award in 2015. Working together, the team found ways to help Nationwide make savings of just under £500,000 in energy bills and become the first high street financial institution to achieve the Carbon Trust’s triple standard.

Nottinghamshire University Hospitals

Patient meals at Nottinghamshire University Hospitals NHS Trust are ordered through a mobile app. Patients select food items (as opposed to set meals) up to two hours before food service. This process was developed in partnership with our catering supplier and has cut food waste to less than 10% (from 18%). This simple change will save £300,000 a year, and has already significantly improved patient nutrition. We’re now targeting just 6% for food waste.

“Establishing strong relationships and a collaborative approach, using collective strengths from ourselves and from our customers, has led to innovation and best practice, exceptional sustainability achievements and delivery of excellent service to our customers.”

Nigel Taylor, Managing Director of Services at Nationwide

Leading the way with customers and suppliers

We provide school meals to around 125 Oxfordshire schools and our priority is to offer nutritious food choices. We designed a healthy menu, with our suppliers e-foods and Brakes freshly preparing up to 75% of meals on site. We have also encouraged pupils to grow food themselves and understand produce sourcing by taking them to visit local farms. Working together with our customer Oxfordshire County Council, we achieved a Food for Life Bronze Award and are now aiming for Silver.

Leading the way with customers and suppliers

The Lower Don Valley, Sheffield, is a key regional employment area and also highly vulnerable to flooding. Sheffield City Council has implemented a flood protection project on the River Don and we were selected to develop the £19 million project funded by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Environment Agency, in 2015.

The project receives an annual contribution from over 250 organisations via a Business Improvement District and is the first flood defence project in the UK to be funded in this way.

Leading the way with customers and suppliers

Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, our team in Sheffield has provided services to our customers for 11 years. They take around 1.5 million calls, emails, letters and social media contacts, related to the 100,000 buildings and sites they support. However, a succession of challenges was leading to disappointing customer satisfaction (NPS) scores and unengaged employees.

Taking the initiative to turn things around, the team renamed itself the Customer Experience Centre (CEC). Employee forums, meetings and competitions boosted productivity so much that Richard Howson, Carillion Chief Executive, announced the CEC as 2015’s ‘most outstanding team’. NPS scores had risen from -68 to an outstanding +73, while employee engagement escalated to 75% – the highest in the business. The team is now sharing the learnings behind its success across the organisation, and they achieved some great external recognition in 2015: the Institute of Customer Service awarded them the Strategic Customer Service Leadership Award in March, and the British Institute of Facilities Management highly commended them for ‘Impact on FM Customer Service’ in October.

Leading the way with customers and suppliers

Carillion has been a funding partner of the Supply Chain Sustainability School since 2013. This award-winning, online learning facility provides free training and action plans for suppliers across the built environment, and nearly 1,000 of our suppliers are members. Senior members of our supply chain teams serve on its various specialist groups and David Picton, our Chief Sustainability Officer, is a Board Director of the school. David also chaired the launch programme to expand the school’s coverage in 2015 into the FM and services sector. The school is an entirely voluntary initiative, free to all suppliers, and designed simply to help them increase their sustainability skills across the full built environment.

Leading the way with customers and suppliers

Our supplier Men’s Workwear UK has been working to improve conditions in its factory in Bangladesh (where it makes its Alexandra brand). Focusing on female workers, the project is an educational programme that trains women in nutrition, health and finance, raising awareness on issues ranging from feminine hygiene and sexually transmitted diseases, and financial planning.

After the training, 49% used sanitary products (compared to 30% before), and 64% had a formal savings plan. We will continue to support Men’s Workwear UK in this proven empowerment initiative.

Leading the way with customers and suppliers

In November 2015, we launched ONE Road to Safety, a campaign to keep our people safer on the road. It’s based on getting people to think differently across four areas: people, behaviour, vehicles and management.

In 2016, there will be a monthly focus on a different element of the campaign. We will also launch the Carillion Permit to Drive as a mandatory requirement for all those who drive on company business. The permit will be awarded through a mixture of risk profiling, in-car training and online training.

Carillion Construction Services is applying Building Information Modelling (BIM) software and 4D sequence models to reduce risks for construction vehicles on the Morpeth Northern Bypass. Find out more about BIM.


Carillion Rail Resourcing has developed a driver and vehicle management and fatigue process.


In Canada, Carillion Bouchier implemented a 360 Walk-A-Round initiative, which encourages drivers to check for hazards around their vehicles before driving.

Providing better prospects for our people

Fit for Life (FFL) was a week-long campaign by our UK Construction Services business to raise the profile of our ‘Health Like Safety’ approach. Led by Health Champions, over 1,500 individuals from 80 contracts achieved some great results:

90% said FFL had helped them understand the impact of their health and wellbeing, a 21% increase from the start of the week.

90% said they now knew where the on-site defibrillator was kept, an increase of 20%.

93% could describe cancer-causing materials, an increase of 25%.

Providing better prospects for our people

One in nine people in the UK is a carer – often trying to juggle busy jobs with the responsibility of managing the needs of someone who is older, ill or disabled.

Carillion joined 85 other companies in 2015, signing up to the Employers for Carers forum to provide carers with access to resources, practical support and advice.

“While some life events can be predicted, none of us knows when we might find ourselves trying to balance work with caring responsibilities either long or short term. In my time at Carillion I have supported elderly parents with day-to-day living and eventually end-of-life care. I found the support of the company hugely valuable and wanted all of our people to feel that their caring requirements were also supported not just through our flexible working arrangements, but by the help Employers for Carers can offer.”

Janet Dawson, Group HR Director

Providing better prospects for our people

We have operated in Qatar since 2009 and employ around 1,100 people directly, with a further 6,000 through our subcontractors. Our policies and procedures support the freedom of association for workers – for example, we operate employee forums even in countries that restrict the ability of workers to form trade unions.

Following claims of human rights abuses in Qatar in 2014 by the BBC, we’ve been working hard to review the living and employment standards of over 6,000 people, employed across more than 150 subcontractors. Our audit identified a small number of cases where subcontractors were not meeting our high standards, so we immediately introduced spot checks and new processes to work with our suppliers to ensure compliance.

Providing better prospects for our people

To recognise the contribution of women in the country, His Majesty the Sultan of Oman announced an annual day of celebration. Carillion Alawi marked the day with an event that gave women the opportunity to share their experiences. Sessions included promoting resilience and stress reduction.

Feedback was that female attendees (employees and wider) felt recognised, valued and respected and this has resulted in stronger relationships between teams. The day was featured in the national press, raising our profile as an employer of choice for women. Indeed, Carillion Alawi saw an increase in female employment applicants following this event.

Providing better prospects for our people

Forty-six graduates were involved in our development programme in 2015 (compared to 33 in 2014). Listening to feedback from our stakeholders, and thinking about our own inclusivity agenda, we decided that requiring applicants to have a university degree could limit our access to talent. So now there is no requirement for new joiners to Carillion to have a degree, since we felt this was socially exclusive. Instead, we’re embracing all forms of education, experience and training that a person may offer.

Providing better prospects for our people

Good communication is essential, as poor communication can cost lives on the construction site. At our Royal Liverpool University Hospital project site, our subcontractor Heyrod is helping Polish employees with their English by supporting lessons after work.

At the Battersea Power Station Phase 1 project, we arranged free English lessons for 40 Romanian employees. The eight-week course covered basic phrases and grammar, and candidates could take an exam at the end for evidence of their proficiency in the language.

We are part of the Active Citizens 205 Flags Project, which aims to engage and integrate third-country nationals in three London boroughs into British society, through a new programme that includes interventions around health, careers and skills.

Providing better prospects for our people

The construction and support services industries can benefit from lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) integration. Our mission is to promote equality and fairness around sexual orientation and gender identity, to create a working environment free from all forms of discrimination and position Carillion as a leading LGBT employer.

In 2015, we signed up to be a Diversity Champion for Stonewall, and we’ve been building a LGBT network, Connect, which will launch in 2016. It includes representatives from all business units and offers an emotional support network and advice on HR policies, among other sources of support.

Providing better prospects for our people

We’ve built schools in South Tyneside since 2008, an area that sadly falls into the UK’s bottom quartile for child obesity. Working with the Local Enterprise Partnership, we introduced a fitness challenge (based on the Global Corporate Challenge), which encourages pupils to literally take steps to improve their health. A dedicated website helps them log and track progress.

Over 1,000 pupils registered from 29 schools, with 96% saying that they felt fitter afterwards, 80% had improved their diet and 83% felt more positive overall. Pupils at the winning school (Cleadon Academy) ‘travelled’ 12,197 miles during the challenge – equivalent to halfway around the world, and without emitting any carbon!

Supporting sustainable communities

Give & Gain Day is the only global celebration of employee volunteering. In 2015, 643 Carillion volunteers participated. See the highlights in this short film.

Supporting sustainable communities

Awab Syed is a Senior ICT Engineer in Qatar who has been volunteering for Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) for three months. ROTA empowers local people by developing their skills in a variety of subjects. Awab has also volunteered at Better Connections, which aims to educate low-income workers in Qatar by teaching essential information technology skills. He is their Digital Trainer, training other volunteers as Digital Champions.

“Sharing expertise for making money doesn’t make much impact, but sharing your expertise to redefine someone’s life really makes a big difference.”

Awab Geelani Syed, Senior ICT Engineer, Carillion Qatar

Supporting sustainable communities

Lynn MacKay, a Carillion Quality Assurance Technician, came up with an idea that would bring jobs to the community and make Carillion Canada a more inclusive place to work at the same time.

Responding to a lack of specialist snow plough drivers in the Thunder Bay district of Ontario, Lynn’s idea was to train women in the local Aboriginal community to drive snow ploughs. The programme was a success and all female drivers were subsequently hired by Ontario Roads to drive automatic ploughs in the winter season. More are now being trained in manual vehicle driving.

This single idea has brought multiple benefits. For the communities in Thunder Bay, it has generated jobs for a segment of the population that suffers high unemployment. It has also strengthened the road infrastructure network by keeping roads clear for remote communities year-round. For Carillion Canada, teams are more dynamic and absenteeism has been reduced. In the longer term, the initiative gives us, our customers and our suppliers confidence in a secure pipeline of talent and trusted relationships with our neighbours.

“Women are underrepresented in Thunder Bay, Ontario (where we acquired Outland Camps). By meeting and collaborating with local agencies we were able to show support for our communities, gain an edge in the recruitment process and ultimately strengthen our overall organisational performance.”

Lynn MacKay, Quality Assurance Technician

Supporting sustainable communities

In Canada, approximately 5,000 ex-Armed Forces personnel attempt to transition to civilian jobs every year. Canada Company is a charity that connects business and community leaders with the military, who we’re partnering with to enhance our recruitment of veterans.

“Veterans bring a desired skill set of leadership experience, communications and organisational skills plus a hardened work ethic, which makes them a great addition to the Carillion team.”

Jim Ferron, Vice President, Capability Development, and Canadian Army veteran

Supporting sustainable communities

The support services sector will be lacking over 200,000 workers a year by 2019. At the same time, we know that 20,000 people leave the UK Armed Forces each year, so we see an opportunity. Working with the Ministry of Defence and the military, we help find new careers for talented ex-forces personnel, which include:

  • Work experience placements for wounded service personnel.
  • Armed Forces Employment Pathway: work placements for reservists – so far, six participants have found full-time employment through this scheme.
  • BuildForce is an initiative run in conjunction with the Construction Youth Trust. To date, 24 service leavers have successfully completed placements at construction firms and 14 have gone on to find permanent roles in the industry.

We have committed to a target of registering 300 new military reservists by 2016.

Exemplar Employer for our support to reservists and sick or injured servicemen (UK North West Business Awards)

Joe’s story

Since joining at 17, the military was the only career that 27 year-old Royal Engineers sapper Joe had known. His injury from a roadside bomb in Afghanistan was a massive blow, both physically and psychologically. “One minute you have your future mapped out, the next everything is changed,” he says. However, with a CV showing construction experience, he was a prime candidate for a work experience placement at Carillion, and has since been offered a permanent job as project coordinator with Carillion telent. “It was good to know that many of my skills like project planning, working with a diverse team and under pressure are useful to a company like Carillion.”

Supporting sustainable communities

Carillion is in a pioneering employers’ group that has banned the criminal conviction ‘tick box’ from job application forms. Banning the box enables ex-offenders to compete fairly for jobs based on an assessment of their skills first, and allows participating employers to find people from a wider pool of talent.

The team at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital is working with HM Prison Kennet, Liverpool, to tackle the barrier of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, which is fundamental to working on construction sites. The team provided HMP Kennet with a mobile CSCS card-testing bus. Of the 31 who took the test, 26 passed and four have now been offered employment on the hospital project. We are now assessing which other trusts and organisations we could be working with on this key employment enabler.

Supporting sustainable communities

On the Kempinski Wave Hotel project in Oman, staff worked with engineering students to maximise their employment chances. A group of 20 final-year engineering students from Oman’s Higher College of Technology worked through mock interviews and received tips on improving their interview skills from senior Carillion employees.

Nine were selected to attend an eight-week training course on the project, which gave them experience across various departments. Each student gave a final presentation on key learnings, with feedback showing that the training exceeded expectations across the board.

Supporting sustainable communities

In Ontario, Canada, the Hammer Heads scheme is a pre-apprenticeship programme run by Central Ontario Building Trades. Three times a year, 15 young people participate for 12 weeks and gain experience from 24 different unions, with hands-on learning at training centres and jobsite visits. To date, Hammer Heads has placed 154 students into apprenticeships with a 97% retention rate.

Supporting sustainable communities

We are one of eight companies funding and supporting the Your Life campaign to encourage 14 to 16 year-old girls to study science and maths. Your Life is a three-year national, Government-backed campaign to showcase careers linked to STEM qualifications. We hosted visits from schoolchildren and supported an innovation competition – Formula 100. We also supported a YouTube channel designed to get young people interested in science and maths, which had 2,163 subscribers in 2015.

Supporting sustainable communities

Carillion has formed the Academies Trust to transform educational opportunities, raise standards and help provide the right environmental and cultural conditions for young people to be successful. The role of the trust will be to achieve an ‘outstanding’ rating from the UK Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). Through the trust, we opened two academies in the Greater Manchester region in 2015.

Supporting sustainable communities

We are joining forces with the Institute of Civil Engineers to help fund a new state-of-the-art learning centre in London. The exhibition and learning centre, which will open in 2016, will help inspire the next generation of engineers as it will be an interactive space for young people, teachers, parents and practising engineers. We are one of seven partners funding the centre’s first five years, where model replicas, installations and digital prototypes of iconic structures, engineering games and 3D printers will show engineering at its best.

“Partnering with the exhibition and learning centre, and taking that enthusiasm into the communities where we work and live will be key to motivating people to gain essential skills and pursue rewarding, exciting careers to shape our future world.”

Adam Green, Managing Director, Carillion Construction UK

Supporting sustainable communities

To date, we have seconded six people to BITC’s flagship Business Connectors programme in Wythenshawe, Burnley and Wandsworth. Business Connectors are trained by BITC to build partnerships that tackle community issues in deprived neighbourhoods.

2015 highlights

Carillion Business Connectors helped local organisations in five communities

Community 37% | Education 24% | Employment 20% | Enterprise 15% | Other 3%
“The Business Connectors programme provided a much-needed resource to create more relationships with businesses, and through collaboration added real value to the great partnership work that already exists in Wythenshawe, and helped to kick start some great new initiatives, particularly around employment and skills.”

Jane Dudley, Wythenshawe Regeneration Team, Manchester City Council

Supporting sustainable communities

Achieving a score of 98A, Carillion was independently benchmarked on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) Climate A List for the second year running. One of only two UK firms awarded an A grade in the industrials sector, we were also in the top 2% disclosing through our supply chain programme.

CDP A list 2015 Climate logo
CDP congratulates you for your climate change leadership, and recognises you as a world leader for supplier action on climate change.”


Enabling low-carbon economies

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a process for delivering projects that involves understanding every stage of built environment contracts. For five years, we’ve been developing our BIM capability to meet the UK Government Mandate for BIM Level 2, and equivalent guidelines in Canada and the Middle East. To date, we’ve delivered over 3,000 guided learning hours of training for our people.

As well as working with our suppliers on this, we’re helping customers, for example, Sandwell Council in the West Midlands who developed the West Midlands Virtual Hospital to showcase manufacturing and construction supply chain capability in the area. A web portal was created whereby suppliers interested in tendering for hospital work could tag themselves against products they could supply to a hospital, such as a door, a bed, steelwork, etc. They would then input information into the portal and could create a product page with videos, specifications and other information about their products, including links to BIM objects for the design and data on their products.

We worked with Sandwell to integrate this within our procurement model for the Midland Metropolitan Hospital to encourage local spend and drive up awareness of BIM through presentations, workshops and communications. We were asked to develop a BIM skills and training suite in an impoverished area next to the site, so we were not just sharing knowledge on BIM but improving skills and creating a legacy of capability in the area. The first Carillion training sessions are taking place in early 2016 and the suite is now in operation for customers, suppliers, apprentices and Carillion personnel.

Enabling low-carbon economies

Oman’s five-year development plan prioritises energy conservation and renewable energy. Traditionally, Omani architecture employed eco-friendly construction methods – methods that Carillion Alawi is reviving.

Designed together with the Oman Higher College of Technology, the GreenNest Eco House won the 2015 Eco House Design competition. It combines Omani aesthetics with sustainable construction, such as a water recycling system for irrigation. Constructed with insulated concrete, the building contains energy-recovery ventilation and a floor plan that maximises natural light and wind.

Enabling low-carbon economies

On the North West Academies Modular Primary Schools project, the Carillion site team and the groundwork contractor are thinking differently. They have developed a way to build the pad foundations using an auger – a corkscrew-shaped drilling device. This method has reduced project costs by up to 26% and has the potential to reduce the quantity of embodied carbon in foundations by between 20% and 28%.

The auger method will now be rolled out to more academy school projects in the region.

Enabling low-carbon economies

We are responsible for running the Hard and Soft Services at National Offender Management Service (NOMS) prison establishments in the South and South East. NOMS has given Carillion a clear mandate to look for smart energy solutions.

HMP Guys Marsh in Dorset is the first prison in the UK to be heated entirely by renewable wood. The system displaces 600,000 litres of heating oil with 1,600 tonnes of locally sourced wood chip. Five years into service, the biomass boiler has cut heating costs by 50%, saving the client £250,000 and 1,947 tonnes of CO2 per year. The local forestry and the wood-chipping industry have also benefited from this initiative by becoming suppliers to HMP Guys Marsh.

Enabling low-carbon economies

Carillion is a key partner in a new West Sussex solar farm that is generating renewable energy and revenue for the community. Tangmere Airfield solar farm occupies 25 acres of council-owned land, providing enough clean energy to power over 1,500 homes.

The first installation of its kind to be delivered by the local authority and Carillion, the farm’s clean electricity is being sold to the National Grid and is forecast to earn more than £13 million through feed-in tariffs over 20 years.

“The new solar farm will reduce our carbon footprint and benefit the local community. The income generated will be used to fund energy efficiency schemes in the local community. This is especially helpful to the low-income and vulnerable residents that may be at risk of fuel poverty.”

Louise Goldsmith, West Sussex County Council Leader

Enabling low-carbon economies

On the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre project, Carillion Alawi is reprocessing site-excavated hard rock into roof gravel. The gravel meets LEED requirements for a Solar Reflective Index, saving £88,000 and 500m3 of new material use by avoiding the need to import virgin gravel.

This recycling system enabled us to win the Sustainability Initiative of the Year at the Oman Construction Week Awards.

In Qatar, the Msheireb Phase 1B project team has recycled 94% of total waste, just one of the reasons it has met and exceeded LEED requirements. According to the Msheireb Properties client, “Carillion Qatar is an exemplar on managing and segregating waste.”

Protecting the environment

Since 2009, we’ve been working with the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust to protect biodiversity on Highgate Common. This nature reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and home to rare species such as the bog bush cricket, glowworms and oil beetles – species not found anywhere else in the country.

Our volunteers have worked to protect the areas of heathland from encroaching woodland and scrub. As part of our Glowworms Reunited project, we’ve helped to create corridors between isolated islands of heathland.

Protecting the environment

It has historically been a challenge to quantify the scale of unavoidable habitat loss by clearance of vegetation from construction projects. However, the project team at Cricklewood, in collaboration with Network Rail, has been trialling the new Defra pilot tool to calculate the project’s biodiversity baseline. Although the quality of the habitat lost was assessed to be low, Carillion’s designers on other Thameslink projects are investigating opportunities to enhance biodiversity on other sites to compensate for the loss at Cricklewood.

Protecting the environment


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