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Environmental best practice bears fruit for GRAHAM at Green Apple Awards

Environmental best practice bears fruit for GRAHAM at Green Apple Awards image

GRAHAM has won four prestigious accolades at the annual Green Apple Environment Awards (Monday 15th November) in recognition of its “environmental best practice”.

The leading national contractor was awarded a Gold Green Apple Award for its exemplary approach to sustainability during a transformational interior fit-out project for Leeds Building Society's new headquarters at Sovereign Street in Leeds.

A hat-trick of Silver Green Apple Awards followed, with two student residential schemes (University of York Student Accommodation and LIV Student Accommodation, Belfast) and a highways project, the M11 Junction 7a project, earning plaudits for their respective environmental achievements.

The Green Apple Environment Awards, which are organised and managed by The Green Organisation, are recognised “as one of the most popular environmental campaigns in the world”.

GRAHAM has enjoyed considerable success at the awards since they were first launched in 1994. In total, the privately-owned company has scooped 17 Green Apple Awards.

Commenting on the continued success, GRAHAM Head of Environment, Lianne Taylor, said:

“To win another four Green Apple Awards is a major achievement, and we are very proud to have added to our collection. Each accolade is the result of a concerted, collaborative effort between our site teams, environmental team and supply chain. At GRAHAM, we have recently launched a new CSR strategy and a Climate Action strategy. These set out our ambitious plans and targets for the future. And the independent validation provided by the Green Apple Awards is proof of our proactivity and commitment to making a positive impact on the environment and a lasting legacy within the communities where we operate.”


This year, GRAHAM was also awarded third place in the “Green Large Organisation of the Year” at the Green Awards and was shortlisted for the “Environmental and Sustainability Award” at the CEF Construction Excellence Awards 2021.

In addition, it successfully achieved the Achilles Carbon Reduce Standard.


A summary of the four Green Apple Award winning projects

Gold Award

Interior Fit-Out - Leeds Building Society Headquarters: GRAHAM completed a £10m modernisation programme at Sovereign Street to facilitate Leeds Building Society’s move into new headquarters in Leeds city centre. Among the project’s key environmental achievements were:

  • 100% of energy used was sourced from renewables
  • Adopting a circular approach to material reuse e.g. glazing recycled into worktops
  • 17.5 tonnes of timber waste was collected by Community Wood Recycling - 9 tonnes of C02 saved
  • Carbon emissions during the construction phase equated to 3.1 tonnes of CO2e per £1 million project value - well within the target set

Silver Award

Building – University of York Student Accommodation: GRAHAM is delivering a major 1400-bed student accommodation project as part of the University of York’s “Campus for the Future” masterplan. The project’s key environmental achievements include:

  • The site has safely treated and discharged over 12 million+ litres of water back into the water environment
  • Embracing modern methods of construction has resulted in water, energy and waste savings throughout the project
  • Forecasted waste saving of 43% compared with traditional build
  • 8684m2 biodiversity improvements planned for the final scheme.

Silver Award

Building – LIV Student Accommodation, Belfast: LIV Belfast Student Living is an “ultra-modern”, purpose-built student residential complex (717 bedroom units) in Belfast. Among the project’s key environmental achievements were:

  • Installation of a water pump to feed site from cold water storage tank. This meant that the Cold-Water Storage Tank (5000 litres) was not discharged to drain every week to control Legionella Bacteria, but used on site
  • Swift Bricks were installed within the fabric to provide homes for nature
  • 95% of all construction waste was recycled
  • Generated carbon emissions of 5.36 tonnes per £1 million project value, less than half of the original target.

Silver Award

Civil engineering - M11 Junction 7a: This project involves the design and construction of a new grade separated junction to the M11, a new 0.6km dual carriageway link connecting the new junction with the B183 Gilden Way, and online widening to a 2km section of Gilden Way in Harlow. The project’s key environmental achievements include:

  • Use of a Materials Management Plan through CL:AIRE to enable the reuse of suitable materials
  • Extensive environmental coaching and briefings for site staff in order to elevate site culture
  • Trailing of new technologies including hydrogen tower lights, an electric JCB excavator and the use of greener alternatives to red diesel
  • Effective management in place to avoid disturbance to a range of sensitive and protected species including water voles, bats and Great Crested Newts.

Find out more about GRAHAM's approach to the environment.