Case study: the journey of climate assurance

Climate emergency declarations have been made by over 1250 local governments and 25 countries as of January 2020. The UK was the first major economy to legislate its commitment requiring the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

Business leaders have an important role in addressing the climate emergency including reducing harmful greenhouse gases and transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

This case study is the first of a series as the Institute follows the journey of climate assurance at Wates Group with their Group Head of Internal Audit, Simon Rose.

Listen to our podcast to hear about it first-hand.

Who are Wates Group?

Wates Group is one of the leading privately-owned, construction, development and property services companies in the UK. Established in 1897, with close to 4,000 employees, they work with a range of clients and partners from across the public and private sectors.

In January 2020, Wates committed to eliminating waste and carbon from its operations by 2025 with three bold targets to help ensure it does ‘zero harm’ to the environment:

  • Zero waste from Wates operations by 2025 – Wates aims to reduce and then eliminate the production of all waste created from on-site operations
  • Zero carbon from Wates operations and operational vehicles by 2025 – Wates aims to reduce carbon emissions from Scope 1 and 2 operations and to become carbon neutral
  • Positive impact on nature from all operations – Wates aims to enhance the natural environment wherever it operates and to increase the value and community benefit of natural environments.

Starting the assurance journey

A review of the fleet operations and discussions around carbon emissions raised awareness within internal audit of the ability to do more regarding climate risk. Rose connected with Clare Masters, Head of Environment for Wates to…