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Galliford Try Rail Division - Environmental reporting

Achieving consistent and comparable reporting across global operations through centralised data management


Galliford Try is a FTSE 250 business and one of the UK’s leading housebuilding, regeneration and construction groups, with an annual revenue of £2.7 billion. The business provides services to the UK’s built environment and employs around 5,500 staff. The group’s vision is to be leaders in the construction of a sustainable future.


The rail division of Galliford Try is a major contractor for Network Rail, managing a number of construction projects related to rail infrastructure across the UK. As part of its sustainability strategy, Network Rail requires all its contractors to report and commit to reducing the environmental impacts of projects run on its behalf.

To support this objective, Galliford Try’s Rail Division worked with the Carbon Trust to develop a cloud-based reporting tool which has enabled the company to measure, report and reduce the energy, carbon and water impacts of its projects for Network Rail and other clients.

This tool has enabled Galliford Try to measure an accurate baseline for its carbon and water impacts and develop a three year reduction plan. It has also provided improved data visibility and transparency, allowing the company to easily share outputs with Network Rail, demonstrating compliance with contractual key performance indicators.


Improving Reporting

Galliford Try’s Rail Division manages a number of construction projects related to UK rail infrastructure on behalf of Network Rail and other clients. As part of Galliford Try’s contracts with Network Rail, the company is obliged to capture and report key performance indicators associated with the carbon, energy, water and waste impacts of the projects. In addition to external requirements, Galliford Try was also looking to embed sustainability in its overall project management approach, requiring a robust and data-driven system to identify and respond to the sustainability risks and opportunities facing the business.

To achieve this, Galliford Try required a solution that could:

  • easily capture information on the energy, carbon and water impacts associated with Network Rail projects;
  • enable data traceability and validation of supporting documents;
  • create a baseline from which future targets can be set;
  • track performance metrics in line with Galliford Try Group and Network Rail key performance indicators;
  • facilitate ease of reporting to Network Rail on an overall and project-by-project basis; and
  • share Rail Division performance information with the broader Galliford Try group, in line with group sustainability targets.

This integrated solution needed to be an upgrade on the previous practice of using spreadsheets, which was considered labour intensive and error prone, making them difficult to update and manage. It also lacked aggregated data visibility and transparency. Galliford Try decided that initially it would prioritise on energy, carbon and water footprinting would be prioritised for online data collection, with the more challenging and complex waste data to follow at a later stage.

Footprint Manager

The Carbon Trust proposed the use of a bespoke version of its online data collection service, Footprint Manager, specifically tailored to fit with the way that Galliford Try Rail Division needs to collect energy, carbon and water and data for its projects. This enabled site managers to easily capture details of energy use, company vehicle mileage and water consumption over the course of a year, in accordance with Network Rail requirements. The system automatically converts this activity data into carbon footprint outputs for each individual project, which can then be collated to provide data as required, both for individual regions and for the division as a whole. The system also facilitated better data analysis, providing interactive charts and tables to highlight insights such as:

  • breakdown of carbon and water footprints by scope, activity type, project and region;
  • comparison and ranking of carbon and water footprints between sites;
  • year-on-year comparison of performance, with trend line against set targets;
  • Network Rail key performance indicators on a project-by-project basis


To strengthen data transparency and make future auditing simpler, the tool also enabled users to upload documents as evidence, allowing managers to track the data sources with ease. Similarly, a submission status dashboard helped the Galliford Try team to track the status of data completion, allowing them to prompt users to ensure data is entered and updated in a timely fashion. The Carbon Trust’s software implementation came with full training and support, ensuring the team could understand and make the most of the tool. Through a series of face-to-face and online workshops registered users were trained on how to properly enter data, raise technical issues and make requests for new functionalities and modifications.

The Carbon Trust has been a pleasure to work with throughout the implementation of our solution. We needed an established expert who also had the technical expertise to build a bespoke solution specifically for our business need. Footprint Manager has helped to galvanise our staff and made them more aware of the environmental impacts of their projects. It has also enabled us to develop our sustainability strategy for carbon/water reductions and made reporting to our stakeholders a smooth process.

Martyn Baraclough, Assurance Manager, Galliford Try Infrastructure – Rail, Aviation & Environment

The Result

The transition to an online environmental reporting solution proved to be successful in reducing the burden of data management on Galliford Try’s Rail Division. At the same time it made of reporting, benchmarking and target setting easier, as well as enabling greater accuracy and data transparency.

Galliford Try has reported back to the Carbon Trust on a number of specific benefits that it was experienced since adopting Footprint Manager. In particular the company had far greater levels of confidence in data quality, thanks to working with world-leading experts from the Carbon Trust. In turn this gave increased credibility when reporting this data to Network Rail. This has helped the Rail Division achieve both internal and external recognition as a sustainability leader.

Further to this, by setting accurate and robust baselines the company was able to develop an updated three year sustainability strategy with realistic but ambitious targets. It also made achieving this target easier, thanks to increased visibility of performance across the division and regions, allowing closer tracking of performance against targets and identification of areas to improve data quality, with evidence of reductions held in a central document repository.

Galliford Try now has plans to extend its use of Footprint Manager to cover waste management in the upcoming reporting year, as well as to implement the tool in other parts of the company that have similar needs.


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