Construction minister Nigel Griffiths has launched a green guidance code designed to help save the construction industry £100m a year.

The voluntary Site Waste Management Plans code is intended to reduce the industry’s 92 million tonnes of waste a year, including an estimated 13 million tonnes of unused material.

It aims to help building firms procure and use materials more efficiently, plus provide advice on re-use and recycling of materials.

The DTI, which hopes to sign up at least 50% of the top 2,000 UK contractors, says its research shows the guidance could help the industry save around 20% of its materials.

Mr Griffiths said: “The estimated amount of waste in the industry is a grim figure. This new guidance offers a common sense, flexible and practical approach to cutting waste of vital building materials.”

The code, which includes a checklist of key topics and data sheets listing waste materials, will be distributed through a series of regional seminars to be run by Constructing Excellence and Envirowise.