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21 May 2024, London, UK – The CO2 Performance Ladder pilot has launched in the United Kingdom. This project marks a significant advancement in promoting sustainable practices and reducing carbon emissions within the UK’s procurement landscape. 

The Foundation for Climate-Friendly Procurement and Business (SKAO), the owner and manager of the CO2 Performance Ladder, has chosen Action Sustainability, an award-winning sustainability consultancy and the delivery partner behind the Supply Chain Sustainability School, as its UK partner for this ambitious initiative. Together, they will collaborate with leading government bodies to initiate the pilot project within selected tenders. 

Driving decarbonisation in the UK 

The CO2 Performance Ladder, originally a Dutch sustainability instrument, has achieved notable success across Europe, including in the Netherlands and Belgium. With pilot trials already underway in Ireland and France, the UK emerges as the latest frontier for this innovative approach to carbon reduction.  

Maud Vastbinder, Manager CO2 Performance Ladder Europe, said: “We are thrilled to be piloting the CO2 Performance Ladder in the UK, together with Action Sustainability and Transport for London. The Ladder is a vital tool for any procurer’s toolbox, and we’re convinced the tool can be a success in driving decarbonisation in the UK.” 

Reducing supply chain emissions 

The Ladder empowers organisations to effectively manage and mitigate their carbon footprint across operations, projects, and supply chains, while also serving as a procurement tool. Companies certified on the Ladder gain a competitive edge when tendering for public procurement contracts, as authorities increasingly prioritise environmentally responsible practices. 

James Cadman, Head of Consultancy & Climate at Action Sustainability, emphasised the pivotal role of sustainable procurement in achieving net-zero carbon goals, stating: “The vast majority of most organisations’ carbon impacts lie in the supply chain. If any organisation is serious about reaching Net Zero Carbon, they need a robust plan to reduce their supply chain scope 3 emissions. This is where sustainable procurement and the CO2 Performance Ladder come in.”  

Transport for London will pilot the tool within selected tenders, fostering a culture of sustainability and environmental stewardship in UK procurement practices.  

David Stokes, Assistant Director of Public Procurement at the Department for Business and Trade said: “I am delighted that the Co2 Performance Ladder will be piloted in the UK. Procurement is an important lever to help us decarbonise, and I look forward to seeing the results.” 

As the world increasingly prioritises environmental sustainability, initiatives like the CO2 Performance Ladder play a crucial role in driving meaningful change. With Action Sustainability’s expertise and the Ladder’s proven track record, the UK can look forward to a future where carbon reduction and sustainable procurement go hand in hand, paving the way towards a greener, more resilient economy. 

For more information on the CO2 Performance Ladder, visit co2performanceladder.com. 

The Supply Chain Sustainability School is pleased to announce the appointment of three new distinguished members to its Board of Directors. The new appointees bring a wealth of experience and expertise that will strengthen the School’s mission of enabling a sustainable built environment through knowledge and collaboration. 

Joining the board are: 

1. Aled Williams

Aled, currently Executive Director: Innovation & Partnerships at University College of Estate Management, brings three decades of experience working in Higher Education, having held previous roles at Salford University, LJMU and the Higher Education Academy. With substantial leadership experience in Built Environment education, he has been instrumental in driving forward innovative developments within the discipline and industry. He applies his leadership and strategic capabilities within the Executive Team; aiming to have a positive effect through engagement, education and collaboration to contribute to a more sustainable built environment. Aled supports, connects and interacts with a wide variety of stakeholders to actively influence (and be influenced by) communities to inform institutional and national policy and practice.   

Aled commented, “I am honoured to join the Supply Chain Sustainability School Board. Their compelling vision to deliver a more sustainable built environment is inspirational. I am eager to contribute towards shaping a more productive, innovative and sustainable sector; catalysing more engagement and partners.” 

 

2. Mandy Messenger

Mandy, with 34 years in construction, currently serves as Managing Director of Advanté, having held various leadership roles. She previously pioneered the Oasis welfare brand and now focuses on Advanté’s sustainable growth. Mandy is also dedicated to fostering the next generation of industry leaders and igniting transformative initiatives, actively participating in SECBE prestigious Innovative Future Leadership Programme (IFLP). 

Mandy commented on her appointment: “Having been an active Partner in the Supply Chain Sustainability School for the last eight years, I’m honoured to be joining the Board. With a passion for all things sustainability and bringing SME perspective, I aim to support increased engagement from the smaller companies, who make up a large part of the supply chain.” 

 

3. Ben Stone

With 20 years of sustainability experience, Ben currently serves as Group Head of Environmental Sustainability at Kier Group. With a proven track record of integrating sustainability into business strategies, he plays a critical role in strategy evolution and enhancing ESG disclosure. As Chair of the Board of Trustees at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, and a NED of Wildscapes, Ben offers a robust understanding of purpose-driven organisational governance. 

Ben commented, “Being appointed to the board of the Supply Chain Sustainability School is a privilege. It’s a great opportunity to weave my passion for sustainability into the fabric of the construction industry. I’m excited to roll up my sleeves, collaborate with fellow visionaries, and drive meaningful change towards a future where every link in the chain reflects our commitment to our people, our places and our planet.” 

 

The Supply Chain Sustainability School is dedicated to equipping professionals with the knowledge and tools necessary to build resilient and environmentally responsible supply chains. The addition of these individuals to the Board of Directors underscores the School’s commitment to driving meaningful progress in sustainability practices. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Aled, Mandy and Ben to our Board of Directors,” said Hilary Hurrey, Head of the Supply Chain Sustainability School. “Their diverse backgrounds and deep expertise will be invaluable as we continue to empower our members and Partners to integrate sustainability into their operations.” 

For more information about the Supply Chain Sustainability School, explore the website here. 

Today marks a significant milestone as the Supply Chain Sustainability School extends its footprint to Ireland. Already recognised as a leading learning platform in the UK, the School is now set to provide free industry-supported training, knowledge sharing, and support for best practices in sustainability within the Irish built environment.

The launch event, held at Croke Park, Dublin, was supported by the School’s 15 Founding Partners. These Partners, including the Construction Industry Federation and key players in semi-states, homebuilders, major contractors, manufacturers, and service providers, such as Cairn Homes, ESB, Gas Networks Ireland, Glenveagh, Iarnród Éireann, IPUT Real Estate Dublin, John Sisk & Son, Kingspan, Kirby Group, Murphy Group, Roadstone, Saint-Gobain, Skanstec, and Uisce Eireann, showcased a collective commitment to building skills across their supply chain and the broader workforce. The event brought together a diverse range of industry leaders, highlighting a collaborative effort to advance skills and expertise within the construction and related sectors.

Mark Harmon, Chief Procurement Officer for ESB, commented: “ESB is proud to be a Founding Partner of the School, which we believe will play a key role in supporting our supply chain partners on our collective sustainability journey by providing tools, resources and learning materials.”

The Supply Chain Sustainability School has a well-established reputation in the UK, boasting a community of over 100,000 registered members and 200 Partners since it launched almost 12 years ago. The School team, instrumental in shaping the UK School’s success, now aim to replicate this achievement in Ireland.

Andrew Wilson, Programmes Manager for the Supply Chain Sustainability School, said: “We are delighted to establish a Supply Chain Sustainability School for Ireland. Building on the success experienced since 2012 in the UK, and working closely with our Partners, this initiative will accelerate collaboration to tackle shared industry risks such as climate change, labour shortages and modern slavery.”

The Irish School is steadfast in its commitment to providing free learning, fostering knowledge sharing, and encouraging a collaborative approach to tackle key sustainability challenges in the industry. These challenges encompass energy and carbon, sustainable procurement, waste and circular economy, community and social impact, as well as issues like modern slavery, fairness, inclusion, and respect.

Ellen McKinney, Sustainability Manager for IPUT Real Estate Dublin, said: “The School will support the wider uptake of sustainability training, improving our industry and positively shaping our cities. It will help build on our relationships with our design, construction, and building management teams and create new and lasting partnerships across Irish real estate.”

Membership to the School is free, offering access to hundreds of CPD-accredited online sustainability training sessions and e-learning resources. Interested individuals are encouraged to sign up via https://www.supplychainschool.ie.

Companies wishing to collaborate with industry peers to shape the School’s development for the Irish built environment industry can become a Partner. For more information on becoming a Partner, contact Rick Dunn.

Today, the Sustainability Tool, in collaboration with the Supply Chain Sustainability School’s Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) Programme, has unveiled the outcomes of the largest-ever employee diversity survey in the United Kingdom. This comprehensive survey, encompassing more than 526,000 individuals, has been a crucial annual fixture in the built environment sector’s progress tracking since 2016, offering a detailed record of diversity data and pinpointing areas for improvement.

The 2023 survey results, covering 526,415 employees across 537 supply chains of eight major companies and two membership organisations, highlight a substantial increase in participation, with a 55% surge in employees covered and a remarkable 99% rise in participating companies compared to 2022. The inclusion of contributions from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) played a significant role in this expansion.

This year’s findings reveal a noteworthy surge of women in the industry, rising from 23% in 2022 to 29.1% in 2023. This significant increase, marking the survey’s most significant rise in seven years, is primarily attributed to first-time reporting by several Tier 1 organisations. Sectors leading this positive shift include central government, rail, and facilities management, all surpassing the industry benchmark value of 29.1%.

Key takeaways from the 2023 survey:

  • Ethnicity: Despite constituting 52.5% of industry applicants, the representation of ethnic minority groups in the workforce decreased year-on-year slightly to 13.6%, trailing 5% below the ONS UK population average.
  • Attraction and Recruitment: The application-to-hiring ratio was notably higher for ethnic minority groups (90:1) compared to white applicants (28.4:1), on average making it three times as challenging to secure a job this year. Depending on background, ethnic minority groups found it between 1.2 to 6.4 times harder to be hired than their white counterparts.
  • Disability: Persistent data gaps exist around disability, with 35.2% of respondents’ data not being collected. The ‘prefer not to say’ option increased from 3.2% to 6.5% this year.
  • Sexual orientation: While disclosure is increasing, only 2.04% of employees identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, below the ONS UK population average of 3.14%. The survey now includes pansexual, asexual and queer categories to align with census data.

The survey plays a pivotal role in supporting the built environment sector’s commitment to promoting diversity, equality and inclusion, establishing benchmarks, and highlighting areas requiring action for industry-wide progress.

Belinda Blake, Senior Policy Advisor – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at National Highways, said: “National Highways recognises the indispensable role of comprehensive sector data to help drive meaningful change. This annual data capture exercise is instrumental in reinforcing the built environment sector’s dedication to diversity, equality, and inclusion. The report offers essential data, serving as a foundation for setting benchmarks and driving progress across the industry. The success stories within the supply chain stand as a testament to the transformative power of a comprehensive, data-driven approach to ED&I, ultimately contributing to a more inclusive and diverse industry.”

Findings from the survey were initially shared at the Supply Chain Sustainability School’s ‘Diversity Data Benchmarking Conference’ in Birmingham last month. The conference emphasised the importance of organisations contributing to the survey to enhance the transparency of the sector and improve diversity and inclusion in key areas such as gender and ethnic diversity. Along with plugging gaps in data capture around disability, pay gaps were also highlighted as areas for attention to achieve a more transparent industry view.

Cathryn Greville, Head of Fairness, Inclusion and Respect at Supply Chain Sustainability School, said: “The survey demonstrates the critical importance of quality data in addressing equity, diversity and inclusion issues across the built environment sector. Without relevant data, organisations simply cannot identify, understand and address the real issues they face in their businesses and supply chains, and they cannot track the success of any initiatives put in place to make the workplace more inclusive and successful.”

The Diversity Survey is set to reopen in March 2024, allowing anyone in the built environment to participate anonymously for free.

Organisations also have the unique opportunity to enhance their understanding of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and identify pathways for improvement. Valuable insights can be collected by assessing employee and/or supplier bases against sector benchmarks and ONS UK population statistics. This tailored analysis not only empowers organisations to assess their EDI status but also provides a roadmap for targeted improvements, fostering a more inclusive and diverse workplace. For details on participation, please contact Max Lajtha.

Access the complete Diversity Survey 2023 results here.

 

The Supply Chain Sustainability School has become an Official Partner of Futurebuild 2024 to support the industry in being more sustainable.

Futurebuild aligns with the Supply Chain Sustainability School’s mission and is focused on building a better future for the built environment and driving positive change.

Futurebuild, the built environment’s most influential event for innovation and collaboration is back for its 18th year, taking place at London’s ExCeL from March 5 – 7 2024. The event will showcase ground-breaking ideas, creative and inspirational innovations and crucial collaboration to help us set the stage for a greener, more resilient future.

More than 20,000 professionals from across the entire supply chain – including architects, planners, urban designers, landscape architects, housebuilders, developers, consultants, contractors and manufacturers – will come together to explore real sustainable building materials and practices and methods of delivering construction projects that are smart and sustainable.

Visitors can expect nine zones, all with dedicated exhibitors and a targeted seminar programme: FutureX Innovation, Materials, Interiors, Offsite, Retrofit, Sustainable Infrastructure, Energy, Buildings, and Digital. The event will also feature the launch of the National Retrofit Conference, supported by the Retrofit Academy and the National Retrofit Hub. This will examine how they will deliver retrofit across the UK at the scale needed, from policy to practical delivery.

School Members are encouraged to attend the event and experience a busy programme of high-profile thought leadership panels, hosting experts from the Supply Chain Sustainability School:

  • 5th March, 1.15-2pm: ‘Catalysing Change: Exploring Social Value Beyond the Mainstream’ – chaired by Senior Consultant and Social Value Lead, Vaishali Baid
  • 5th March, 4.15-5pm: ‘Driving a low carbon, just transition to a more sustainable future’ – chaired by our School Chair, Shaun McCarthy OBE, and featuring our Head of Carbon, James Cadman and Lead Consultant, Helen Carter
  • 6th March, 11.30am-12.15pm: ‘The Materiality of Materials: Green materials and the opportunity for maximum positive impact’ – chaired by our Sector Manager, David Emery, and featuring our Head of FIR, Cathryn Greville

Be sure to visit the School team at stand H24.

Registration for Futurebuild 2024 is now live. Register your team for FREE at https://register.visitcloud.com/survey/1cog43waemb27?actioncode=1024

On Tuesday 26th September, the Supply Chain Sustainability School held its Net Zero Summit 2023 in Coventry Building Society Arena. Attended by hundreds of sustainability experts from across the built environment industry, the Summit provided a chance for people to come together and discuss the key challenges facing our industry on its journey to net zero and the big solutions needed.

Fergus Harradence (BEIS) delivers his keynote speech

The Summit kicked off with a warm welcome message from Shaun McCarthy OBE, the School Chair. Fergus Harradence from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy then took to the stage to deliver a powerful keynote speech on the construction sector’s contribution to the UK’s Net Zero ambitions.

As the day unfolded, attendees were able to choose from different enlightening discussions led by experts in the field. These sessions delved deep into the challenges the industry faces on its journey to net zero and explored potential solutions.

Cathryn Greville (Supply Chain Sustainability School) chairs a breakout session panel on the talent and skills challenge

Later on, Mia McCarthy, Head of Sustainability (Ireland) at SSE delivered the afternoon keynote. This was followed by a series of thought-provoking presentations by specialists who offered diverse perspectives on the concept of a just transition, rounded out by an engaging audience Q&A session.

Mia McCarthy (SSE) delivers her keynote speech on just transition

As the evening drew in, the event concluded cheerfully with an awards ceremony to recognise individuals and organisations that have been highly engaged with the School, followed by a drinks and networking session. See below for the full list of winners:

  1. Individual Contribution to the School: Briony Wickenden
  2. Gold Member SME in the Construction Sector: Story Decorating Group Ltd
  3. Gold Member SME in the Homes Sector: Tiger Supplies
  4. Gold Member SME in the FM Sector: Go Green Ltd
  5. Partner Award for Supply Chain Engagement: Bellway Homes
  6.  Partner Award for Internal Engagement: Savills

Thank you to everyone who attended the Summit for helping to make it such an engaging and inspiring event. Stay tuned for additional photos, videos and insights from the event.

 

Net Zero Summit Feedback

Did you attend the Summit? Your feedback is important to us. Please take 2 minutes to fill out our anonymous online Summit Feedback form – this helps us to improve any future Supply Chain Sustainability School events.

 

Thank you to our sponsors:

 

NatWest partners with the Supply Chain Sustainability School to provide a free retrofit learning platform for the construction industry. The aim is to build capability and capacity to accelerate retrofitting of UK buildings to make them more energy efficient.

Today marks a significant milestone as NatWest Group becomes the Supply Chain Sustainability School’s first Partner within the finance sector, with a shared objective of addressing climate change through building the skills of the construction industry, to retrofit the UK’s housing and non-residential buildings.

Retrofit plays a critical role in achieving Net Zero. Buildings contribute 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions and as 80% of the buildings that will be standing in 2050 already exist, the UK simply cannot deliver against its Net Zero ambitions without significant retrofitting of its buildings. As well as carbon reduction, retrofit offers the potential to elevate the quality of life for millions while generating employment opportunities.

With over 200 Partners within the built environment industry and their supply chains, we’re uniquely positioned to drive positive change. Our sustainability platform offers free training to 80,000 registered users, covering retrofit as well as 17 key sustainability topics including energy & carbon, waste & circular economy and more.

With NatWest Group’s strategic support, our retrofit initiatives will accelerate significantly, bringing Partners together to shape the programme, share knowledge and upskill the wider industry on retrofit.

Ian Heptonstall, Director of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, commented: “Our mission is to enable a sustainable built environment through knowledge and collaboration, however most of our work to date has focused on new builds. To truly fulfil our mission, we must pivot towards the existing building stock, crafting and delivering learning experiences that empower the UK to retrofit its structures with cutting-edge technologies and systems, positioning us to fulfil our Net Zero commitments. We look forward to tackling climate change through retrofit with NatWest Group.”

NatWest Group aims to support the decarbonisation of UK properties. By working closely with the built environment industry, NatWest aims to build a robust supply chain to develop efficiency upgrades at scale.

James Close, Head of Climate Change at NatWest Group commented: “As one of the largest lenders in the UK, we have a key role to play in supporting consumers and businesses in transitioning to more energy efficient homes and buildings that are warmer, cheaper to heat, and generate lower emissions. Decarbonising properties will require retrofitting existing buildings to increase their energy efficiency, constructing new energy efficient buildings and decarbonisation of electricity and heating supply. We want to work at scale to increase demand. But we need the skills and companies to carry out the work and we also want to make it as easy for our customers to retrofit as possible. Our collaboration with the Supply Chain Sustainability School will help cultivate a more mature retrofit supply chain, share knowledge and build the skills needed to retrofit homes and buildings across the UK.”

Our retrofit programme, sponsored by NatWest, will be unveiled through a virtual conference taking place on November 7th, 2023. This will introduce CPD-accredited virtual training encompassing e-learning modules, online assessments, conferences, workshops and webinars running until Autumn 2024. These valuable resources will be freely accessible to professionals in the built environment, including NatWest Group’s clients and School members.

Register for the launch event here by signing up to a free account on the Supply Chain Sustainability School.

The Supply Chain Sustainability School has partnered with UK Construction Week (UKCW) Birmingham to inspire sustainable change in the construction industry.

This partnership is a testament to the School and UKCW’s joint commitment to sharing knowledge, tackling issues and exploring new, sustainable ways of working in the construction sector.

UKCW is the UK’s largest event for the built environment. Following on from their successful London event earlier this year, registration is now live for UKCW Birmingham, which will run from October 3rd to 5th at the NEC Birmingham. The event will run alongside two co-located shows, Grand Designs Live and Timber Expo, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2023.

Expected to welcome over 25,000 visitors, the three-day show will hero culture change in construction and feature over 6,000 products and services. Attendees can expect a comprehensive seminar programme and CDP opportunities, covering the latest building regulations, the Building Safety Act and its implications, and advice on retrofit.

School Members are offered free VIP tickets to the events, whereby they can attend a busy programme of high-profile thought leadership panels and visit the School at stand Z1030. Through VIP registration, Members also receive access to the VIP lounge, hot beverages, and a VIP badge.

VIP registration for UKCW Birmingham is now live. Register your team for FREE VIP tickets at https://ukcw-birmingham-2023.reg.buzz/vip-supply-chain-sustainability-school or if you have any further questions, please get in touch with the organisers via [email protected]

The Supply Chain Sustainability School has partnered with Offsite Expo 2023, presenting an exciting opportunity for collaboration and knowledge sharing.

With sets of common goals, the School and Offsite Expo will strive to drive change in the construction industry and provide innovative solutions for customers, both at Offsite Expo’s two-day event and via the School’s free online learning platform.

Offsite technology is now recognised as providing the most important solutions to many of the problems facing the industry today. Offsite Expo is the brainchild of leading industry experts who understand the urgent need for a dedicated event which showcases international offsite best practices and innovative technology.

As offsite is one of the core topics covered by the Supply Chain Sustainability School, the School is proud to be an industry Partner for Offsite Expo again this year.

Offsite Expo brings together the sector’s most influential organisations, individuals, commentators and business leaders who are driving change in the construction sector. 

This year’s event takes place at the Coventry Building Society Arena on the 19th and 20th of September. It will welcome 4,000+ visitors, host 100+ exhibition stands, hear from 100+ speakers and facilitate over 300+ meetings in the buyers and specifiers lounge.

Throughout the two days, you can come and chat with the School team at our exhibition stand Z14. Our director, Ian Heptonstall, will also be speaking on the ‘Training, Skills & Innovation‘ panel at 3pm on Wednesday 20th September at the Offsite Alliance Stage.

Register for your free ticket to Offsite Expo here: https://bit.ly/offsite-expo-scss

The Supply Chain Sustainability School has launched the first in a series of 35 new video resources for  members.

The first 6 videos feature case studies from School Partners and members working across the built environment, focusing on how they have tackled a sustainability issue, the challenges and business benefits. They aim to inspire other organisations to explore what action they can take around cutting carbon, reducing packaging waste and delivering more sustainable projects. They are all free to access in our resource library; please share with your colleagues.

Take a look at the new videos below:

Thanks to all of our Partners and members who were involved in the filming to develop some fantastic new resources for the whole sector.

Watch this space for the next launch of new resources!

Today, we released our 2023 Impact Report, which surveyed over one thousand of our members across the country to get their thoughts on what is important to their organisation and supply chain, plus find out how the School has continued to positively impact their organisation and supply chain, through the School’s free practical learning and support.

The past few years have been challenging for the built environment industry; the pandemic made for a very unsure time, closely followed by the global economic downturn putting pressures on the industry with material shortages and steep rises in costs. However, sustainability remains firmly at the top of the agenda worldwide, meaning more opportunities for the School to continue to grow and widen its impact.

Reflecting this, the Supply Chain Sustainability School’s engagement figures are up significantly, with 24,160 (+44%) individuals from 5,503 companies (+30%) actively learning through the School. This has driven a 35% increase in resource views compared to the previous year. At the same time, quality ratings for the training received by the members remain very high, with 95% rating the training by Action Sustainability consultants as good or excellent.

Shaun McCarthy OBE, Chair of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, commented: “It’s been another brilliant year for the School and we are thrilled to have over 24,000 individuals training through our learning platform. However, we recognise that there is still a way to go to achieve our vision of an industry where everyone will have the skills and knowledge to deliver a sustainable future. To achieve mass impact, technology will be a key focus moving forward. It is our hope that this additional technological investment and expertise will not only support the School’s growth, but ensure it is armed for arising opportunities so we can continue to provide membership with accessible and credible learning.”

Organisations are becoming increasingly interested in understanding sustainability and embedding more sustainable practices. Many members have identified the School as a powerful tool to help them do this. Almost three-quarters of members (73%) reported that the School has helped them to better understand their organisation’s sustainability impacts. The School has also helped 65% of members improve their understanding of modern slavery, and 54% to increase their understanding of Fairness, Inclusion and Respect.

Members also shared how the School has helped them to improve their sustainability impacts. This includes reductions in carbon emissions (52% of members) and total waste (50%), as well as increased community engagement (57%) and apprentice numbers (50%). Read the full report here.

Julia Barrett, Chief Sustainability Officer at Willmott Dixon, commented: “The School continues to drive massive change for the industry by providing free virtual learning across a huge range of subjects. This year once again, it’s proven that through collaboration the industry can thrive. To increase our sustainability impacts further, we would love more members to register and learn through School, and more Partners to work with us to identify key issues and share new ideas.”

The School is delivered by Action Sustainability and part-funded by CITB and industry Partners, with over 190 Partners leading the direction of the School. Working in collaboration, Partners share knowledge and free resources to inspire the UK built environment to drive positive change.

Last year, the School and our team were awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development in recognition of the significant environmental, social and economic benefits we have delivered.

If you are working or aspire to work within the built environment industry, sign up to the Supply Chain Sustainability School for FREE this spring. You will benefit from over 400 free training sessions, tailored assessments with action plans and a library of over 3,300 online resources.

If you are already a member or Partner, spread the word! https://www.supplychainschool.co.uk/about/membership/

The Supply Chain Sustainability School have launched new maturity guidance to support you to sign up to the People Matter Charter.

This guidance will help you:

  • Evaluate your organisation’s maturity against the eight commitments in the People Matter Charter
  • Understand what best practice looks like for each of these eight commitments
  • Develop and progress your workforce strategy
  • Complete the confidential People assessment in the School as accurately as possible.

Completion of the People assessment is a required step for organisations who wish to become a signatory of the People Matter Charter.

Think of this guidance as a sense checking tool to help you understand which of the five levels of the People assessment best reflect your progress to date, against each of the eight commitments. This guidance includes examples of the types of evidence that would support your claim to be at, for example, ‘advanced working practice’ level for a specific commitment. This is to help you check that your response is accurate and realistic. This guidance is not designed to be used for audits.

Access the guidance >

The Supply Chain Sustainability School has partnered with UK Construction Week (UKCW) to support the industry in being more sustainable.

With sets of common goals, the School and UKCW will strive to work towards a more sustainable built environment and provide innovative solutions for customers, both at the events and via the School’s free online learning platform – enabling members access to over 3,000 learning resources, 400 virtual training sessions each year, and a range of diagnostic and benchmarking tools to support companies on focusing their sustainability strategies.

Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, commented: “UK Construction Week is delighted to be working with Supply Chain Sustainability School as an official show partner. This is a significant step up for their involvement in the show as we increase our focus on sustainability. We look forward to welcoming the School to UK Construction Week and hearing from their leadership team on best practices and how we can all work together towards a more sustainable future.”

UKCW is the UK’s largest event for the built environment, taking place at ExCeL London between 2-4 May 2023 with a second show at Birmingham’s NEC on 3-5 October 2023. This year’s theme is Celebrating Culture Change in Construction, whereby UKCW London will host three days of debate and discussion from top speakers on how the industry can move forward to tackle its biggest issues, including sustainability, offsite manufacturing, mental health, and improving diversity and inclusion.

Ian Heptonstall, Director of Supply Chain Sustainability School, commented: “We are thrilled to be working closely with UK Construction Week to drive real sustainable change within the industry and support their mission of improving inclusivity throughout the built environment.”

The School delivers the industry’s leading Fairness, Inclusion & Respect programme and will share free resources and training sessions with delegates.

School Members are offered free VIP tickets to the events, whereby they can attend a busy programme of high-profile thought leadership panels, hosting experts from Supply Chain Sustainability School: Shaun McCarthy OBE; Dr James Cadman, Helen Carter and more.

VIP registration for UKCW London is now live. Register your team for FREE VIP tickets at https://ukcw-london-2023.reg.buzz/vip-supply-chain-school or if you have any further questions, please get in touch with the organisers via [email protected]

The Supply Chain Sustainability School has partnered with Balfour Beatty for the second year in a row, undertaking a joint survey targeting hundreds of supply chain partners across the UK to understand the barriers and opportunities faced in decarbonising the sector.

Recognising the important role that the construction and infrastructure sector has to play in achieving Net Zero, the companies set out their findings and recommendations for policy makers, customers, and the industry more widely in their latest thought paper – “2022 Greening the Supply Chain”.

Despite the positive steps that have already been taken across the industry, achieving Net Zero is not a foregone conclusion with 68% of respondents saying that the sector is not well enough prepared, 53% saying that the development pipeline for low-carbon materials is not sufficient to meet demand and 81% indicating that construction practices are changing too slowly.

In addition, 96% of those who responded said that they are experiencing a shortfall in access to skilled people, specifically relating to carbon, sustainability, digital and other related roles, which risks holding back efforts to decarbonise the sector.

In “2022 Greening the Supply Chain”, the School and Balfour Beatty highlight the importance of bringing in supply chain partners earlier to put in place the best, low carbon solutions. An area that also requires more focus is the creation of robust measurement and up-to-date reporting standards – these are key for consistency and driving forward progress.

Shaun McCarthy OBE, Chair of Supply Chain Sustainability School said: “These reports offer a major insight into what the built environment requires to meet our net zero targets by 2045/50 and it is great to see that the sector is invested in the challenge! But there is still a long way to go. We must urgently address the skills shortage, as well as the speed in which construction practices are changing to utilise low-carbon technology and methods. Innovation, communication, and collaboration are key!”

Jo Gilroy, Group Director of Sustainability at Balfour Beatty, said: “The global climate change emergency is one of the biggest challenges that we have ever faced. It is a challenge requiring us to all pull in the same direction, together.

With approximately 80% of the sector’s carbon emissions stemming from our supply chain, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the barriers our partners face and where they need more support. By sharing our findings and learnings, we hope that the sector will move forward more quickly – together – in achieving Net Zero.”

To read “2022 Greening the Supply Chain” in full, please click here.

The Value Toolkit is a new way of thinking for the construction industry. It represents a step change in the way that projects are conceived, developed and, most importantly, how value is delivered through the project lifecycle. The Value Toolkit has been developed by the Construction Innovation Hub, in collaboration with HM Government and key players in the UK construction sector.

The School is pleased to be able to host 6 pilot training courses to allow our Partners and Members to understand better this new procurement approach, click below to book and find out more:

  1. Supply Chain – Tuesday 6th September – 13.30 to 17.00 (face-to-face in Birmingham) – Understanding the government’s new approach to procurement – The Value Toolkit for the Supply Chain
  2. Facilitator – Thursday & Friday 8/9th September – 9:00 to 5:00 (face-to-face in London) –  The Value Toolkit – How to facilitate your clients’ adoption of value decision making
  3. Commercial Professionals – Friday 16th September – 09:30 to 13:00 (face-to-face in London) – Understanding the government’s new approach to procurement – The Value Toolkit for Commercial Professionals
  4. Supply Chain – Thursday 22nd September – 9.00 to 12.30 (virtual) – Understanding the government’s new approach to procurement – The Value Toolkit for the Supply Chain
  5. Facilitator – Thursday & Friday 22/23rd September – 9:00 to 5:00 (face-to-face in Birmingham) – The Value Toolkit – How to facilitate your clients’ adoption of value decision making
  6. Commercial Professionals – Friday 23rd September – 09:30-13:00 (virtual) – Understanding the government’s new approach to procurement – The Value Toolkit for Commercial Professionals

The Sustainability Tool, a software application designed to help organisations and supply chains track and measure their sustainability performance, has been used to record the largest-ever data survey on employee diversity within the transport sector.

Between July and September 2021, data was collected from over 250,000 employees across 88 supply chains of 4 major transport infrastructure companies: HS2, National Highways, Network Rail and Transport for London.

Nick Harris, CEO at National Highways, said: “By collaborating across the transport sector we can better understand the challenges we face in creating a diverse and inclusive workforce. By sharing best practice, we can help each other to understand where we can improve and effectively make change.”

The annual diversity survey, carried out within the Sustainability Tool, plays an integral role in supporting the transport sector on their mission to engage and raise awareness on diversity, equality and inclusion. Supply chain organisations are engaged to input their employee data voluntarily within the Tool, with categories including Gender, Age, Religion & Belief, Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation, Disability, Voluntary Leavers, Part-Time Status, and Attraction & Recruitment. Each category informs subsequent indicators that align with the ONS’ standard of diversity data collection.

A standardised version of the Sustainability Tool software system has been custom-built for the diversity survey to provide an anonymous and aggregated view of all responses, offering insights into the diversity make-up of the sector. Respondents have free access to in-depth and interactive dashboards, that compare their employee-base with the sector’s and the ONS UK population statistics.

Philip Hewson, Head of Strategy & Performance, Procurement & Supply Chain at Transport for London, said: “Data is the key to understanding and driving meaningful diversity and inclusion in our own organisation and throughout our supply chains.”

Results of the survey are used to set aspirational targets at all levels for recruitment, retention and progression of under-represented groups that reflect the demographic of the UK population. Highlights include:

  • Gender inequality remains, with only 23% being female employees
  • An increased representation of ethnic minority groups in the transport sector versus 2019, but ethnic minorities representation was still 0.4% below the ONS UK population average
  • Lack of data collection around disability, with 31.8% of employees not disclosing if they have a disability or not
  • Disclosure in the LBTQ+ sexual orientation category is progressively increasing across the sector, yet 1.5% LGBTQ+ employees reported across the sector is still below the ONS UK population average of 3.4%

The survey provides an in-depth record of diversity data, which is built upon annually to track progress in the construction sector, establish benchmarks and set targets to work toward.

The survey continues to be complemented by Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) programme activities. Funded by CITB and run by the Supply Chain Sustainability School, the FIR programme is an industry-wide initiative that aims to make workplaces better for everyone. It provides free industry-endorsed training and resources, as well as guidance and materials, supporting businesses to be more innovative and profitable, by addressing workplace culture challenges and helping to attract and retain people from a full pool of talent.

Emer Murnaghan OBE, Innovation Director at GRAHAM said: “As an organisation that actively engages in this annual survey, we’ve gained key insights into the diversity of our own workforce and can compare our performance against the industry standard. This enables us to focus on the specific areas where we need to accelerate change in our business. We welcome this leading, integrated, and collaborative approach from key transport industry clients. We applaud Supply Chain Sustainability School for their key role in developing the tool and making it available to the wider industry.”

The diversity survey will re-open in Summer 2022, whereby all organisations working in the sector will be invited to complete it on a voluntary basis. To support organisations with their submissions, the School will also be running online workshops to explain how to access and use the Tool.  Suppliers with over 250 employees will be automatically directed to complete a more detailed submission, and those with less than 250 employees will complete a ‘Lite’ version to encourage smaller SME and Tier 2 business engagement.

Ian Heptonstall, Director of Supply Chain Sustainability School (and owner of the Sustainability Tool), said: “We’re delighted to support the major transport clients in their ambitions to improve diversity within the sector. To obtain a survey sample size of over 250,000 employees is phenomenal and provides unprecedented insights into the problems at hand. We’re now seeking to expand this initiative across other sectors and organisations.”

The diversity survey is also available for usage across other industries, whilst the Sustainability Tool can help businesses report and manage sustainability performance across more than just diversity, whether that be within an organisation, its projects, contracts and supply chain.

Organisations wishing to use the diversity survey or wider Sustainability Tool within their own supply chain should contact [email protected]

The transition to net zero, delivering biodiversity net gain, working towards a more circular economy, delivering social value and combatting modern slavery are just some of the challenges faced by the homebuilding industry, and groundworkers have a pivotal role to play.

In collaboration with the School’s Homes Leadership Group, we’ve developed a new beginner level learning pathway, alongside other industry clients, main contractors and trade contractors, which is designed to help groundworks companies address those high priority issues.

The pathway is being endorsed by over 10 major housebuilders and trade contractors, all encouraging their groundworks supply chain to complete the pathway to ensure we reach a consistent level of understanding on these issues across the trade, and are equipped to tackle them. As a beginner level pathway, it explains what the issues are, why they’re important, and gives hints and practical tips on how to address them.

Want to find out more? Take a look at the pathway and start learning here: ENROL NOW

This pathway is endorsed by:

Top stories

Energy price crisis: Government launches £67m energy efficiency grant scheme

The UK Government has launched a new grant scheme that will support low-income homes to upgrade insulation and install lower-carbon heating, ahead of an increase in energy bills in April.

Find out more >>

McCarthy Stone makes 50% MMC commitment

McCarthy Stone has confirmed that 40 new retirement developments will be built in full using modern methods of construction (MMC) starting over the next three years, with the business now aiming for 50% of its future retirement communities to be built in this way.

Read more >>

Influential industry bodies call for scrapping of VAT on building retrofits

The UK Government should take a broader look at the role energy efficiency could play in shielding the public from the energy price crisis, including a temporary scrappage of VAT on measures to improve existing buildings, industry experts are urging.

Take a look >>

Organisations call for nature to become a ‘legal right’ under Levelling Up agenda

More than 60 organisations have launched a new campaign calling for a “legal right” to be able to access nature to form a key part of the Government’s ongoing Levelling Up reforms.

More information >>

 

JUST LAUNCHED!  Sustainability for Groundworks Learning Pathway

The transition to net zero, delivering biodiversity net gain, working towards a more circular economy, delivering social value and combatting modern slavery are just some of the challenges faced by our industry, and groundworkers have a pivotal role to play.

In collaboration with the School’s Homes Leadership Group, we’ve developed a new beginner level learning pathway, which is designed to help groundworks companies address those high priority issues.

FIND OUT MORE >

 

March’s featured topic: Air Quality

Reducing the impacts of poor air quality is a significant issue which we need to take into account in how we run our construction sites and the kinds of plant and equipment we use. Start your learning on the topic to understand why air quality is a key issue on construction sites and what you can do to reduce air pollution with these recommended resources:

Clean Air Zones Map

Use this map to find locations and relevant information for clean air zones and low emission zones around the UK.

Get started >>

Air Quality in the Built Environment

Webpage containing information specific to the built environment around air pollution causes and solutions, from the World Green Building Council.

Take a look >>

Case Study: Zero Emission Welfare Cabin

GAP and AJC EasyCabin have together created a welfare cabin that uses hydrogen and solar panels as power sources to move towards zero carbon emissions, zero air quality emissions and less noise on site.

Find out more >>

Top stories

SMEs struggling to keep sustainability top of the agenda, survey finds

A survey of hundreds of UK-based SMEs has revealed a drop in the proportion positioning environmental sustainability and a priority issue in the short-term, with Covid-19 and the energy price crisis taking precedence.

Find out more >>

BAM commences work on £10m low carbon primary school in Bristol

BAM has been appointed to deliver a £10m low carbon primary school under the Southern Construction Framework (SCF). It has been designed to achieve low carbon Passivhaus standards, featuring triple glazing, solar panels, highly insulated thermal fabric and heat recovery units.

Read more >>

Prisoners to get construction training for rehabilitation

Prisoners will be trained in construction skills to help with their rehabilitation on release, as part of a new government initiative.

Take a look >>

 

JUST LAUNCHED! Sustainability for Groundworks Learning Pathway

The transition to net zero, delivering biodiversity net gain, working towards a more circular economy, delivering social value and combatting modern slavery are just some of the challenges faced by our industry, and groundworkers have a pivotal role to play.

In collaboration with the School’s Construction Leadership Group, we’ve developed a new beginner level learning pathway, which is designed to help groundworks companies address those high priority issues.

FIND OUT MORE >

 

February’s featured topic: Fairness, Inclusion and Respect

The Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) programme is an industry-wide initiative that aims to make workplaces better for everyone.

As a sector, we need to embrace FIR in order to attract, recruit, train and retain the skills to address the industry-wide skills shortage. Construction clients and large contractors are increasingly expecting their supply chain partners to work with them to achieve this. Take a look at some of the key resources available to support you on this:

Equality, Diversity And Inclusion Policy Template

Simple document for small businesses to use to get started writing their EDI policy.

Get started >>

CIPD Good Work Index

The CIPD Good Work Index provides an annual snapshot of job quality in the UK, giving insight to drive improvement to working lives. Measures of GDP and employment rates are important, but we also need to understand whether the jobs we have are good or poor and how they can be improved.

Take a look >>

Developing A Diversity Communication Strategy

Communication is absolutely vital. It’s not about communicating in singular ways or even one-way communication. It is about ensuring that it is inclusive, it’s diverse, that you’re thinking about people.

Find out more >>

 

The transition to net zero, delivering biodiversity net gain, working towards a more circular economy, delivering social value and combatting modern slavery are just some of the challenges faced by our industry, and groundworkers have a pivotal role to play.

In collaboration with the School’s Construction Leadership Group, we’ve developed a new beginner level learning pathway, alongside other industry clients, main contractors and trade contractors, which is designed to help groundworks companies address those high priority issues.

The pathway is being endorsed by over 20 main contractors and clients, all encouraging their groundworks supply chain to complete the pathway to ensure we reach a consistent level of understanding on these issues across the trade, and are equipped to tackle them. As a beginner level pathway, it explains what the issues are, why they’re important, and gives hints and practical tips on how to address them.

Want to find out more? Take a look at the pathway and start learning here: ENROL NOW

This pathway is endorsed by:

 

 

 

22 November, London, UK — The Supply Chain Sustainability School (SCSS), a multi-award-winning initiative which represents a common approach to addressing sustainability within supply chains, has partnered with Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) and Nottingham Trent University to launch a construction-focused training hub.

Funded by CITB, the Collaborative Construction Procurement Training Hub (CCPTH) is dedicated to improving the quality of procurement practices in the built environment industry. The sector has not increased its productivity over the last forty years and SCSS members often cite procurement as a blocker to innovation and improved performance.

The new procurement hub will be launched during CECA’s 25th Anniversary week-long virtual conference, with the event taking place between 14:00-15:30 on 26 November 2021. The event will discuss the purpose of the hub – to increase the skills level for those who buy products and sub-contract services within the industry. By improving these procurement skills, the CCPTH hope to drive productivity improvements, and increased value for clients.

The objective is to create a single eco-system of procurement skills and development – including a single online portal for accessing training tools, toolkits and both virtual and face-to-face training. It will also set out to create a collaborative engagement strategy, as well as offer free, publicly available lean construction training materials and tools, developed by LCI-UK through CITB funding.

By visibly improving construction project performance, the hub will establish a strong procurement function with an efficient and effective supply chain, who can deliver materials and services to a construction project, on time and to budget. Most importantly, the hub will support the evolution of the construction industry, by equipping its’ workforce to handle an ever-changing business and operating model. The methods laid out by the CCPTH will embrace evolving procurement models and processes, hopefully leading to industry adoption.

 

Shaun McCarthy OBE, Chair of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, said: “Procurement skills are essential to help the construction sector to achieve new levels of safety and productivity and to achieve more sustainable profit margins. The Supply Chain Sustainability School is delighted to work with CECA and Nottingham Trent University to create a knowledge hub to help all those contributing to procurement decisions and working with supply chains to improve their skills.”

Alasdair Reisner, CEO, CECA, said: “The Government and the industry’s clients are increasingly recognising the importance of effective procurement to deliver outstanding outcomes for construction projects and programmes. But this relies on high quality procurement capability across the sector. We are delighted to be working with such brilliant partners to develop training to make this a reality.” 

To register your interest for the launch event taking place on the 26 November 2021, register here.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS

Lydia Higgins

[email protected]

About Supply Chain Sustainability School:
The Supply Chain Sustainability School is a multi-award-winning initiative which represents a common approach to addressing sustainability within supply chains. With more than 39,000 registered users, the School provides free practical learning and support in the form of sustainability training, events and networking, e-learning modules, tailored assessment and a library of over 2,900 online resources.

The School is part-funded by CITB and industry Partners. It is delivered by an independent third-party consultancy, Action Sustainability. Leadership is provided by a School Board comprising elected representatives of Partners, responsible for fiscal governance and strategic direction. A Code of Ethics is signed by all Partners as part of the School Constitution and Partners lead the direction of the School content and activities through leadership groups. https://www.supplychainschool.co.uk/

About CECA:

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association is the representative body for companies who work day-to-day to deliver, upgrade, and maintain the country’s infrastructure. With more than 300 members split across eight regions, CECA represents firms who together carry out an estimated 70-80 per cent of all civil engineering activity in the UK, in the key sectors of transport, energy, communications, waste and water.

Top stories

 

Five-year £1bn investment to put people at the heart of North Lanarkshire communities

Towns and communities in North Lanarkshire will benefit from £1.243 billion investment over the next five years to transform them into vibrant, thriving, sustainable places, the local authority has revealed.

Read more >>

Plans submitted for £33.8m leisure-led development in Perthshire

A planning application for a new £33.8 million leisure-led development at West Kinfauns has been submitted to Perth and Kinross Council.

Read more >>

BE@COP26

During COP26 Construction Scotland Innovation Centre will be an exciting hub of inspiration, learning and action for the built environment to accelerate to net zero. Over two weeks the Innovation Factory near Glasgow will be home to a host of innovative exhibits plus a range of events and experiences

Read more >>

 

November’s Featured Topic: Climate Change & Carbon

Climate change is the biggest issue of our times and the built environment is one of the major contributors to carbon emissions. Reduction in carbon emissions have to occur if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

We have a wealth of resources to help you gain a better understanding of Climate Change and Carbon – take a look:

Introduction to Climate Change and Carbon Footprinting Learning Pathway

This self-enrol learning pathway will provide you with not only the understanding of climate change, carbon emissions and how to identify were they occur, but also the skills to make reduction plans to tackle them and report on your progress to your stakeholders – clients, regulators and colleagues.

Enrol here >>

Decarbonising Construction: Building A New Net Zero Industry

This report from the National Engineering Policy Centre and the Royal Academy of Engineering focuses on four interconnected missions that cut across the whole of the construction sector that require urgent attention to achieve net zero.

Find out more >>

Carbon Reduction, Offsetting And Net Zero

In this E-Learning module we explore carbon reduction strategies including carbon offsets and Net Zero. This is the final part in a series of 4 modules on measuring and reducing your carbon impact.

Find out more >>

 

Recommended for Scotland

Low Carbon Regeneration – Business Bytes

5 November 930h-1100h

A 90-minute Business Bytes session to discuss low carbon solutions used in major urban regeneration projects – particularly in Glasgow. We are joined by Clyde Gateway to give an update on this major regeneration programme, and Scottish Water who will present their District Heating Networks providing heat from wastewater.

This course will be delivered virtually online. See the ‘what is the course about?’ section in course details for more information. REGISTER NOW >>

 

COP26 Training Pack

To enable our industry to use the inspiration from COP26 and take direct action to increase understanding, skills and performance on carbon reduction and related issues, we are pleased to provide our Members with a COP26 Training Pack, giving you direct links to free resources and training sessions designed to help your organisation and supply chain gain a better understanding of climate change and carbon. NB – please refer to our School Events listing for upcoming training activity on carbon and climate change.

TAKE A LOOK >>

Top stories

Launch of the Welsh Procurement Policy Note WPPN 09/21: Sourcing Sustainable materials for construction projects in Wales

WPPN 09/21 provides advice to public sector bodies in Wales on how to manage market pressures affecting the availability and affordability of building materials.

Find out more >>

Wales & West Utilities Supports Decarbonisation Cluster in North Wales

School Partner Wales & West Utilities is supporting the HyNet low carbon cluster project in its bid to unlock a low carbon economy in North West England and North Wales and is urging the UK Government to award it ‘Track 1’ status later this month.

Learn more >>

Why Addressing The Need For Green Skills in Wales is Imperative

Wyn Prichard, Chair of the Supply Chain Sustainability School in Wales discusses the Skills Council with Business Wales . Wyn explains how we must make sure that we keep the improvement in this area over the next few years and not let sustainability slip down the order of priorities.

Read more >>

November’s Featured Topic: Climate Change & Carbon

Climate change is the biggest issue of our times and the built environment is one of the major contributors to carbon emission. Reduction in carbon emissions have to occur if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

We have a wealth of resources to help you gain a better understanding of Climate Change and Carbon – take a look:

Introduction to Climate Change and Carbon Footprinting Learning Pathway

This self-enrol learning pathway will provide you with not only the understanding of climate change, carbon emissions and how to identify were they occur, but also the skills to make reduction plans to tackle them and report on your progress to your stakeholders – clients, regulators and colleagues.

Enrol here >>

Decarbonising Construction: Building A New Net Zero Industry

This report from the National Engineering Policy Centre and the Royal Academy of Engineering focuses on four interconnected missions that cut across the whole of the construction sector that require urgent attention to achieve net zero.

Find out more >>

Climate Policy Tracker For Business

This tracker from the We Mean Business coalition provides businesses with up-to-date information on climate regulation; enabling you to build a comprehensive picture of the policies that are directly impacting your operations and value chains.

Get started >>

National Social Value Conference Wales

This National Social Value Conference is back this November (16th – 17th). This year’s theme will be “Leading the Movement”, encouraging businesses and communities across Wales to lead the way in the delivery of Social Value in Wales. Hear from David Emery, Sector Manager of the Supply Chain Sustainability School in Wales at the conference.

To find out more and to register click here.

Top stories

Workplace Sensors Reveal Geographical Trends For Office Visits

The latest office occupancy data from workplace technology company Freespace has revealed obvious geographical differences for preferred days of the week to visit the office.

Find out more >>

Green Building Council Publishes Guidance for LA’s On New Commercial Buildings

New guidelines have been published by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) to help local authorities drive up the sustainability of new commercial buildings.

Read more >>

New IFMA Research Advisory Committee Focuses On The Future Of FM

The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) has created a new Research Advisory Committee to help reshape the built environment through a future-oriented research agenda.

Learn more >>

November’s Featured Topic: Climate Change & Carbon

Climate change is the biggest issue of our times and the built environment is one of the major contributors to carbon emission. Reduction in carbon emissions have to occur if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

We have a wealth of resources to help you gain a better understanding of Climate Change and Carbon – take a look:

Introduction to Climate Change and Carbon Footprinting Learning Pathway

This self-enrol learning pathway will provide you with not only the understanding of climate change, carbon emissions and how to identify were they occur, but also the skills to make reduction plans to tackle them and report on your progress to your stakeholders – clients, regulators and colleagues.

Enrol here >>

Decarbonising Construction: Building A New Net Zero Industry

This report from the National Engineering Policy Centre and the Royal Academy of Engineering focuses on four interconnected missions that cut across the whole of the construction sector that require urgent attention to achieve net zero.

Find out more >>

Climate Policy Tracker For Business

This tracker from the We Mean Business coalition provides businesses with up-to-date information on climate regulation; enabling you to build a comprehensive picture of the policies that are directly impacting your operations and value chains.

Get started >>

Measuring & Managing Carbon Lunch ‘n’ Learn

This Lunch ‘n’ Learn will provide you with the knowledge and tools to help you to address the issue of measuring, reporting and managing greenhouse gas emissions. This introductory session will focus on the principles of carbon reporting within your organisation and supply chain.

Collecting and reporting sustainability data is becoming increasingly common, as organisations and their clients seek to quantify, reduce and effectively communicate their impact on climate change.

This session – run by Charles Naud, product manager of Action Sustainability’s reporting system Sustainability Tool– will explore a key framework behind measuring carbon emissions and how to effectively manage performance within your organisation and supply chain.

EVENT DETAILS:

  • DATE: 8th November 2021
  • TIME: 12:00pm -13:00pm
  • LOCATION: Online
Register for FREE now >>

Top stories

Climate Change Warning from the Environment Agency

Hundreds of people could die in floods in the UK, the Environment Agency has warned in a hard-hitting report that says the country is not ready for the impact of climate change.

Find out more >>

Urgent Government Action needed on HS2’s Euston Station and Northern Route

A lack of clarity on the northern section of HS2 and its London terminus at Euston could be putting the entire £100bn scheme at risk, watchdog MPs on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have warned.

Read more >>

UK Sets Out  650bn Infrastructure Pipeline

Up to £650 billion of public and private sector money could be spent on UK priority infrastructure projects over the next 10 years, according to plans published by the government.

Learn more >>

November’s Featured Topic: Climate Change & Carbon

Climate change is the biggest issue of our times and the built environment is one of the major contributors to carbon emission. Reduction in carbon emissions have to occur if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

We have a wealth of resources to help you gain a better understanding of Climate Change and Carbon – take a look:

Introduction to Climate Change and Carbon Footprinting Learning Pathway

This self-enrol learning pathway will provide you with not only the understanding of climate change, carbon emissions and how to identify were they occur, but also the skills to make reduction plans to tackle them and report on your progress to your stakeholders – clients, regulators and colleagues.

Enrol here >>

Decarbonising Construction: Building A New Net Zero Industry

This report from the National Engineering Policy Centre and the Royal Academy of Engineering focuses on four interconnected missions that cut across the whole of the construction sector that require urgent attention to achieve net zero.

Find out more >>

Climate Policy Tracker For Business

This tracker from the We Mean Business coalition provides businesses with up-to-date information on climate regulation; enabling you to build a comprehensive picture of the policies that are directly impacting your operations and value chains.

Get started >>

Measuring & Managing Carbon Lunch ‘n’ Learn

This Lunch ‘n’ Learn will provide you with the knowledge and tools to help you to address the issue of measuring, reporting and managing greenhouse gas emissions. This introductory session will focus on the principles of carbon reporting within your organisation and supply chain.

Collecting and reporting sustainability data is becoming increasingly common, as organisations and their clients seek to quantify, reduce and effectively communicate their impact on climate change.

This session – run by Charles Naud, product manager of Action Sustainability’s reporting system Sustainability Tool– will explore a key framework behind measuring carbon emissions and how to effectively manage performance within your organisation and supply chain.

EVENT DETAILS:

  • DATE: 8th November 2021
  • TIME: 12:00pm -13:00pm
  • LOCATION: Online
Register for FREE now >>

As the recent IPCC report demonstrates, there has never been a more urgent need to address human impacts on climate change. This November, COP26 in Glasgow will bring together 190 countries to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change.

The built environment sector is one of the major contributors to carbon emissions, contributing approximately 40% of all emissions. To prepare our industry to take action in the year of COP26, we are pleased to provide our Members with a COP26 Training Pack, giving you direct links to free resources and training sessions designed to help your organisation and supply chain gain a better understanding of climate change and carbon.

This simple pack will guide you through relevant videos, e-learning modules, virtual training and information on the new carbon calculator. Download below or share with your colleagues and supply chain.

Download now >

Top stories

Climate change: Construction companies told to stop knocking down buildings

Britain’s top engineers are urging the government to stop buildings being demolished. They say the construction industry should where possible re-use buildings, employ more recycled material, and use machinery powered by clean fuels.

Find out more >>

55% of commercial property firms recorded increased demand for ‘green’ buildings amid Covid-19

In the commercial property sector, respondents were asked about investor and occupier appetite for buildings considered ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’. Globally, 55% of respondents said demand had risen.

Take a look >>

Balfour Beatty, in Partnership with the School, launch findings of their Greening the Chain survey

The survey, targeting the construction and infrastructure industry’s supply chain partners, aimed to understand the barriers, issues and opportunities faced by the sector in achieving Net Zero. In the findings, Balfour Beatty provide access to key recommendations for policy makers, customers, and the wider industry to help it to achieve Net Zero.

Discover more >>

 

October’s Featured Topic: Modern Slavery

There are 40.3 million victims in forced labour estimated by the Global Slavery Index, and estimated 136,000 victims in the UK alone. Labour exploitation is a lucrative business for organised crime and the construction industry is no exception.

We have a wealth of resources to help you understand the principles of modern slavery and how you can use due diligence within your organisational processes to combat the risk of labour exploitation – take a look:

Modern Slavery: An Introduction 

An introductory learning pathway to help you begin to develop your understanding on modern slavery risks within your organisation and supply chain.

Start learning >>

Modern Slavery Due Diligence Prevention Checklist

A best practice checklist, outlining what organisations should have in place to combat modern slavery, designed to help procurement specialists understand how to evaluate supply chain responses to requests for their own due diligence processes. 

Find out more >>

Concrete – Tackling Modern Slavery in the Construction Sector

This video illustrates the forms of modern slavery and how it can manifest in the construction industry.

Watch now >>

Sustainability Tool partners with Supply Chain Sustainability School to launch a free carbon calculator for supply chains

 

Sustainability Tool, a software application designed to help organisations and supply chains track and measure their sustainability performance, has today launched a carbon calculator, in partnership with the Supply Chain Sustainability School (SCSS).

With 80-99 per cent of the built environment’s total carbon footprint coming from their supply chain, the Sustainability Tool’s carbon calculator will play an integral role in supporting businesses in their fight against climate change.

Charles Naud, Head of Product at Sustainability Tool, said: “With COP26 approaching swiftly, there’s never been a more appropriate time for companies to delve into their supply chains for carbon measurement and reporting. The carbon calculator will be a company’s greatest ally in their quest to reach net zero and reduce their carbon emissions. With our suite of customisable and simple reporting software offerings, our aim is to be a one-stop-shop for all sustainability reporting and performance management.”

A spin-off of the Sustainability Tool, the carbon calculator’s purpose is twofold: (1) to support supply chains with calculating their greenhouse gas emissions, and (2) to provide clients with a view of emissions embedded in their supply chains (i.e. their scope 3 emissions). Suppliers can either input their emissions by scope (if those are already known to them), or complete a simple report covering fossil fuel, company travel, gas, electricity consumption, materials, waste and water data. Upon completion, the report automatically calculates emissions in a dashboard that supports submissions to Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) and other carbon reporting frameworks. The system also permits suppliers to apportion a percentage of their carbon emissions to clients based on financial turnover.

The carbon calculator will be offered free-of-charge to Supply Chain Sustainability School members (suppliers), whereby they can register for free. The tool is also offered to Partners (clients) of the School, presenting them with a full view of their scope 3 carbon data.

Martin Gettings, Group Director Sustainability at Canary Wharf Group, said: “The carbon calculator has resulted from an industry-wide collaboration of clients, main contractors and trade contractors, across the Supply Chain Sustainability School. We’ve established a standardised data collection and reporting mechanism for supply chain carbon. This hugely benefits suppliers, because it enables one simple carbon measurement exercise, the results of which can easily be shared with their major clients.”

Julia Barrett, Chief Sustainability Officer at Willmott Dixon, said: “As a company committed to delivering net zero embodied carbon by 2040, it’s paramount that we equip our supply chain partners with the necessary tools and support to reduce emissions. The carbon calculator provides all our partners with a simple and robust approach to calculating and understanding their emissions.  Through this initiative, the Supply Chain Sustainability School offers a unique opportunity for our industry to work together in reducing our emissions.”

The carbon calculator is also available for usage across other industries, whilst the Sustainability Tool can help businesses report and manage sustainability performance across more than just carbon, whether that be within an organisation, its projects, contracts and supply chain.

 

 

 

 

Action Sustainability and the Supply Chain Sustainability School will once again be supporting and sponsoring the Sustainability Summit at London Build Expo 2021.

London Build Expo is set for a huge return to Olympia London’s Grand Hall on the 17 & 18 November 2021. Learn from London’s leading architects, developers, contractors, engineers, suppliers and industry bodies, who are leading the way to a sustainable future for London’s construction industry.  **Use our unique link to get your free ticket now.**

We will be hosting a networking lunch on Wednesday 17 November between 11:15am – 12:45pm, located in the Built Environment Networking Hub. Join us to meet businesses that are outside your current network, enabling you to expand your connections to benefit your business. If you get there early, we’ll also be showcasing our Sustainability Tool, displaying how to easily and effectively measure and manage your organisation’s sustainability performance.

If you are unable to attend, you still have a chance to visit us at our stand A37, located near the Sustainability Summit stage.

Action Sustainability’s leading sustainability experts will also be joining panel discussions on the Sustainability Stage, along with other leading contractors, engineers, architects and developers. Please come and hear our speakers on Wednesday 17 November 2021:

15:00-15:50: Helen Carter, Lead Consultant, Action Sustainability will be speaking on a panel about Modern Slavery in Construction.

16:00-16:50: Vaishali Baid, Social Value Consultant at Action Sustainability will be speaking on a panel about Social Value in Construction.

Check out the full conference agenda here: https://www.londonbuildexpo.com/conference-agenda

London Build Expo is free to attend and promises to be two fun-filled days of high-level content, networking opportunities and endless entertainment.

Register your team for FREE tickets at https://www.londonbuildexpo.com/supply-chain-sustainability-school

Or if you have any further questions, please get in touch with the organisers at [email protected]

The Environment Agency (EA), an organisation aimed at protecting and improving the environment, have taken their next step on their sustainability journey by becoming a Partner of the Supply Chain Sustainability School.

Earlier this year, the Environment Agency revealed their roadmap for reaching net zero by 2030, whereby they are committed to cutting their emissions by at least 45% by 2030 and then offsetting the remainder.

With 84% of their total carbon footprint coming from their supply chain, the Supply Chain Sustainability School will play an integral role in supporting them with their Net Zero strategy. How they interact with their supply chain, will have a huge impact on not just their progress against their net zero goals, but also their resource consumption, what social value they can deliver through their supply chain, and how they protect and enhance nature. Discover further how EA plan to enhance their sustainability knowledge here.

Simon Dawes, Head of Sustainable Business Strategy at the Environment Agency, said: “We’re one of the first government organisations to join the school, and that’s indicative of our ambition to lead the way in terms of sustainability. But we also know we don’t have all the answers. We want to learn, share, grow, explore, and influence where we can.”

Shaun McCarthy OBE, Chair of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, said: “The role of the client in driving supply chain performance cannot be understated. I am delighted to welcome the Environment Agency to the School – they join a growing band of major clients with a mutual interest in developing their supply chain capacity in a consistent and collaborative way.”

The School is co-funded by CITB and industry Partners, with the direction of the School being led by over 130 Partners – working in collaboration, they share knowledge and free resources to inspire the UK built environment to drive positive change and each share a common desire to upskill the industry.

If your organisation is interested in becoming a Partner, contact Paul on [email protected].

To register as a FREE member of the School, click here.

New delivery hub to oversee sector-wide climate and environmental roadmap for high quality homes and places

Today (27th July), the country’s leading home builders have committed alongside supply sectors, regulators and environmental groups to a sector-wide delivery plan for meeting climate, nature and the wider environmental targets set by Government.

The plan, agreed through the Future Homes Task Force, which comprises leading figures from the relevant home building, supply chain, skills, environmental, planning, academic, infrastructure, utilities and regulator communities, and through collaboration with the Government, includes headline goals to deliver:

  • high quality homes that are zero carbon ready and sustainable by 2025, with early investigation of the steps beyond;
  • places and developments that are consistently low carbon, nature rich, resilient healthy, well-designed and beautiful by 2025;
  • production and construction methods that are net zero and sustainable by 2050, with substantial progress by 2025 and 2030;
  • businesses operations in line with the Race to Zero: net zero by 2050 with a 50% reduction by 2030

These goals are supported by more detailed commitments and roadmaps in the summary delivery plan, published today.

This sector-wide agreement plots a stretching but deliverable path to enable the homebuilding sector to plan early and collaborate with inter-related sectors such as suppliers, skills providers infrastructure and the conservation community, as well as the   Government to build high quality environmentally friendly homes and places. It is the first sector-wide plan in the UK to cover the full range of environmental targets from net zero carbon emissions to nature, air and water quality, resources and waste as well as wider goals around sustainable place-making and resilience to the impacts of climate change. The sequenced roadmap sets a series of goals and milestones that need to be met along the way, incorporating Government policies such as the Future Homes Standard and Biodiversity Net Gain.

Speaking today Neil Jefferson, Co-chair of the Task Force said;

“The Government has set out a clear legal framework for tackling climate change and restoring the natural world. Meeting these targets means a wholesale change in how we design and build homes for future generations. This is a challenge we are committed to tackling head on. Today’s launch sees the sector taking leadership of the agenda. The broad range of stakeholders involved will hold each other to account and ensure we deliver on this vital agenda as quickly and effectively as is possible. We want to ensure that we build on the huge progress made so far and deliver world leading, environmentally friendly, high quality housing.”

Housing Secretary RT Hon Robert Jenrick MP said; 

“As we drive forward our plan for the UK to meet its 2050 net zero target, we are determined to improve the energy efficiency of our homes and reduce carbon emissions in a way that is fair and affordable to everyone.

“I welcome the work of the Future Homes Task Force, which has brought together leaders across the fields that contribute to and influence homebuilding and has created this roadmap for meeting these challenges. It is right that the industry is stepping up to play a leadership role here: delivery and innovation to meet the challenges requires common purpose and partnerships that are being formed. The Delivery Hub will provide support across industry to ensure successful implementation of the Future Homes Standard.”

Stewart Baseley. Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation said:

Today’s major environmental challenges will be with us for the future and cannot be ignored. It’s imperative we show leadership and commitment to play our part in tackling them and I’m delighted the Task Force’s delivery plan gives the industry and its partners the basis to do so.”

To drive and oversee the plan the new delivery Hub will be launched in September, with the support and involvement of Government. The Hub will help facilitate a sector-wide approach to identify the metrics, more detailed targets where necessary, methods and innovations to meet the goals and the collaborations required with supply chains and other sectors. It will incorporate the needs of all parties including the public and private sector and crucially, consumers, such that they can all play their part in delivering environmentally conscious homes that people want to live in.

The roadmap approach and the new Hub will have a particular focus on helping SME businesses, by providing them with sufficient time, advice and support, to develop the people and processes necessary to enable them to deliver on environmental goals.

The net zero elements of the plan are reflected within a wider construction performance framework, announced last week under the Construction Leadership Council’s CO2nstructzero programme.

Additional quotes from Task Force members;

Ed Lockhart, Co-chair of the Task Force and Convenor of the Broadway Initiative. We will be judged by future generations largely on whether we can adapt to build homes and places that people love, while being fully sustainable. That change requires the many disciplines and sectors that influence homebuilding to move in lock step. The Future Homes Delivery Plan is structured to bring that cast together on the right journey. Whether we reach the destination depends on whether collectively we stick to the course.”

Beccy Speight, CEO of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. “The housing sector has a critical role to play in responding to both the nature and climate emergencies, and in helping to meet many of the Environment Bill targets. This delivery plan is an important starting point and the future development of the robust mechanisms and the partnerships needed to secure effective implementation will be key to the delivery of that role.”

Stephen Kinsella, Executive Director, Homes England. ‘The Future Homes Task Force brought together leaders in the housing sector to explore how we could all play our part in response to the urgent challenges of climate change. We all recognised the critical requirement to take a leap towards our net zero carbon future and do this collaboratively. Delivering energy efficient homes in well designed and sustainable communities requires vision, collective leadership and innovation. The Future Homes Delivery Plan sets out a vision with ambitious near- term commitments and provides, alongside government policy, a clear set of expectations for the housing sector to deliver better outcomes for people, places and the planet. Homes England looks forward to working with the Delivery Hub to share expertise and learning.

Rachael Whelan, Land & Sustainability Director, Archway Homes, a SME house builder operating in the North West. “In a world where our environmental agenda is becoming increasingly important to our future, the Future Homes Task Force has provided an excellent forum for key organisations to collaborate and define the roadmap for our housing industry. I am very proud to have been a part of this process and Archway Homes, having already taken the decision to build all our houses to EPC A rating, is very much committed to this agenda and taking our houses forward to the Future Homes Standard for the benefit of our customers and future generations.”

Rob Boughton, CEO, Thakeham Group, a SME house builder operating in the South East, “We are proud to be part of the industry drive towards a zero carbon future. This report, and the continual work of the Future Homes Task Force, exemplifies how sector plans are a fantastic way to align members and engage stakeholders on the interim steps needed to transition. Thakeham have been able to share our zero carbon placemaking principles with the wider HBF membership throughout the process, representing the art of the possible for each Roadmap. We look forward to continuing the drive, eliminating barriers to the successful implementation of a more sustainable future for our planet, and the people living in the communities we create.”

Emma Harvey, Programme Director, Green Finance Institute “Establishing sector-specific guidelines and roadmaps is vital to help decarbonise our economy and identify the opportunities for the finance sector to accelerate the net-zero transition. The Green Finance Institute welcomes the recommendations in today’s report by the Future Homes Task Force, and looks forward to collaborating with the delivery hub to channel capital towards zero carbon new-build homes.”

Top stories

School shortlisted at the Construction News Awards

The Supply Chain Sustainability School has been shortlisted in two categories at the Construction News Awards, Outstanding Contribution to the Industry and Supply Chain Excellence with Highways England.

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School Partner BAM adopts plant-based fuels to help slash UK carbon

BAM has committed to running all of its UK construction machinery using recycled cooking oil, contributing to goals focused on reducing carbon emissions from its activities.

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School Partner, the Environment Agency commits to low-carbon concrete in net-zero push

The Environment Agency has pledged to use low-carbon concrete as a default product on new flood defences, as it pushes to reach net-zero by 2030.

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July’s Featured Topic: Waste & Resource Efficiency 

It is estimated that 13% of raw materials ordered for a construction project are discarded unused, therefore by reducing waste we will increase our efficiency and profitability.

In addition, reducing our consumption of raw materials, and being more efficient with what we use, results in a wide range of environmental and social benefits associated with the consumption of fewer resources and the disposal of waste products. Start your learning on the topic of waste & resource efficiency with the resources below:

Introduction to Waste 

A 45 minute module providing an overview of waste diversion benefits and principles, as well as legislation concerning waste disposal.

Start learning >>

Embracing the Circular Economy in your Business

This guide will walk you through five steps to embrace the circular economy in your business by enabling a circular business model.

Take a look >>

Case Study: Protec Closed Loop Scheme

A case study from Protec Temporary Protection on their closed loop scheme for waste materials on site.

Watch now >>

 

Benchmark your Sustainability Knowledge

Want to understand your sustainability knowledge level, and know how that compares to others in the sector? It’s easy to find out… just take an assessment today with our FREE tool. It’s designed to help you, or your company, assess your current level of knowledge and identify strengths and hot spots.

Once you’ve assessed, you get a tailored action plan – this list of 10 resources tells you where to focus your learning.

ASSESS NOW >