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New Fairness, Inclusion & Respect resources will benefit everyone in UK built environment

A suite of new learning materials launched today and made freely available to all those working in UK built environment will drive positive change in the sector, industry leaders have said.

The new resources, part-funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), have been developed by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) and the Supply Chain Sustainability School, with a steering group of leading industry stakeholders. The resources have been rolled out to mark the beginning of National Inclusion Week (28 September-4 October 2020).

The resources include three new workshops:

These workshops are accompanied by newly developed e-learning modules:

Sarah Beale, CITB Chief Executive, said:

“Even before the pandemic, construction recruitment faced the challenges of an ageing workforce with a real lack of diversity and the pending implications of Brexit, so it is more important than ever to build inclusive cultures across all parts of our industry.

“These resources will help drive the positive change we need to attract new entrants from a wide range of backgrounds to our sector, and ensure construction is the rewarding career we know it to be for everyone.”

Andy Mitchell CBE, co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council, said:

“National Inclusion Week is an opportune moment to remind everyone that not only is there a moral case for driving inclusive cultures in the construction industry, but that there is a business case for it as well.

“Inclusive workplace cultures are more productive, innovative, and profitable. Promoting a culture of Fairness, Inclusion and Respect can bring benefits to businesses of all sizes and helps attract and retain people from the full pool of talent in the UK workforce.

“There has been positive cultural change across our sector in recent years, but it is beholden to us all to remember that we always have more to learn and things we can improve. These new resources are a welcome addition to the already extensive range of FIR materials that are available, and we hope their uptake will be as wide as possible by businesses at all levels of the UK supply chain.”

Stephen Cole, CITB Head of Careers Strategy, said:

“These resources will benefit UK construction and demonstrate why CITB has been proud to fund the Fairness, Inclusion & Respect programme since 2015.

“Cultural change also aids both in the attraction of new skills and retention of existing ones, which is of particular importance at this time.”

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Related links:

All upcoming Fairness, Inclusion and Respect training

About the Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) Programme

All FIR e-learning

FIR Toolkit

– Contact [email protected] for more information on the FIR Programme

Press release PDF

McCarthy & Stone becomes the 100th Partner to join the award-winning industry-wide School in just 8 years.

With over 40,000 registered users, more than 14,000 member companies and another 12,000 individual members, the Supply Chain Sustainability School is used to big numbers, but it has just added another of special significance: its 100th Partner — the UK’s leading developer and manager of retirement communities, McCarthy & Stone.

For the new Partner, enrolment in the Supply Chain Sustainability School is seen as a fundamental part of the ‘procurement transformation’ journey and the company’s commitment to being a sustainable business, explains Kathryn Gillard, Group Procurement Director, McCarthy & Stone:

“We are delighted to be the 100th Partner. Our FY21 procurement strategy sets out our desire to upskill our people and supply chain; and being part of the School will help us to achieve this ambition.”

The School is a multi-award-winning initiative which represents a common approach to addressing sustainability within supply chains. Led by a Board comprising elected representatives of Partners, the School provides free practical support in the form of e-learning modules, tailored self-assessment and action plans, training, events and networking, delivered by an independent third-party consultancy, Action Sustainability.

Successfully passing the 100-Partner milestone demonstrates the importance of the School to the future of the industry as a whole, especially in a post-pandemic market. This is no time for the School, its Partners and Members to rest on their laurels, however — this is a time to be forward-looking and part of the solution to the challenges the industry faces, says Director of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, Ian Heptonstall:

“The sector faces three major challenges: decarbonisation, productivity and talent. With 100 Partners providing a consistent and clear message to the supply chain, the School is an enabler of the transformative change needed. Through initiatives such as the People Matter Charter, supply-chain carbon footprinting, plus award-winning online learning around sustainability, digital, offsite and lean construction, we can lead the drive to ‘Build Back Better’.”

Founding Vision and Rapid Growth

Launched in 2012, the School has come a long way over the last eight years, but still thrives on working to meet new and rising industry demand, constantly adapting and growing over time, says founding Partner Skanska UK’s Director of Procurement and Supply Chain, Dale Turner:

“The School continues to go from strength to strength and is the UK’s leading supplier-engagement sustainability tool. Our virtual collaborative Supplier Days are now packed with positive experiences and presentations from supply chain Members on what the School means to them and how they are progressing on their sustainability journey.”

For Dr Shamir Ghumra, BREEAM Director at BRE, reaching 100 Partners shows just how rapidly and powerfully the original vision for the School of making an impact on sustainability outcomes has truly become a reality:

“To have seen the School grow from the seven of us who founded it to now reaching this 100-Partner milestone is incredible. It really demonstrates that the School model of providing sustainability training to the supply chain free of charge is an essential service and one that has helped thousands of individuals over the past few years.”

To fellow founder and Director of Sustainability and Procurement, at Morgan Sindall, Graham Edgell, achieving over 100 Partners actually comes as no surprise. In fact, given the world-class collaboration in evidence throughout the School, it was actually inevitable, he argues:

“The Supply Chain Sustainability School continues to thrive and reach new heights. In such a short time, it has become the go-to for sustainability learning and best practice in an industry that normally sees initiatives come and go. The sector will need the School even more if we are to meet the challenges ahead.”

The People Matter Charter

Launched in January this year, the People Matter Charter provides a perfect example of the ability of the School to help companies find the answers to key questions the industry needs to address – in this case, people challenges, relating to both their own workforce and their supply chain, from diversity and skills shortages, to modern slavery.

With recognition growing that systemic change around such issues cannot be delivered alone, being a Partner of the School is now becoming the norm for organisations wanting to work together to make a difference for the long term, suggests Nathalie Ritchie, Supply Chain Sustainability Manager, Global Procurement, at National Grid:

“We recognise we need to use our influence as a client in the sector to communicate our expectations and drive positive change. Having a common People Matter Charter that the industry can endorse and promote is fundamental to ensure alignment and focus attention on what matters, our people.”

The Climate Action Group

Tackling the climate emergency and responding to UK net-zero targets is another vital area for collaborative working. If the built environment sector hopes to shoulder its responsibilities and reduce its impacts, it first needs to understand and manage carbon in its supply chain. The School’s Climate Action Group is the forum to enable this transition to a zero-carbon future, with over 30 of the Partners and their suppliers all collaborating to report their performance against carbon-related activities through the Sustainability Tool.

Working together to footprint and address climate impacts embodied in the supply chain, will be critical to cutting carbon, both now and in the future, suggests Martin Gettings, Head of Sustainability, Canary Wharf Group:

“The power of collective collaboration is the driving force behind the Climate Action Group, bringing together all levels of supplier alongside some of the biggest names in the sector, working together to deliver real carbon reporting and reduction initiatives that can be adopted by the whole built environment. Put simply, we will not be able to achieve our long term commitments without it.”

The Plant Charter

Tackling specific challenges within the industry, the School’s Plant Group has also been working on how the sector can collaborate to reduce both air quality emissions that lead to local health impacts and the global effects of carbon emissions from plant and equipment. As a result, the Group launched the Plant Charter to encapsulate and communicate best practice on this, with its Partner Flannery Plant Hire the first official signatory.

With the School considered its ‘go-to’ organisation for environmental standards and capability, the Charter has put further emphasis on the firm to be better every day, says Chris Matthew, Strategic Manager at Flannery Plant Hire:

“The School has actively sought to raise everybody to a fair, achievable common standard and has produced a roadmap, by way of the Plant Charter, for how these expectations will evolve uniformly over the coming years. UK construction needs standout, ‘lighthouse’ projects to shine a beacon on innovation, and the School’s work to capture this and drive it forward across all contracts and project sites is where we as an industry will see real change.”

From the People Matter Charter, to the Plant Charter and the carbon footprinting in The Climate Group, the Supply Chain Sustainability School celebrates its 100th Partner milestone by continuing to do what it does best: deliver world-class learning and support systemic change, by being collaborative, progressive, inspirational and inclusive.

Related links:

Having been a member of the School since 2017, M O’Brien Group has become the latest Partner to the School.

 

After using the School’s vast library of resources for the past few years to improve their business in terms of sustainability and stay at the forefront of the fast developing industry, M O’Brien has chosen to become a Partner and begin to contribute back to the School and provide input and resources to benefit the School’s members.

Being a company that operates with such a large fleet of plant and haulage vehicles, it is vital that we play our part for a sustainable and more environmentally friendly built environment. It is great that SCSS provides a platform that we can share some of our best practice with members and vice versa so that we can all continue to drive forward and have a positive impact on the areas we work in. We strive to be the best we can in terms of quality, service and safety, the field of sustainability is no different, and becoming a partner of Supply chain sustainability school offers the best learning and sharing platform for this.” – James O’Donnell, Director

Why become a Partner?

M O’Brien strive to be the best they can in terms of quality, service and safety, and the field of sustainability is no different and M O’Brien believe that becoming a Partner to the School offers the best learning and sharing platform for this. Having been a member of the Supply Chain Sustainability School for the past two years and using a lot of useful resources within the school, the group have expanded the company’s knowledge in sustainability. Becoming a Partner feels like the next logical step to continue to grow as a sustainable business and contribute M O’Brien resources and experiences to the School’s members in a collaborative approach to improvement.

School Partner HS2 Ltd has launched a new start-up ‘Innovation Accelerator’ – a call out for entrepreneurial ideas that can help drive project efficiencies and create wider long-term economic benefits around the scheme.

Focused around HS2’s three innovation challenges: productivity, the environment, and the circular economy; the launch of the Innovation Accelerator is a call-to-arms for individuals or firms with bright ideas to help deliver Europe’s largest infrastructure project.

The online portal will be open for one month.

Launching the portal, HS2 Head of Innovation Howard Mitchell said:

“I encourage individuals and firms of all sizes – from start-ups and budding  entrepreneurs to established businesses – to go online and share their ideas with HS2.

“The construction of HS2 will show the world the very best of British skills, innovation and ambition. We hope that the Accelerator programme, which is an innovation itself, will both offer new ways of delivering HS2, but also generate new jobs, technology and opportunities.”

Products already delivered by HS2’s wider innovation programme have included devices for protecting site workers’ hearing and a device to ensure maintenance of distanced working while COVID-19 restrictions remain in place.

HS2 Innovation Accelerator – Link to portal & how to apply

The Supply Chain Sustainability School launches its industry Plant Charter, committing to emissions reductions.

The School has launched its Plant Charter, a commitment by organisations designed to reduce their air quality emissions, and School Partner Flannery Plant Hire, has committed to be its first signatory.

The Plant Group has been working on how the sector can collaborate to reduce both air quality emissions that lead to local health impacts and the global effects of carbon emissions from the plant and equipment we all use.  As a result, the group developed the Charter to encapsulate and communicate their approach to this.

James Cadman, School Plant Group lead & Lead Consultant at Action Sustainability explains:

“Our aim is that the Supply Chain Sustainability School will lead the way for the UK’s built environment to drastically reduce onsite emissions to air that are harmful to human health and the planet, such that they will reach net zero by 2040 and contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goals 3, 11 and 13. We would like organisations up and down the value chain to collaborate with us in coordinating our efforts to reduce these emissions for everyone’s benefit.”

Flannery have been a proactive member of the School’s Plant Category Group and support the collaborative approach across the industry to achieve these goals.

Managing Director Patrick Flannery commented:

“As a business, understanding our environmental impacts and managing these is really important. Sustainability and innovation are two of our key value drivers and underpin the decisions we make and ensure we can support clients in the delivery of the cleanest, and most efficient hire solutions for their construction projects.

It is, however, really important that there is a consistent approach throughout the supply chain and the Supply Chain Sustainability School are best placed to facilitate this. I am sure that this Charter will have a great impact and as a business, we wanted to confirm our commitment and support by being the first signatory.”

The industry has been under increased scrutiny from clients and the government on the negative effect engines have on the air quality of our towns and cities. Coupled with policy and penalties pushing organisations to address these issues via a fleet and plant strategy, the construction industry has been looking closely at how it operates plant, what it invests in, and how plant is disposed.

The Plant Group was established by School Partners and other key industry stakeholders to develop and facilitate the implementation of the School’s position on best practice sustainable procurement within the category. This Partner collaboration, including Flannery (Partners since 2012), is helping to identify and provide the supply chain with information and guidance on plant standards and management.

Flannery’s Strategic Manager Chris Matthew, who sits on the Group’s team, said:

“Being part of the working group that has developed this Charter has proved hugely beneficial for our business. Sharing best practice and ideas can only help to drive the behavioural change our industry needs to meet commitments to papers like this, but also broader papers like Construction 2025.

It has identified, for us, key areas that we know we understand and can now help our supply chain partners develop and adopt, through examples like our ECO-Operator program and our developing data offering for clients (the effective use of telematics to optimise hire fleet).

It has also supported the business as we forward plan, talking to manufacturers about investment and renewal of our fleet and the types of innovation we would like to continue seek out and bring to market.”


More information:

Visit our dedicated page on the Charter and see all the latest signatories here.

To read the Charter, please click here.

If you are interested in becoming a signatory to the Plant Charter, please get in touch with [email protected].

You can also have a look at the Plant Group’s Minimum Standards Guide.

McCann Group’s Cycle to Spain Challenge for the NHS

 

McCann Group is a family-owned organisation, consisting of McCann Ltd a civil and electrical engineering company working across the UK on major infrastructure projects and Peter James Homes a property developer of unique high-quality designer homes across the East Midlands.

As a team, they wanted to accomplish something worthwhile together during the current Coronavirus outbreak that helped keep them unified and active, encouraged the communities they operate in to maintain positive fitness practices under potentially sedentary circumstances and to support our NHS Staff, Volunteers and patients impacted by Covid-19 across the country.

They have set themselves the challenge of ‘virtually’ covering the distance from the Head Office in Nottingham to Madrid, Spain and back home again. The distance is 2,324 miles and they will record individual activities such as running, walking, rowing and cycling within their daily exercise allowance (and within lockdown and social distancing guidelines), in order to take them to that magic number as a company.

All funds will be donated directly to NHS Charities Together in order to support the NHS above and beyond normal NHS funding. This additional financial support goes towards equipment, support mental health recovery, provide tablets for isolated patients to enable communication with loved ones and much more.

Find out more about their challenge and support their efforts here!

New Board Appointments

   

Following a rigorous application, interview and election process, the School is pleased to welcome two new members to our Board.

  • Dan Evans, Chief Operations Officer – Speedy Services
  • Aaron Reid, Head of Sustainable Procurement – Balfour Beatty Plc

The School Board provides governance through nine elected Partner representatives with Shaun McCarthy OBE as the independent chair. The Board is responsible for the fiscal governance and strategic direction of the School. When required, the board will consult expert advisers on matters such as training, media and communications and legal services.

Dan and Aaron will attend their first Board Meeting in May 2020 and we look forward to working with them.

To learn more about the School Board, and its other elected members from across the industry; click here.

Slavery, Inclusion and Community Are Top 3 Supply Chain Issues 2019

Supply Chain Sustainability School Survey Shows Areas of Improvement for Built Environment

 

Click on the infographics to see the full-sized images

Modern Slavery, as well as Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR), plus Community Engagement have emerged as standout areas of achievement and improvement for construction and infrastructure over the last year — according to the annual industry-wide survey of built-environment contracting organisations and supply-chain companies, undertaken by the Supply Chain Sustainability School.

The findings of the second Impact Survey reveal that the leadership, learning and support provided by the School is clearly and consistently credited with having a significant positive influence.

In the survey, nearly 9 out of every 10 companies achieving improved understanding of both Modern Slavery (86%) and Fairness, Inclusion & Respect (FIR) (87%) state that the School has helped them achieve these results. In addition, the proportion that attributed their increased levels of Community Engagement to assistance received from the School also rose year-on-year some 15% to 72%, in total.

Impact Survey 2019 Full Report

SCSS – Impact Survey Press Release 2019

Becoming the UK’s leading national sustainable housebuilder

Barratt Developments, the UK’s largest housebuilder, has announced its sustainability performance figures in its new annual report.

The figures show that Barratt is fast becoming the leading national sustainable housebuilder and is making strong progress on the ambitious targets that it set back in 2015.

These targets form part of Barratt’s sustainability strategy covering health and safety, skills, placemaking, responsible sourcing, innovation, and diversity and inclusion. Responding to the ongoing skills crisis, Barratt has also had success in bringing new trainees into the industry this year by recruiting 204 graduates, apprentices and trainees.

Operational carbon emissions relative to build area have fallen by 21% since 2015, meaning it has hit its target some seven years early.

Overall, the group’s carbon emissions have reduced this year from 2.17 tonnes per 1,000 sq ft to 1.87 tonnes of CO2e[1].

The fall in carbon emissions stems from 20% reductions in both electricity and gas use across the group, through energy reduction programmes such as more efficient site cabins and new lighting in sales offices and in its furniture factory. The fall in carbon emissions is not all down to Barratt however, as the greening of the UK’s electricity grid has also had a positive effect. Following the success in this area Barratt will now look to set a target for UK carbon reductions going forward.

A particular focus over the last two years has been to reduce construction waste. Since 2015 Barratt has reduced the amount of construction waste relative to build area by 15%, a stand-out achievement from the UK’s largest housebuilder. One of the most successful waste reduction initiatives has been working with British Gypsum to optimise the size of plasterboard used. This is estimated to have saved 621 tonnes of a type of waste that is particularly difficult to dispose of, plus reducing the amount of energy and raw materials required to manufacture plasterboard in the first place.

Barratt has also been working with its subcontractors and the Supply Chain Sustainability School to improve its environmental performance by supporting 8 regional sub-contractor breakfast events.  The group’s construction materials suppliers have begun to remove unnecessary packaging and plastics, including plastic packaging on timber trusses and around kitchen doors.
Building on many years of waste segregation on site, Barratt has worked with subcontractors and suppliers to recycle things like 15,000 paint tins and 250,000 wooden pallets. As a result 97% of all construction waste is now being diverted from landfill, a rise of 2% from last year.

The group has also updated several of its policies, including climate and sustainability, by aligning them with the group’s issues that matter most, meaning that supply chain impacts and commitments to a low carbon future are prioritised. Building on key achievements around biodiversity and nature through its partnership with the RSPB, Barratt has updated its ecology and biodiversity policy to reinforce best practice by avoiding harm, and improving habitats through planting guidelines set out in its ‘Growing with Nature’ guide.

David Thomas, chief executive at Barratt Developments, said: “We strive to be the leading national sustainable housebuilder which is why we set ourselves such demanding targets. The group’s sustainability targets are not a distraction or barrier to strong financial performance. Instead, they are integral to our business success, both in the short and long term.”