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Today, the Sustainability Tool, a software application designed to help organisations and their supply chains measure and monitor their sustainability performance, launched the 2022 employee diversity benchmarking survey.

The annual employee diversity benchmarking exercise is a collaborative effort to better understand and improve the diversity of the built environment industry. 


Between July and September 2022, organisations are invited to anonymously report their diversity data 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. 


Suppliers with over 250 employees will be automatically directed to complete a more detailed submission. Those with less than 250 employees can complete a ‘Lite’ version – encouraging smaller SME and Tier 2 business engagement. 


Respondents will gain free access to in-depth and interactive dashboards that they can use to benchmark their diversity data against their sector, industry and the ONS data set.  


Client and contractor organisations can also use the exercise to collect and benchmark diversity data from their supply chains. Partner organisations already doing this include Cadent, the Environment Agency, Morgan Sindall, National Highways, Network Rail, Transport for London and VolkerWessels. 


While the exercise is live, the Supply Chain Sustainability School will be running free online webinars to support organisations with completing the survey. 


At the end of the exercise, the results will be used to set aspirational targets for recruitment, retention and progression of under-represented groups that reflect the demographic of the UK population.  


Last year’s survey collected data from over 250,000 employees across 88 supply chains, making it the largest-ever UK data survey on employee diversity. 


Ian Heptonstall, Director of Supply Chain Sustainability School (and owner of the Sustainability Tool), said: “Last year’s survey was the largest and most comprehensive to date with over 250,000 people included. It provided us with important insights into ‘what good looks like’ and where we can take action to make improvements. I’m delighted therefore that this year we’ll be expanding to other sectors and organisations, after all the more information we have, the better our decision-making can be!” 


Organisations wishing to participate in the 2022 employee diversity benchmarking exercise can do so for free by registering on the diversity tool website.

On Tuesday 21st June, the Supply Chain Sustainability School held its 10 Year Anniversary Summit in Coventry Building Society Arena. Attended by hundreds of sustainability experts from across the built environment industry, the Summit provided a chance to celebrate the past decade of collaboration as well as look forward to future challenges and opportunities.

Summit attendees watch the Supply Chain Sustainability School 10th Anniversary film

The Summit kicked off with the premiere of the School’s 10th Anniversary film, featuring interviews with School board members as well as thought leaders from the built environment industry. This was then followed by a welcome message from Shaun McCarthy OBE, the School Chair

Throughout the day, attendees heard from the School’s Board Members as well as various industry thought leaders. This included Ruth Todd CBE (HS2), Mark Farmer (Cast Consultancy), Liz Holford (Network Rail) and Jonathon Porritt (sustainability campaigner and writer).

Liz Holford (Network Rail) addresses the audience on delivering our social value challenge.

Subject matter experts from Action Sustainability held interactive breakout sessions focused on three core themes: net zero carbon, social value and future challenges. The slide decks for these sessions can be found below. Attendees also had plenty of opportunities to network and socialise throughout the day.

James Cadman (Action Sustainability) delivers a breakout session on designing and procuring for low carbon.

In the evening, the event concluded with an awards ceremony (sponsored by Bouygues Energies & Services) followed by a drinks and networking session. These awards recognised individuals and organisations that have been highly engaged with the School over the past decade. See below for the full list of winners:

  1. Members Award: Janice Johnson (Briggs Amasco)
  2. Members Award: Paul Aldridge (WJ Group)
  3. Members Award: Nigel Ostime (Hawkins Brown)
  4. Supply Chain Collaboration Award: National Highways Regional Delivery Partnership
  5. Outstanding Personal Contribution: Graham Edgell (Morgan Sindall)
  6. Outstanding Personal Contribution: Wendy Carwardine (Action Sustainability)

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.

Anniversary 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.

Breakout Session Presentations

Click on the links below to view and save the presentation slide decks used during the different breakout room sessions from the Summit (view the programme to see which breakout rooms correspond with which breakout sessions):

21st June marks the 10th anniversary of Supply Chain Sustainability School, an industry-wide collaboration of major companies to enable a sustainable built environment through knowledge and collaboration.

The milestone marks a decade that has seen significant growth and acknowledges collaboration and innovation across the UK Built Environment Industry. The Supply Chain Sustainability School, which launched in June 2012 with only 7 founding Partners and 2000 members, today has near 180 Partners and engages with over 50,000 members from 17,000 businesses.

In April 2022, the School was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development in recognition of the significant environmental, social, and economic benefits it has delivered to its Members and Partners. In addition, the recently published 2022 Impact Report reflects how the School continues to positively impact organisations and supply chains, with 73% of School members reporting that the School has helped them to better understand their organisation’s sustainability impacts.

Reflecting on 10 years of progress, Shaun McCarthy OBE, Chair of Supply Chain Sustainability School said, “I take great pride in what we have accomplished over the last decade, and I want to thank all those who have accompanied us on our journey thus far – our longstanding Members and Partners, and our dedicated and talented employees. As we celebrate this important milestone, I am even more certain that we will reach our vision of an industry where everyone will have the skills and knowledge to deliver a sustainable future.”

Join the celebration! Sign up to become a FREE member of the School here, and follow Supply Chain Sustainability School on social media.

A series of videos, including milestones and interviews with thought leaders amongst the built environment industry, will be released throughout 2022 to recognise achievements, and anticipate the exciting road ahead.

The Supply Chain Sustainability School, a multi-award-winning initiative which represents a common approach to addressing sustainability within supply chains, has today released its Impact Report, which surveyed over one thousand of its members across the country to get their thoughts on what is important to their organisation and supply chain. The full report can be found here.

With the highest number of responses recorded since the survey began, this report also offers insights on how the School has continued to positively impact organisations and supply chains. This reinforces the School’s mission to be the world-class collaboration enabling a sustainable built environment.

Shaun McCarthy OBE, Chair of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, said: “We regularly receive over 1,000 responses to our impact survey. This provides us with real insight into the things we are doing well, but more importantly, the things we can improve or topics we need to focus more effort on. This helps us to keep the School relevant and engaging for our rapidly growing membership.”

With over fifty thousand registered users, the School provides free practical learning and support for the UK built environment through sustainability training, networking, e-learning modules, tailored assessments, and online resources.

Last week, the School was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development in recognition of the significant environmental, social and economic benefits it has delivered to its Members and Partners.

The past two years have been hugely challenging for the built environment industry due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, material and labour shortages, and steep rises in costs. At the same time, sustainability, and in particular Net Zero and Social Value, have risen to the top of the agenda, as illustrated by COP26 and changes in public procurement requirements.

Reflecting this, the Supply Chain Sustainability School’s engagement figures are up significantly, with 16,802 (+51%) individuals from 4,220 companies (+33%) actively learning through the School. This has driven a 55% 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 as good or excellent.

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 64% of members to improve their understanding of modern slavery, and 64% to increase their understanding of Fairness, Inclusion and Respect.

Furthermore, the extent to which our members say the School has helped them to reduce their sustainability impacts has increased by an average of 5% year on year. This includes reductions in carbon emissions (57% of members) and total waste (53%), as well as improvements in air quality (40%) and community impacts (44%).

Keith Chanter, CEO of EMCOR UK and Board Member of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, said: “Responsible businesses face ever more challenging issues, not least of which is how they show the impact that they are having on the environmental and social issues that they face. These challenges are fueled by the forces for change, that are stronger than ever, and are increasingly embedded in legislation, procurement contracting and in the social agendas that have been accelerated during the pandemic.  It is inspiring to see the significant impact the Supply Chain Sustainability School has had, and the recent Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development is further evidence of the significant contribution the School has made in driving forward sustainability in the built environment.”

The School is part-funded by CITB and industry Partners, with over 178 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.

Read the full impact report here.

An update from the School in regards to CITB Funding


The Covid 19 crisis is having a profound impact on economies around the world and the School is not immune from this. Some of our partners are facing hard times and on 13th May 2020 we were advised that all our CITB funded projects are to be suspended for an indefinite period. This combination of events has resulted in a 37% reduction in our revenue for 2020/21.

On 14th May 2020 the School Board has approved a plan to deal with this in a way that delivers all the School’s core services virtually and puts a hold on some of our projects until we can find alternative sources of funding or until the CITB funding returns.

We remain 100% committed to delivering our vision to be “the world class collaboration to enable a sustainable built environment”.

Please click here to see our formal update for our members.

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