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Impact Report 2022: Supply Chain Sustainability School Continues to Positively Impact a Sustainable UK Built Environment

Published 27th Apr 22 - by Gemma Laws

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.