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Plant Group

Ensuring your plant and fleet are efficient and effective.

Best practice sustainable procurement within the plant category

The Plant category 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. The Minimum Standards (version 1) were released in 2019 and were updated in November 2021 (version 2) to reflect changes in availability and types of technology. Whilst version 2 supersedes version 1, the original document still provides useful information.

Download Plant Charter


Download Plant Category Group Minimum Standards Version 2.1


Download Plant Category Group Minimum Standards Version 1.0


With increasing scrutiny from clients and the government on the negative effect engines have on the air quality of our towns and cities, and with policy and penalties pushing organisations to address the issues through fleet and plant, the industry needs to look closely at how it operates plant, what it invests in, and how plant is disposed.

As a result of these challenges, Partners are collaborating to identify and provide the supply chain with information and guidance on plant standards and management.

The definition of “plant” for this group is “plant used in the construction and/or maintenance of an asset and consumes some form of power/energy”.

Partners have worked to produce numerous resources to provide landscape and potential solutions for the supply and demand of plant and plant operators, for use by clients, major contractors and the supply chain. These include a minimum standards document that discusses the minimum engine emissions standards we should be adhering to to reduce the worst effects on air quality and the climate – where we can go better and cleaner, we should.

The Group has also developed a Commitment Charter for relevant parties to sign up to to demonstrate their intention to actively work towards cleaner air, for the benefit of our workers and neighbours

Have you seen the Plant Charter?

Recommended learning

Air Quality for Plant & Equipment


This module will give you an introduction to the sustainability issues associated with air quality for plant and equipment and non-road mobile machinery.

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Identifying the challenge

The outputs of the plant group are wide-ranging:

  • Materiality assessments for each category of plant to identify and prioritise key sustainability impacts associated with plant
  • Minimum standards for the purchase and hire of each category of plant
  • Training materials to support organisations, including e-learning modules and CPD-accredited workshops

Alongside an overview report of the current and future landscape for sustainable plant options, the School plant resources focus on providing clients, contractors and the supply chain with information and assistance to deliver the most sustainable plant option for future operations.

Plant Case Studies

We've gathered examples of best practice that illustrate how the sector is actively reducing the air quality and greenhouse gas emissions of the plant equipment they hire or rent and then use on site. Have a look to learn about the variety of options available now to the sector.

Air Quality
Air Quality
Energy and Carbon

The Emissions Compliance Verification Scheme

The Emissions Compliance Verification Scheme, provided by CESAR, gives users of non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) a clear and easy way of identifying the engine emissions levels of their equipment. Using a colour-coded, visible sticker, applied to the machine at point of manufacture, the user can quickly see what emission Stage their machinery is, which helps with site and project compliance with air quality demands.

The Emissions Compliance Verification Scheme

Key plant resources

A selection of resources tailored to procurement of sustainable plant.

Air Quality
Air Quality

Useful Directories

These have been created for you by the Supply Chain Sustainability School Plant Group
Plant Sustainability Training Schemes
Explore the range of sustainability training schemes that are available for plant operatives and site managers across the UK
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UK Clean Air Zones and Low Emission Zones Map
Use the map to find locations and relevant information for clean air zones and low emission zones around the UK.
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Topics to consider when sourcing sustainable plant

These topics can have a serious impact on the sourcing of sustainable plant.

Air Quality

The quality of the air we all breathe often gets…

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Energy and Carbon

Climate change is the biggest issue of our times and…

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Sustainability Strategy

Sustainable development requires a holistic consideration of environmental, social and…

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Plant Group meeting notes

Keep up to date with what the Plant Group is doing and read the meeting notes.

Learn more about becoming a Partner

Our Partners set the strategic direction of the School and identify key issues to address, new training to develop, supplier day and workshop content, and, just as importantly, ensure the good governance of the School.

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    Our Partners

    The Plant and Equipment Group is a collaboration between clients, contractors and plant hire companies and suppliers – aiming to improve air quality standards across the industry and look to engage and inform the supply chain on their role to play in moving to low-emission CPE.