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FM procures and uses a vast amount and range of "products" and "produce" on behalf of our clients, ranging from ingredients for meals, cleaning products, office paper and stationery, through to construction and M&E products and components.
As an industry, FM we need to address this issue of embodied impacts in materials, consider life-cycle impacts, and explore the advantages of using materials with recycled or secondary content.
Many clients and contractors include responsible sourcing criteria in their tender documents and consequently there are a growing number of certified responsible sourcing schemes, from FSC
for timber and timber derived products, through to Marine Stewardship Council
for fish or to Red Tractor
for farmed produced.
Responsible sourcing provides a holistic approach to managing a product from the point at which a material is mined or harvested in its raw state, through manufacture and processing, use, re-use and recycling, until its final disposal.
Responsible sourcing encompasses social and economic dimensions. It also addresses vital ethical aspects such as stakeholder engagement, labour practices and the management of supply chains serving materials sectors upstream of the manufacturer.
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