27 April 2007 | Rebecca Ellinor
Construction services group Skanska is implementing plans to improve its sustainable procurement credentials.
And Ian Luke, Skanska UK corporate procurement director, advised other construction companies to follow suit. Speaking at the third annual CIPS Construction Procurement Group conference in Birmingham this week, he said: "Sustainability is a buzzword - lots of people talk about it but how many people do anything? And of those that do, how many have joined-up thinking?"
He added while he didn't believe Skanska was doing anything that could be described as "supply chain innovations" - the topic for his keynote speech - it was at least attempting to join up its thinking.
He said the company has a head of sustainability and a code of conduct to underpin its work covering forced labour, equal opportunities, health and safety and environmental issues.
Luke claimed this kind of considered and coherent approach was essential because one-off projects quickly burn out: "If anything requires the fundamentals to be right it's something like sustainability. We look at everything we're doing and address it at the start of the process."
He said procurement's involvement at the design stage can have a real impact. He added the company ensures its timber comes from sustainable sources, uses recycled bricks and is exploring ways to reduce its use of plasterboard.