Builders combine to buy greener and curb waste

14 February 2008
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14 February 2008 | Jake Kanter

Construction suppliers have joined forces to set up a green procurement group.

The group of suppliers and manufacturers, which includes Jewson, Lafarge, Rockwool and the Waste Resource Action Programme, plans to tackle environmental issues in the construction supply chain.

Top of its agenda is the amount of packaging and waste materials in the industry. Over the next five years the group hopes to reduce packaging used in the supply chain by 20 per cent and make the rest recyclable.

Environmental impact is a "significant issue" for construction and there is "huge debate surrounding waste on building sites", said Steve Millward, sustainability and quality director at materials supplier Jewson, who is overseeing the project.

He told SM: "In order for construction to be truly sustainable, it needs to be the product of sustainable procurement at every stage of the process. Procurement must consider other factors and the environment should be on every buyer's agenda."

He called for "real action" in the battle to make supply chains sustainable and believes simple acts can bring about enormous change. He said this must be achieved through collaboration.

"Improving communications across the supply chain is a key to success and the formation of the green procurement group will help to facilitate this.

"We want organisations working together to reduce the waste burden and believe small steps can make a big difference. The incentives are there too - the environmental option is often the cheaper one."

After it has tackled waste, the group will consider how to cut diesel emissions in the supply chain, beginning in 2012.

SMfeb2008

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