Balfour Beatty boosts responsible buying with e-learning tool

12 April 2012

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12 April 2012 | Anna Scott

Balfour Beatty is rolling out an e-learning course for key procurement personnel to ensure they buy responsibly, as part of its goal to achieve sustainable procurement by 2015.

The construction and engineering company published the plans in its Sustainability Report, which also revealed that more than 17,000 employees have already completed a sustainability course.

A Sustainable Procurement Group set up by the company has also trained over 100 procurement professionals across its UK operating companies in responsible procurement and set minimum standards against the government’s flexible framework, a self-assessment mechanism that allows organisations to measure their progress on sustainable procurement over time.

The training and wider 2015 targets are part of Balfour Beatty’s ‘roadmap’ to become sector leader in sustainability by 2020. The roadmap includes quantitative targets and process-based measures. “The new 2015 targets in our roadmap will extend responsible procurement further down the supply chain,” the report stated.

Last year, more than a third (34 per cent) of Balfour Beatty’s spend on major materials in the UK was from responsible sourcing, the report revealed.

Of 3,500 key suppliers identified by the organisation’s operating companies in 2011, 29 per cent had been assessed to be in compliance with their sustainability requirements.

The company has introduced solar-powered traffic and consignment stocks to reduce deliveries and carbon footprints have been brought in. Rainwater harvesting has also been established at all its depots, reducing mains water usage by 70 per cent. Furthermore, an efficient commercial fleet has been brought in, which has delivered a 13g/km CO2 reduction and has automated route planning to further reduce transport-related emissions.

“Balfour Beatty’s reputation is very much defined by the performance of our supply chain,” the report states. “The involvement of our supply chain partners in our end-to-end process for delivering world class infrastructure is therefore vital.”

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