Construction firms launch sustainability school for suppliers

21 June 2012

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21 June 2012 | Adam Leach

Construction companies including Skanska, Morgan Sindall and Sir Robert McAlpine have launched a training initiative to help their suppliers operate more sustainably.

The Supply Chain Sustainability School, launched yesterday, will provide free training and supporting literature to help suppliers, particularly SMEs, tackle topics such as carbon emissions and water usage. The school, founded by Skanska with financial backing from CITB-Construction Skills, will also hold a series of practical workshops across the country for suppliers to attend.

Speaking at the launch event, Andrew MacAskill, supply chain director at Skanska, explained to meet customer demand for sustainability, the sector needed to work together with the supply chain. “This requires a highly capable supply chain that’s free, ethical and safe and can deliver what customers need on time, to the right quality and at the right price. It’s about providing some tools and assistance to help our supply chain deliver against those very tough objectives,” he said.

The school, which will provide virtual learning, advice and self-assessment forms, will also look to harness collaborative working through groups and pages on social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

Shaun McCarthy, director of Action Sustainability, which will run the school, explained that the service is confidential, so suppliers can be honest about what they are doing or what they know. “If suppliers don’t tell us what they really know then we can’t help them,” he said.

Launching the initiative, Jonathon Porritt, environmental campaigner and a non-executive director at Willmott Dixon, described the project as “a coalition of the willing, operating at an extremely important level of influence within the UK economy, through one of the most critical supply chains”.

The project partners for the school are Skanska, Kier, Lend Lease, Morgan Sindall, Sir Robert McAlpine, Wilmott Dixon, and Aggregate Industries. The delivery partners are Responsible Solutions and Action Sustainability.

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