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A charter for sustainability

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Eight steelwork contractors have so far been successfully audited under the Steel Construction Sustainability Charter with a number of other companies currently going through the audit process.

Gillian Mitchell, BCSA Deputy Director General, said most steelwork contractors are taking advantage of the fact that they can complete the sustainability charter’s audit at the same time as their three-yearly audit under the Register of Qualified Steelwork Contractors Scheme, at no extra cost.

Construction clients are increasingly looking for sustainable forms of construction and for companies which operate in a “sustainable” manner. Steel is a more sustainable form of construction than concrete, because it is recyclable, fabricated offsite and safer to erect.

The sustainability charter was launched to establish a mechanism for clients, specifiers and designers to determine what a “sustainable steel construction company” is and how to identify such companies.

Companies signing up for the Charter are required to undergo a new sustainability audit and score a minimum of six points from a possible 12. Firms are then awarded Charter Status in three levels: Member for six, seven and eight points; Silver for nine, 10 or 11 points, and Gold for the maximum 12 points.

Those achieving charter status have to satisfy auditors on a range of requirements including having a published sustainability policy, monitoring of progress towards sustainability using specific management targets, having a programme of involvement with their local community on social issues and with the steel construction community generally, and having an accredited H&SMS to OHSAS 18001 or H&S management as an integral part of a QMS accredited to BS EN ISO 9001.

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