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New publication provides sustainability guidance for procurement professionals

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Procurement and sustainability will increasingly go hand in hand as the already high focus on climate change intensifies, with parties all along the supply chain looking to their suppliers as well as their own operations for carbon reducing ideas. Hard questions are going to be asked of everyone, and the most scrutinised answers will be those concerning proof of sustainability credentials.

Talking the talk is the easy bit, taking action is the hard part, and harder still could be proving that the correct strategies to achieve net zero carbon are being followed and delivered on. This won’t be hard though for the steel construction part of supply chains, as a new publication from the BCSA and Steel for Life spells out (see News).

The steel construction sector has always been able to point to strong sustainability credentials, so was well prepared for the more recent heightened stress on combatting climate change. The new publication, Steel Construction – Sustainable Procurement, should give procurement professionals even greater confidence that specifying constructional steelwork from BCSA member companies will deliver as promised on sustainability claims.

The new publication is just one of a series of recent initiatives. Last month we wrote that the Steel for Life interactive Blue Book upgrade for S460 had just gone live – a key enabler for leaner designs using less steel to lower carbon This is design efficiency in action, one of the key ways to reduce carbon mentioned in the steel sector’s Roadmap to Net Zero Carbon. The use of high strength steel is also mentioned in the recently published NSSS Annex J Sustainability specification. The new publication highlights this wide range of initiatives that are underway as the steel sector continues its long-standing drive of continuous improvement.

It shows how BCSA is playing a collaborative role with other supply chain members through involvement in wider industry initiatives such as BES 6001, SteelZero from ResponsibleSteel, and CO2nstructZero. Some examples of what BCSA member companies are doing to measure and minimise their own carbon footprints are included and the publication concludes with a clear set of nine recommendations to ensure sustainable procurement.

These include using the NSSS and following the sustainability guidance in Annex J; selecting steelwork contractors that meet the requirements of the Register of Qualified Steelwork Contractors; and selecting companies with certified environmental management systems and certified responsible sourcing policies.

Procurement professionals reading the publication will learn why choosing steel as a modern method of construction delivers significant sustainability benefits to projects, and why using a BCSA member steelwork contractor in particular is advised. The newly enhanced BCSA Sustainability Charter which provides annual and independent audits of the sustainability practices of BCSA members provides comfort to procurement professionals that their steelwork contractor is doing more than just talking the talk, but is delivering solid sustainability benefits as promised. This new publication spells out why.

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