sustainability PV array at Southampton Science Park

Influencing sustainability throughout the supply chain

15th August 2023   |   Jamie Barrett   |   Reading Time: 3 minutes

As the construction sector collectively works towards the goals of Construction 2025, the joint strategy from government and industry aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment by 50%, there is an increasing impetus to improve sustainability across all levels of construction.

Sustainability is a collaborative objective; whilst being sustainable within your own company has indisputable benefits, the combined purchasing power of such a huge industry means that the potential for sustainability extends far beyond individual businesses.

By having direct control and influence over subcontractors through a construction management approach to procurement, sustainability can be influenced and improved upon throughout the whole supply chain.

Construction management and sustainability

A sustainable supply chain in construction means that the subcontractors chosen to work on the project have sustainable practices and that the materials selected for the build are as environmentally responsible as possible.

For a construction project to influence factors such as sustainability throughout its supply chains, the management of the project needs to be set up to enable flexibility and control over the suppliers being used.

Construction management is a flexible form of procurement whereby every aspect of the project is subcontracted to the most qualified supplier, giving the client more direct control and influence over the subcontractors used.

A construction manager is appointed to procure, manage, and administer multiple trade contracts on behalf of the client. Because the subcontractors are appointed separately, the construction manager can ensure that the best-suited specialist contractors are selected specifically for each part of the project. Construction management can also ensure that those contractors meet certain requirements such as quality and sustainability.

A construction management approach often means that the client, construction manager, and subcontractors have closer collaboration so can share vision and values for the project.

Procuring sustainable subcontractors

With the construction management model, sustainability can be implemented from the initial procurement phase, stipulating sustainable requirements and credentials for contractors working on the construction project.

Factors to consider when procuring sustainable subcontractors include:

  • Locality of the subcontractor to the construction site to minimise fuel consumption and transport emissions.
  • Each subcontractor’s own sustainability credentials, practices, and policies.
  • Subcontractors’ environmental certifications such as ISO 14001.
  • Transparency of suppliers’ environmental impact.
  • Experience and knowledge of sustainable construction practices and materials.
  • Commitment to the circular economy and demonstration of reducing, reusing, and recycling materials.
  • Ethical working practices, such as fair wages and safe working conditions.
  • Monitoring measures to track sustainability throughout the project and identify areas for improvement.

Procuring sustainable materials

Along with sourcing services for a construction project, the procurement of materials in the supply chain can have a significant impact on the sustainability of the project.  

A construction management approach to procurement enables more control over design and therefore the materials used.

Factors to consider when procuring sustainable materials include:

  • Incorporating sustainability from the design stage including renewable energy and sustainable materials.
  • Designing and building using materials that are durable to maximise the lifespan of buildings.
  • Identifying and procuring materials with a low carbon footprint such as recycled and natural materials.
  • Using locally sourced materials to minimise transport emissions and support local businesses.
  • Collaborating with materials suppliers who have sustainable practices.
  • Reducing, reusing, and recycling materials wherever possible.
  • Minimising waste.
  • Ensuring materials come from ethical sources.
  • Checking the sustainability of the packaging used for materials.

How Evolution5 can help you

At Evolution5, we believe that everyone we work with must contribute to making construction a responsible and sustainable industry.

By choosing Evolution5 and construction management procurement, you will benefit from our broad knowledge, experience, and expertise gained from both contracting and consulting to expertly integrate with your professional team and take the lead in procuring and managing your supply chain.

We can appoint your project with a dedicated construction manager from our technically qualified, skilled, and highly experienced team with extensive, hands-on experience in construction. Our clients benefit from a breadth of knowledge and first-hand experience in construction management and procuring and managing trade contractors.

Evolution5 is a professional consultancy offering project management, construction management, employer’s agent, and contract administration services for projects across London and the South East.

If you have a construction project and would like to explore how the team can help you, click the button below or call 023 8040 5073.