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The built environment industry can reduce the negative impacts of materials, whilst providing a competitive advantage for business.

Using sustainable materials to reduce impact

Our choice of materials can impact how much water, carbon and energy we use

Understanding the materials you supply or are supplied with, how they are sourced, and the environmental impact they may have, is key to understanding how you can address these issues and ensure a transparent and ethical supply chain.

The UK construction industry uses more than 400 million tonnes of materials every year, making it the nation’s largest consumer of natural resources. So it’s important to reduce the impact of materials used, and address issues including:

  • Assessing embodied impacts of materials
  • Lifecycle impact consideration
  • Exploring the advantages of recycled or secondary materials

In addition to environmental considerations, there is now a greater emphasis on organisations to embed ethical practice within their supply chain dealings. And through the introduction of legislation such as the Modern Slavery Act, investors, clients and contractors are including responsible sourcing criteria on their tender documents.

What is responsible sourcing?

Responsible sourcing is demonstrated through an ethos of supply chain management and product stewardship, which encompasses social, economic and environmental dimensions. It also addresses aspects such as, stakeholder engagement, labour practices and the management of supply chains serving materials sectors upstream of the manufacturer.

Responsible sourcing of construction products provides a holistic approach to managing a product from the point at which a material is mined or harvested (in its raw state) through manufacture and processing. It also monitors the use, re-use and recycling process, until its final disposal as waste with no further value.

Latest materials resources

Here are a selection of featured materials resources. To view more, please visit our full resource library.

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