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VIDEO: Subcontractors need to be green to win work

A new survey revealed 95 per cent of large construction firms will give preference to subcontractors who can prove their green credentials.

A new survey revealed 95 per cent of large construction firms will give preference to subcontractors who can prove their green credentials.

The research from, which provides guidance on environmental legislation, shows that during a time of oversupply, firms with a turnover in excess of £10 million will increasingly use a subcontractor’s environmental credentials as a key factor when deciding to award contracts.

The report highlighted that 87 per cent of large construction firms have more confidence in subcontractors with proven green credentials, with 76 per cent of them citing a reduced risk of prosecution. In addition, over half of respondents (56 per cent) think green policies will save subcontractors money.

Stuart Rowe, contracts executive at Ellmer Construction said: “It is essential for subcontractors to understand the value of having their own environmental policies rather than relying on the principal contractor. This gives them an added advantage in a competitive tender and saves them money.”

In response has developed an eight-point checklist to give subcontractors the best possible chance of winning business in a competitive tender. The checklist is available to download from

Richard Martin, programme manager at said: “The research results are very encouraging in demonstrating to smaller construction firms how they can win business during the downturn. The message is, if they want to differentiate themselves from the competition and be selected in a shrinking market, then they must take their environmental responsibilities seriously and be able to demonstrate the measures they are taking.”

The however the report showed that only 13 per cent of respondents felt that the firms themselves should be responsible for making environmental improvements in construction businesses. Most laid responsibility at the door of central government (30 per cent) or government organisations (19 per cent).

“Ultimately responsibility lies with the individuals in firms working on construction projects and they cannot pass the buck,“ said Mr Martin.

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