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Prupim demands sustainable supply chain

Contractors hoping to work on projects for Prudential’s development and investment arm Prupim will have to prove they themselves have a rigorous sustainability agenda.

Contractors hoping to work on projects for Prudential’s development and investment arm Prupim will have to prove they themselves have a rigorous sustainability agenda.

The firm is looking to roll out pioneering new regulations to the supply chain for the development arm after it began piloting them on its investment supply chain 12 months ago.

It is believed it is the first time a major client is demanding its suppliers meet such stringent targets.

These already must be met by suppliers for the company’s assets division - such as security and cleaning firms - and include having a recognised environmental management system (EMS) in place and enforcing an internal sustainability policy.

Contractors must also achieve a sustainability performance score of at least 100 out of 350 on a strict set of criteria chosen by Prupim and property advisor firm DTZ.

Prupim sustainability director Paul Cornes said: “At the moment we haven’t yet rolled that out to our development supply chain but it is something we are looking at for the near future.

“We wanted to pilot it and make sure we had it right first. But I think it is very important and we want to make sure we are working with the best in the industry on this front.”

The move follows the development of Prupim’s new sustainability framework for projects worth more than £2 million, which was established to encourage informed debate among design and construction teams.

The framework - which is currently being trialled on two projects, including a business park scheme at Reading - sees contractors engaged from the design stage of the projects and all teams involved attending staged workshops to discuss potential sustainability issues.

Mr Cornes said: “It is early days but we are very pleased with the way it is going so far.

“And once we can see that the system works, it is likely we will look to reduce the threshold to include all projects we undertake in future.”

The company released a sustainability statement this week on its two-year targets it set in early 2006.
One benefit, Mr Cornes said, was a reduction in CO2 emissions from its development and investment activities by 14 per cent compared with its 2006 baseline.

He said: “We have succeeded in achieving our 2012 emissions reduction target four years ahead of schedule.”

It also reported no significant pollution incidents and fines or penalties from the Environment Agency.

Supply targets

• All preferred suppliers must achieve a sustainability performance score of at least 100 on an internal scale

• At least 75 per cent of preferred suppliers must have a recognised EMS in place

• At least 75 per cent of preferred suppliers must have a sustainability policy in place

Analysis: Collaboration on sustainability is key

By Jeremy Sumeray

Prupim’s announcement is very timely and should be applauded.

Client leadership is critical and only last week in Construction News, Graham Watts, chief executive of the Construction Industry Council, set out a well-argued case that it is not just up to the industry to wait for Government to tell it how to act.

Sustainability is an opportunity to cut waste and reduce energy demand. Prupim is sending a strong message that the economic downturn is not the time to ditch sustainability but a time to improve quality and plan for the medium to longer term.

This has to be done in collaboration with the supply chain and not be seen as heavy handed. New commercial opportunities will emerge for supply chain players who take early action and commit to the sustainability agenda.

However, a note of caution. Companies are bombarded with a plethora of different sustainability measurement and reporting initiatives and frameworks. It is vital that we have a common approach to the data we use throughout the supply chain. This is something the UK-GBC is working on, with a new report out next month.

Jeremy Sumeray is the director of strategy for the UK Green Building Council