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How To Align Construction Procurement With Sustainability Goals

The pressure is on for the construction industry to demonstrate its commitment to reducing carbon emissions and operating more sustainably. With up to 90% of a company’s carbon emissions coming from its supply chain, construction companies need to adjust their procurement practices if they are going to improve their carbon footprint.

Aligning construction procurement with sustainability goals requires a strategic and integrated approach that incorporates environmental, social, and economic considerations throughout the procurement process. Here are some key steps to achieve sustainability in construction procurement.

Utilise a local supply chain

Perhaps one of the most significant things the construction industry can do to align its procurement with sustainability initiatives is to use a local supply chain. Shortening the distance between suppliers and construction sites can significantly reduce transportation-related emissions. Locally sourced materials and products require less fuel and transportation infrastructure, leading to a smaller carbon footprint.

Local supply chains often involve smaller-scale operations and more direct communication, which can lead to better coordination and reduce energy waste in the procurement process. This efficiency helps in conserving resources and reducing overall energy consumption.

The added benefits of utilising a local supply chain include a boost to the local economy and faster response and delivery times.

Assess the environmental impact of products & materials

Sustainable construction materials and products are those that have a reduced negative impact on the environment throughout their lifecycle, from extraction or production to disposal or recycling. They are chosen for their environmental, social, and economic benefits.

When selecting sustainable construction materials and products, it’s essential to consider factors such as resource efficiency, recycled content, embodied carbon, water usage and relevant certifications to ensure they align with sustainability goals and contribute to a greener, more environmentally responsible built environment.

Some examples of things to look out for include:

  • Recycled materials
  • Renewable materials
  • Low-emission concrete
  • Energy-efficient insulation and windows
  • Sustainable wood products
  • Water-efficient fixtures
  • Permeable paving

Procure only what you need

Extra emphasis should be placed on only procuring what is needed to reduce waste and costs. Procurement teams should work closely with other departments to ensure a complete view of what is already available and where. Preventing unnecessary deliveries also reduces transport-related carbon emissions.

Adopt digital solutions

There are many benefits associated with adopting a digital procurement solution. Technology could be used to support local supply chains, choose environmentally-friendly supplies, and ensure that only what is needed is purchased.

Digital solutions also negate the need for paper-based systems, further improving the impact construction procurement has on the environment.

Define sustainability objectives & incorporate sustainability criteria

Clearly articulate what your organisation’s sustainability goals and objectives are. These may include reducing carbon emissions, promoting circular economy practices, using renewable materials, and supporting local communities.

You can then integrate sustainability criteria into the procurement process. Develop evaluation frameworks that consider environmental impact, social responsibility, and ethical practices when selecting suppliers and contractors.

By integrating sustainability into construction procurement, companies can contribute to a more environmentally responsible and socially conscious built environment while also reaping long-term economic benefits through resource efficiency and enhanced reputation.

Sustainable construction procurement with The Build Chain

Our platform was created to tackle the problems faced by the construction industry. By bringing procurement activities together in one dashboard, we can help you align these with your sustainability obligations.  

The Build Chain makes it easy to choose suppliers local to your site, evaluate the businesses you procure from, and increase efficiency.

Book a demo today and receive a free 14-day trial to experience the benefits firsthand.

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