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BPCF raises the bar

British precast concrete products industry raises the bar on standards, safety and sustainability

BRITISH Precast (The British Precast Concrete Federation) has launched an initiative to lead the industry to new heights of sustainability, safety and quality performance.

From May this year, BPCF will make it mandatory for all members of the UK concrete products trade body to sign up to the British Precast Charter scheme.

The scheme sets out a challenging set of performance targets aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions and waste from the £2 billion precast industry.

The British Precast Charter mark also proves precast companies are striving for the highest standards in health and safety and delivering on quality.

All firms must commit to the industry’s health and safety scheme, Concrete Targets 2015, which aims for a 50% reduction in lost-time injuries from 2010, ultimately leading to a zero-harm industry.

British Precast members will also be expected to achieve a set of internationally agreed quality and management standards and liaise with local communities where they manufacture.

‘We are the only construction products body operating such a scheme anywhere in the world,’ commented Martin Clarke, chief executive of the British Precast Concrete Federation.

‘A lot of other construction sectors have made claims about their environmental credentials, safety and sustainability. We are actually demonstrating that our industry is leading the way with a set of mandatory pledges and collective, measureable targets that are audited for all to see.’

Firms wishing to join British Precast will be given a 12-month period of grace to comply with the charter scheme. British Precast members have already collectively committed to 14 sustainability targets by 2012.

Efficient use of raw materials:

  • Reduce overall kWh/tonne of energy used in production by 10%.
  • 10% cut in CO2 emissions from production.
  • Cut waste to landfill by 10%.
  • Substitute 25% of cement used in production with alternatives.
  • Increase use of recycled or secondary aggregates to 25% of total.
  • Reduce mains water consumption by 5%.
  • Reduce ground water consumption by 5%.

Improved management systems:

  • 10% reduction each year in reportable injuries per 100,000 direct employees.
  • Ensure 85% of production sites meet an EMS, such as ISO 14001.
  • At least 85% of production sites to achieve ISO 9001 or equivalent.
  • Reduce to zero convictions for air and water emissions.
  • Improve the capture of transport data.
  • Raise to 85% the number of employees covered by a certified management system (eg ISO 9001/ISO 14001/OHSAS 18001).
  • All relevant production sites must liaise with the local community.

‘We are working now with other members of the Sustainable Concrete Forum on our strategy and targets for 2020. Best practice is good business and the improvement agenda is the key for the future success of this industry and our members,’ said Mr Clarke.

Shamir Ghumra, head of sustainability with Aggregate Industries, added: ‘Raising the Bar seeks to build upon years of sustainability leadership shown by British Precast which, with the support of members, has been incorporated into standard business practice for the betterment of the sector and customers alike.’

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