Selecting Data For Sustainable Procurement In Construction

Selecting Data For Sustainable Procurement In Construction

August 30, 2022
Data, Procurement, Sustainable Procurement

It is estimated that around 40-50% of natural resources are transformed into construction material, and that as much as 30% of all building materials delivered to a construction site end up in waste. To minimise this, it is important to ensure that the procurement process allows for careful and detailed planning of resource use during the project. In order to promote this, and encourage the use of sustainable materials, the following data should be captured during the project:

Total material use

The estimated material use during a project should be recorded. This data will include the type, quantity, and quality of the materials. Although the sustainability impact of material use will depend on the type and quality of the materials, capturing the quantity is essential, as projects with lower material use usually have a lower environmental impact. However, it is also important to take into account what % of this material is, as described below, reused or more sustainable.

Reutilisation of available materials

The quantity of materials available on-site that are reused during the project should be recorded. This is particularly relevant in refurbishment projects, where a pre-procurement evaluation of the quantity and type of available materials should be conducted. Generally, the more materials are reused, the lower the environmental impact of the project will be.

Use of sustainable materials

The quantity of more sustainable material use should be captured. Sustainable materials can include, for example, materials that comply with the standards of any existing accreditations (i.e. if they are Type 1 accredited ecolabelled materials). A higher use of these materials will usually lower the environmental impact of the project.

In a tender process, you can establish the use of materials with certain sustainability standards essential criteria.

Another option is to include these variables as part of award criteria, granting the highest score to those projects which, measured in kilograms (or tonnes) use the least amount of materials, reuse the highest amount of available materials, or use the highest amount of sustainable materials.

Vehicle and transport use

It is estimated that construction projects account for the largest share of both global final energy use (36%) and energy-related CO2 emissions (39%). Although not all of these emissions derive from vehicle use, it is also important to monitor and capture the following:

Vehicle use

The total vehicle use can be captured during the project. This data will normally include the number of vehicles used during the project, and the hours of use for each vehicle. Less hours of vehicle use will normally result in a lower environmental impact. However, this will also depend, as explained below, on the vehicles’ emission standards.

While vehicle load is a critical factor but also consider the whole supply chain, there’s not much value in seeking to reduce journeys for steel braces that were shipped from China if a European alternative exists.

Vehicle emission standards

The emission standards of the vehicles used during the project should be captured. The European Emission Standards can help as guidance. Despite being European, these standards have been used by UNEP to evaluate vehicle emissions in LAC and Africa, and West Africa has used these standards to develop their new vehicle emissions regulation.

The following emission standards are those established by Euro 3, the most widely used in LAC and Africa:

  • Petrol: CO: 2.3G/km; THC:0.20g/km; NOx: 0.15 g/km/
  • Diesel: CO: 0.66g/km; HC + NOx: 0.56g/km; NOx: 0.50g/km; PM: 0.05g/km.

Transport use

Transport use can be captured in kilometers, and can include, for example, the kilometres that workers have to do in order to get to the construction site. However, the transport use that can have the biggest environmental impact during a construction project is the one related to material delivery. This includes the number of material deliveries to the site, and the associated kilometres per mode of transport used.

Grouping shipments, sourcing local materials, and using more sustainable modes of transport will help to minimise the impact of transport use.

In a tender process, complying with Euro 3 emission standards can be set as a technical specification for all vehicles involved in the project. To encourage improvement, using vehicles that comply with Euro 4, or 5, can be set as award criteria.

Generated waste

Construction projects, especially those in the construction, refurbishment, and deconstruction stages, involve the generation of great quantities of waste. To minimise and monitor waste generation, the following data can be captured:

Waste generated

The quantity of waste generated during a construction project should be captured. This can be collected in terms of volume (m3) or weight (kilograms or tonnes). Information regarding waste should also include the type of waste generated (especially regarding hazardous waste).

Lowering the amount of waste generated during a project will also lower the environmental impact of the project. However, in terms of sustainability, it is also important to capture data that shows what % of the generated waste is diverted from landfill.

Waste diverted from landfill

Minimising waste generation will help to lower the environmental impact of the construction project. However, diverting the generated waste from landfill will also help towards minimising this impact. This data should also be captured, and it will include the volume (m3), or weight (kilograms and tonnes), of waste that is reused, or recycled.

In a tender process, one of the technical specifications set as essential criteria for bidders can be to divert a specific % of generated waste from landfill. For further specification, a target % of recycled, or reused, waste can also be set.

Supplier details

In order to monitor the economic and social impact of a construction project, data can be collected regarding:

SMEs, local, and women-led companies

Data should be recorded regarding the companies that are involved in the supply chain, especially the number of SMEs, local, and women-led companies.

Employee data

Data regarding the employees that will be involved during the project can be collected, including the employee data from the suppliers, and subcontractors. This data can include the number of employees contracted as part of the project, as well as the number of hours of work per employee.

In a tender process, the selection of local companies, SMEs, or women-owned companies can be favoured if there are certain targets that underpin this decision.

Resources

Including construction sustainability criteria in tender documents:

IHOBE provides examples of how to introduce sustainability criteria regarding construction materials on a tender document, as well as how data should be required of the bidders.

Feel free to get in touch, if you’d like to talk to us about our procurement data, our API or broader research capabilities.

As you read this article, you may be interested in Why is Sustainable Procurement Important In The Construction Industry

September 29, 2022

£900k Government Fund To Help Charities Win Public Contracts.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is running a Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Contract Readiness Fund grant...
September 27, 2022

New EU Procurement Instrument Now Law.

About a year ago, we wrote an article on the new procurement instrument approved by the European Union. In recent weeks this...
September 20, 2022

Blacklisting Gets Tested.

Back in June we wrote about blacklisting of suppliers and the Government’s intention to prevent poorly performing suppliers from bidding for government...
September 8, 2022

UK Risks Its Place On Anti-Corruption Body

The UK has been placed ‘under review’ by the 77-country-strong Open Government Partnership (OGP) due to its failure to meet mandatory criteria...
September 8, 2022

Thurrock Exposes Transparency Blind Spot

An investigation by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) into investments by Thurrock Borough Council has led to the resignation of the...
September 6, 2022

New Zealand Government Reviewing Procurement System.

It’s always encouraging when we see governments around the world looking to improve their procurement transparency and efficiency. The New Zealand Government...
September 1, 2022

Collecting Data For Sustainable Procurement In Construction

Over the last few weeks we have been looking at setting a sustainable procurement framework in the construction industry, and what kind...
August 25, 2022

Setting A Sustainable Procurement Framework For Construction

When procuring construction projects, it can be useful to underpin sustainability criteria on existing policy and regulation. When assessing the enabling framework,...
August 18, 2022

Big Net Zero Contract Win For Small Cornish Business

A small Cornish company has purportedly won a £70bn contract to help deliver the country's transition to Net Zero. The Penzance based...
August 16, 2022

Supporting Sustainable Procurement In ICT

One of the key challenges of sustainably procuring ICT lies in the lack of transparency in supply chains. To overcome this challenge,...
August 11, 2022

Why Is Sustainable Procurement Important For The ICT Sector?

The extraction of raw materials, manufacturing, transportation, use, and disposal of ICT products is associated with a number of environmental, social, and...
August 10, 2022

Shifts Towards Sustainable Sourcing

A while ago,  we shared an article on findings by the Boston Consulting Group and the World Economic Forum that showed procurement is responsible...
August 9, 2022

Supporting Sustainable Procurement In The Construction Industry

Construction projects are usually long and complex, involving the participation of different stakeholders throughout the different project stages. There are certain factors...
August 4, 2022

Why Is Open SPP Important In The Construction Sector?

The construction industry is estimated to account for 6% of global GDP, with Africa's construction market valued at around USD 5.4 billion...
August 2, 2022

US Advances Equity And Economic Opportunity Through Procurement.

With the implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Biden-Harris Administration set an objective to ensure federal investments built wealth and opportunity...

Newsletter

Compelling research, insights and data directly into your inbox.

Recent media stories

The Times
May 30, 2022
CIPFA
August 3, 2021

Search

Scroll to Top