Greening the building supply chain report presented

5/14/2014 1:46 PM CET

The United Nations Environment Programme’s Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative (UNEP-SBCI) has presented its Greening the Building Supply Chain Report at its annual meeting and symposium in Quebec City. The report introduces an action framework supporting the development of a Sustainable Buildings and Construction programme under the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production. The report is the result of an initiative under the same name launched in October 2012 that is co-chaired by Skanska and UNEP-SBCI.

Background to the initiative and Skanska’s role as co-chair

It is widely recognised that the building and construction sector has an oversized environmental footprint, yet it faces the twin challenges of global development and increasing resource scarcity. Despite this, there remains a relative lack of understanding about the ways in which the building supply chain could better deliver green buildings, achieve greater resource efficiency beyond in-use energy and carbon, and contribute towards wider socio-economic goals. It is in this context that Skanska has co-chaired the Greening the Building Supply Chain initiative, established by UNEP-SBCI, to systematically assess opportunities for green interventions in the building supply chain as a whole.

The Report and the outcomes

The report presented today describes the prioritisation of green interventions for study by UNEP-SCBI and partners in future work programmes, and to support the development of a broader Sustainable Buildings and Construction programme under the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production. "The initiative has provided Skanska with early insight into long term work programmes relevant to a global green buildings agenda and will contribute in the proactive development of our framework for measurement and follow-up on green business, the Color Palette™, and our Journey to Deep Green™", says Noel Morrin, SVP Sustainability and Green Support.

The report also introduces an 'Intensity Analysis Methodology' and ‘heat map’ approach elaborated by researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and University of Kassel to examine the relative environmental impacts for 10 priority construction materials - Aluminium, Brick, Cement, Flat glass, Mineral wool, Plaster board, Polystyrene, Polyurethane, Steel (rebar and structural) and Timber (structural). The Report introduces the heat map as a tool for future dialogue on green interventions in the supply chains of the selected materials, and recommendations are given on how to develop more accurate heat maps.

"The Intensity Analysis Methodology and the heat map developed, offer a great tool to help us identify where to focus and define our future engagement with suppliers" says Jan Elfving, Head of Skanska’s procurement unit in its Nordic home markets, "We have approximately 50,000 suppliers in our Nordic home markets alone. With an increasing interest in collaborative improvement projects especially on green aspects, a tool that will allow for prioritization of engagement according to environmental impacts is very welcome."