How Companies like McAlpine are Adopting SWMPs for their Supply Chains
Site Waste Management Plans are playing a crucial role in helping to reduce waste throughout the supply chain, even though they are no longer a legal requirement.
They haven’t been compulsory since 2013 but Site Waste Management Plans are still considered best practice. Why? Quite simply because they have proved their worth in minimising construction waste, increasing recycling and improving efficiency on site.
Using an SWMP to consider how much waste will be generated and how it will be managed in advance allows contractors to take a structured, proactive approach and provide leadership to their supply chains. By asking suppliers to contribute to the SWMP – and communicating regularly with all traders and suppliers – you encourage buy-in from the outset, which can only help to streamline waste processes and deliver measurable environmental benefits.
SWMPs provide visibility of waste management on a project by project basis, so they are often aligned with wider sustainability policies. Here are some examples of how some of the UK’s biggest contractors are using SWMPs with their supply chains to underpin their sustainability commitments.
Sir Robert McAlpine
In its 2014 Procurement Strategy, Sir Robert McAlpine states that SWMPs are required for all projects, and suppliers must actively contribute to them to meet a target of waste neutral construction. Before starting work on site, subcontractors must demonstrate the proactive measures they have taken to design out waste and eliminate packaging. They expect subcontractors to facilitate on-site segregation where practical and of course, to demonstrate compliance with waste regulations. Their SWMPs require all suppliers and subcontractors to provide monthly waste reports, in graphical and data format, identifying the waste streams and tonnages, treatment type and tonnes of waste diverted from landfill.
Sir Robert McAlpine’s 2015 Sustainability Report announced that they had exceeded their target of being waste neutral by July 2015, as over 90,000 tonnes more recycled materials were used than construction waste generated.
Willmott Dixon continues to use SWMPs to create resource efficiency action plans for construction projects. Its 10-Point Sustainable Project Criteria, implemented across all sites, include targets for construction waste volumes. Willmott Dixon works with suppliers to encourage reuse ahead of recycling and recovery, for example making use of discarded furniture and the repair and repatriation of pallets. These initiatives increase diversion from landfill, as well as reduce costs. Where reuse is not possible, Willmott Dixon works with suppliers to develop and identify take-back schemes, and keeps a comprehensive list on site. The list and accompanying guidance also help design teams understand where ‘closed loop’ take-back schemes are available and give project teams an understanding of which products and materials they can send directly back to manufacturers.
In its 2015 Sustainable Development Review, Willmott Dixon reported:
96% diversion from landfill
Three cubic metre reduction in construction waste per £100K of project turnover.
Balfour Beatty Group
Balfour Beatty acknowledges that sustainability is too big and too important for it to tackle alone and looks to its supply chain for support. All suppliers, subcontractors and consultants are expected to do what is necessary and play a positive role in helping to achieve its Sustainability Blueprint goals. Zero waste thinking is embedded into all aspects of operations and the supply chain, and they use Site Waste Management Plans across all projects.
Balfour Beatty chose The Reconomy Portal to manage and report on SWMPs which means that staff have instant access to up-to-date information about landfill diversions and cost savings. This level of transparency across the entire group allows Balfour Beatty to move from a reactive position to a more strategic waste management approach.
Out of 300,000 tonnes of waste that were managed in the UK, 96% landfill diversion was achieved. By having visibility of how their SWMPs are working through dynamic data, Balfour Beatty can demonstrate the ability to manage waste to clients at the tender stage of major construction projects.
The performance of a lead contractor is often dependent on the performance of their suppliers so it’s no surprise that construction companies are asking their supply chain to play a key role in achieving waste management targets. SWMPs are a very practical and efficient way to ensure this is happening. At the start of projects, many construction professionals use SWMPs to identify opportunities to design out waste and reuse and recycle more materials. They can therefore help foster a collective commitment to reducing waste at every point in the chain.
While an SWMP is a living and evolving document for the duration of the construction phase, it also acts as powerful reporting tool. A comprehensive SWMP provides an auditable framework that can be used by contractors and suppliers alike to inform best practice, ensure compliance and support environmental credentials for future projects.
Leading UK contractors such as Sir Robert McAlpine, Willmott Dixon and Balfour Beatty use SWMP in all projects even though they are no longer compulsory.
A SWMP encourages forward planning that will help you reduce waste at every point in the supply chain, from design to recycling and disposal.
By getting suppliers involved in developing and updating your SWMP you will have greater visibility of waste management across your supply chain. and you’ll increase buy-in for on-site processes and reporting.
An SWMP will help you monitor and report on key performance indicators such as landfill diversion rates and cost savings on a project by project basis. These can be used by both contractor and suppliers to support best practice and environmental credentials for future tenders.
Find Out How to Reduce Waste in Your Supply Chain to Reduce Waste and Support Your Environmental Credentials. Download: Waste Management in Lean Refurbishments & A Best Practice Checklist [points 1-10]