Will 6001 join the lexicon of standards for our sector, along with 9001, 14001, 18001 (with apologies to others missed!)
Understanding the ripple effect of a facility in use or in construction is increasingly important within both client and supply organisations reputation, ethical standing and overall CSR, (Corporate Social Responsibility). Industry investors are watching such organisational behaviours with increased interested as demonstrated on CSR Wire web pages and discussions.
BRE Global have recently launched a draft ‘framework’ standard BS6001 for responsible sourcing management (RSM) of construction products that intends to address the sustainability, ie social, economic and environmental aspects of materials, from raw source, through use and maintenance to recycling and disposal.
It will be a standard against which organisations or products would be certified.
Its purpose is to support the responsible sourcing management credits within BREEAM, as a stand alone standard or one would assume to assess any RSM requirements within Code for Sustainable Homes, I guess the Code for Non Domestic Buildings (when that emerges) and other sustainability codes and standards.
I would hope the final standard will get the nomenclature addressed and see this as a ‘built environment‘ standard and not just a ‘construction‘ one (even facilities management has an equal duty and obligation to source responsibly !) I also hope that joined up thinking brings this into the new EU Facilities Management standards in development.
The draft standard contains a scoring system for assessment against the maturity of a number of sustainability themes. It could for example be used now, even in draft form, as a self assessment or supplier assessment to gauge an organisations position, as a snap shot, on responsible sourcing. (Although some facilitated guidance or support to help understand and fully understand some of the concepts would probably be required)
A welcome addition to the standards family? BS6001 is based as you would expect on ISO 14001, ISO 9001 and other existing standards. I do question whether 9001 is still strong enough as the basis for such standards – given the cosmetic changes planned for this year.
On the social responsibility side – will the standard start to address the soil, soul and society elements of sustainability, and the wider ecological footprint? Making reference to the UN Global Compact will certainly help address social justice.
The standard is open to public consultation until May 2nd. I cannot see any dates for introduction of the standard.
An introduction and copy of the standard is available for download.
Responsible sourcing is an ethos of supply chain management and product stewardship and encompasses the social, economic and environmental impacts of construction products over their whole life. It is a holistic approach to managing the activities associated with the point at which a material is mined or harvested in its raw state, through manufacture and processing, through use, reuse and recycling, until its final disposal as waste with no further value.