Background to Partners
Skanska – Skanska is one of the world’s leading construction groups with expertise in construction, development of commercial and residential projects and public-private partnerships. Skanska carries out all aspects of the construction, development and infrastructure process – from financing projects, through design and construction to facilities management, operation and maintenance.
Express Reinforcements Ltd – Established in 1984, Express Reinforcements Ltd has grown to become a UK market leader in the supply of reinforcing products through its four UK-based fabrication facilities.
Crossrail – Crossrail is the biggest engineering project in Europe and forms a major part of the London Mayor’s Transport Strategy. Crossrail will connect 37 stations, including Heathrow Airport and Maidenhead in the west with Canary Wharf, Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east.
Skanska UK launched their Sustainable Procurement Policy in April 2009, stimulated in part by CEO Johan Karlstrom’s ambition for the company to become the “leading green project developer and contractor”. The policy included references to the responsible sourcing of materials, influenced by the UK Government Strategy for Sustainable Construction and the publication of BES6001 in October 2008. To Skanska UK these documents confirmed the growing importance of the subject.
In 2008 Express Reinforcements Ltd recognised, as a result of its continuous pursuit of market differentiation, a strategic need to implement a formally recognised standard of certification to establish an environmentally-friendly, sustainably sourced supply chain for its reinforcing steel products. As a result Express Reinforcements Ltd, other UK fabricators, mills and key stakeholders developed with BRE Global the Eco-Reinforcement scheme, a responsible sourcing sector scheme directly linked to the BRE Environmental & Sustainability Standard, BES6001.
As a fundamental part of their business ethos Crossrail intended to follow the Greater London Authorities’ requirements on responsible procurement; these included ethical sourcing and environmental sustainability. Certification of construction products through BES 6001 is recognised by schemes such as CEEQUAL, which assesses the sustainability of infrastructure projects, as demonstrating these needs.
Skanska UK have been a core supporter of sustainability in construction for many years. Following the launch of their Sustainable Procurement Policy in 2009 they established a strategic purchasing agreement with the steel reinforcement supplier, Express Reinforcements Ltd. A key element of this agreement was that Express Reinforcements Ltd would work towards achieving certification to a responsible sourcing standard that met the requirements of BES 6001.
As a result, Express Reinforcements made a commitment in May 2010 to achieving BES 6001/Eco-Reinforcement certification by August 2010 in order to meet Skanska’s commitment to procure 100% BES 6001/Eco-Reinforcement certified reinforcing steel on the Crossrail project. In July 2010 Express Reinforcements Ltd secured their BES 6001/Eco-Reinforcement certification and went on to supply this reinforcing steel to Skanska on their first piece of work for Crossrail, the Royal Oak Portal.
Rizwan Imtiazi, Procurement Operations, Crossrail notes that:
“Use of Eco-Reinforcement/BES 6001 certified reinforcing steel fulfils Crossrail’s commitment to promoting and enforcing ethical sourcing throughout its supply chain by active engagement with its Tier 1 contractors”
Continuing to work in partnership, Skanska and Express Reinforcements Ltd have now gone on to supply well over 16,000 Tonnes of BES 6001/Eco-Reinforcement certified reinforcing steel for Crossrail for other works including those at Pudding Mill Lane and Limmo Peninsula, the Thames Tunnel’s Plumstead Portal, and Bond Street and Paddington Stations.