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BAM's Sustainability Journey - What next?

Nitesh Magdani Nitesh Magdani   30 Jun 2015 Carbon, Community, Health and wellbeing, Sourcing responsibly, Sustainable design, Resource efficiency

Since starting our sustainability journey in 2007, BAM has improved its environmental, social and economic impact on the sites and in the communities we work in. Here's what to expect beyond our 2015 targets…

When we say BAM puts sustainability at the heart of everything we do, we mean we really think about our actions so we have the most positive impact socially, environmentally and economically. In 2014, for example, we exceeded our target to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% earlier than targeted achieving a 28% reduction. This means less harm to the environment and more savings for BAM and our clients. Another example, and also a 2014 achievement, BAM construction sites reduced waste by 40% compared to 2006. We also launched 'BAM Design SMaRT', to help design teams to consider sustainability issues and solutions, and measure progress accurately against baseline targets.

But it’s not only reducing our environmental impact that we’ve focused our efforts on. Recently our focus has moved from doing less bad, by reducing waste, carbon and energy use, to doing more good by designing out waste, creating local labour and training opportunities, improving resource efficiency, supporting the health and wellbeing of our staff, and making a positive long-lasting difference to the communities we work in. This will inform our vision for 2020 and beyond.

As the UK-GBC put it when they analysed our Sustainability Journey:

‘“Short termism” is something that most companies struggle to avoid, especially when measuring performance on short term financial targets. BAM is trying to tackle this… it’s great to see that BAM is working to deliver buildings with DEC ratings rather than EPC to help close the performance gap’.

The UK-GBC recently highlighted our Sustainability Journey

People focused

We want our sustainability journey to revolve around people – involving them, developing them, and supporting them. In 2014, we delivered Site Environmental Awareness Training Scheme (SEATS) to more than 100 delegates and became partners of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, to help our supply chain realise the business benefits of sustainability.

We also exceeded our £100,000 target for Macmillan Cancer Support, our national charity partner for 2013/2014, raising £201,058 to support the work of Macmillan Nurses. And we provided toolbox talks to more than 1600 employees about how to spot the warning signs of the most frequent male and female cancers, and the importance of regular checks. 

Our 2015/16 charity partner is Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer’s Scotland, with a target to raise £100,000 over the next two years to fund specialist Dementia Support Workers. During Dementia Awareness Week in May, more than 400 BAM employees became dementia friends. And we’re putting more emphasis on mental health and wellbeing this year, working with the Mental Health Foundation.

And in 2014 our employees volunteered 12,400 hours to their local communities and BAM's Education Coordinators worked with 13,000 students delivering lessons related to science, technology, engineering and maths; offering employability sessions; conducting site visits and work experience; and providing CPD sessions for teachers and lecturers.

In 2014 our employees volunteered 12,400 hours to their local communities

So what next?

We still have a way to go and our current challenge is to formulate our targets and vision beyond 2020, focusing on the positive impact we can make. We’re ambitious. But you have to be if you want to make a difference and shape the built environment for future generations to come. By working together we’ll be able to achieve far greater results than on our own. That’s why we were the first major contractor to sign up to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE100 membership to work towards a circular economy; we’ve signed up to the Supply Chain Sustainability School to help our Supply Chain develop their understanding and meet industry requirements; and we regularly contribute towards UK-GBC panels and other industry bodies to influence government...and a lot more! Together we can do more good.

You can find out much more about our sustainability journey via this microsite. If you still haven’t explored it yet, I’d recommend a look. As well as our 2014 Sustainability Report, it also has evidence of our impact in all different fields of sustainability. Our team of in-house sustainability experts regularly share their insights and use the work we do, on sites, in offices, in communities, to show BAM is one of the leading sustainable contractors. For more information on how we can help you to achieve your sustainability targets, contact us.

 

Nitesh Magdani is Director of Sustainability at BAM

 

 

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