Sustainability School marks “brilliant year” as it publishes latest report

The Supply Chain Sustainability School has marked “another brilliant year” positively impacting organisations and supply chains around their sustainability goals, in the release of its 2023 impact report.

The report highlights how sustainability remains at the top of the agenda for the built environment industry, despite a challenging few years during and after the pandemic - and despite the global economic downturn putting pressures on the industry, with material shortages and rising costs.

It surveyed more than 1,000 of its members across the country, to get their thoughts on what is important for their organisation and supply chain, as well as offering insights on how the school had made a positive impact on those organisations.

The report concludes that the fact sustainability remains high on the agenda is giving the school the opportunity to continue to grow and widen its impact.

Shaun McCarthy OBE, Chair of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, said: “It’s been another brilliant year for the School and we are thrilled to have over 24,000 individuals training through our learning platform. 

“However, we recognise that there is still a way to go to achieve our vision of an industry where everyone will have the skills and knowledge to deliver a sustainable future." 

He adds to achieve mass impact, technology will be a key focus moving forward. 

“It is our hope that this additional technological investment and expertise will not only support the School’s growth, but ensure it is armed for arising opportunities so we can continue to provide membership with accessible and credible learning,” he says. 

The report highlights how organisations are becoming increasingly interested in understanding sustainability and embedding more sustainable practices – and many members have identified the School as a powerful tool to help them do this. 

The Supply Chain Sustainability School’s engagement figures are up significantly this year, with 24,160 (+44%) individuals from 5,503 companies (+30%) actively learning through the School. 

This has driven a 35% increase in resource views compared to the previous year. 

At the same time, quality ratings for the training received by the members remain very high, with 95% rating the training as good or excellent. 

Almost three-quarters of members (73%) reported that the School has helped them to better understand their organisation’s sustainability impacts. 

The School has also helped 65% of members improve their understanding of modern slavery, and 54% to increase their understanding of Fairness, Inclusion and Respect.  

Members also shared how the School has helped them to improve their sustainability impacts. 

This includes reductions in carbon emissions (52% of members) and total waste (50%), as well as increased community engagement (57%) and apprentice numbers (50%). 

Julia Barrett, chief sustainability officer at Willmott Dixon, commented: “The School continues to drive massive change for the industry by providing free virtual learning across a huge range of subjects. 

“This year once again, it’s proven that through collaboration the industry can thrive. 

“To increase our sustainability impacts further, we would love more members to register and learn through School, and more partners to work with us to identify key issues and share new ideas.” 

The School is a multi-award-winning initiative which represents a common approach to addressing sustainability within supply chains, part-funded by CITB and industry partners, with over 190 partners leading the direction of the School. 

Working in collaboration, partners share knowledge and free resources to inspire the UK built environment to drive positive change. 

Last year, the School was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development in recognition of the significant environmental, social and economic benefits it has delivered to its Members and Partners.

Read the full Sustainability School report.

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