Greening the Building Supply Chain
We can only go so far in sustainable construction when we have a limited variety and quantity of sustainable building materials and products available. Therefore it is absolutely essential in the medium to longer term to work with existing suppliers of such products and materials, and to work with conventional building suppliers to introduce and extend their supplies of more sustainable products and materials. And bearing in mind transport and embodied energy considerations it makes particular sense to focus on local and regional building supplies.
A project to ‘green the building supply chain’ in Somerset and the south west would be lead by STSD, and take a County-wide perspective at a minimum because of the primary need being to engage businesses, for whom localised political boundaries do not apply. The commitment of the Council(s) and the public sector operating in the area, as very major purchasing organisation(s), would be essential. Involvement in the WWF / Soil Association Local Authority Project for accredited sustainable timber sourcing may be an appropriate starting point.
One or more private sector partners would be essential. Bradfords building suppliers have been initially contacted to explore the possibilities for them to take a role as a potentially ideal local private sector partner. There may be potential to link up with the Centre for Sustainable Design (on Sustainable Product Design and Development – SPDD) and / or Forum for the Future in order to access funding and specialist 'sustainable supply chain' expertise.
Signing up a number of local authorities in the south west to such a project would have a significant benefit.