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Tata Steel gains responsible sourcing certification for construction products

September 10, 2014

Tata Steel has become the largest company to acquire the BRE responsible sourcing standard BES 6001 for its UK construction products.

All the company’s construction products manufactured in the UK are now certified ‘Very Good’ under the British standard, including its Advance steel sections, Celsius structural hollow sections, ComFlor and RoofDek structural decking, Trisomet and Trimapanel composite panels systems and Catnic building products. Tata Steel’s Colorcoat branded product is already certified to the standard.

The UK Government will soon require all the construction projects it funds to use BES 6001-certified products. As a result sustainability-minded main contractors, architects and engineering designers are already asking their supply chains to verify where their products are sourced and to demonstrate how they are ensuring that the products they use have been produced in as sustainable a way as possible.

Designers and developers can specify and use Tata Steel’s UK-made construction products confident in the knowledge they are fully certified to BES 6001. They can thereby secure maximum credits under the responsible sourcing of materials sections of other standards, such as BREEAM, the Code for Sustainable Homes, and CEEQUAL – standards that are also recognised in some markets outside the UK.

Peter Quinn, Head of Environmental Policy and Strategy at Tata Steel’s European operations, said achieving the certification over a six-month period had been a highly complex task and had involved a multi-functional approach within the company.

“Tata Steel is leading the way in responsible sourcing and takes its environmental and social responsibilities very seriously. It is not always easy to validate sustainability credentials, but BES 6001 is an independently certified standard recognising companies that go that bit further to act responsibly and to promote sustainability.

“The standard not only assesses the sustainability of our own operations but requires us to demonstrate confidence in the responsibility of our raw material suppliers all the way back to the point of mineral extraction. The fact that Tata Steel already had effective processes in place to manage environment, safety, skills development, compliance assurance and responsible procurement helped us hugely in securing certification relatively quickly once we had committed ourselves to it.”

BES 6001 has been developed by BRE Group to enable construction product manufacturers to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability both within their own operations and through the responsible sourcing of raw materials and other products from suppliers. Certification requires companies to demonstrate that they have systems and policies in place covering many aspects of environmental and social performance, including that their raw materials are traceable back to the point of extraction and that environmental and social responsibility is evident throughout the supply chain.

Jonathan Clemens, Tata Steel’s Head of Marketing Construction & Infrastructure, said: “Having our construction products certified to BES 6001 enables us to benchmark our sustainability performance in the construction sector and demonstrate that we are continually improving in this area. We now supply the widest range of construction products certified to BES 6001 and in the case of certain construction products we are the first company to have acquired this certification. As a result, more than any other steel supplier, we can offer specifiers, contractors and building owners the reassurance they need when meeting the UK Government’s requirements for sustainable development.”