Waste management plans help win builders business

A survey of the construction industry haws shown that a formal Site Waste Management Plan is seen as potential way to sway developers offering contracts.

NetRegs, the Environment Agency’s online information service for SMEs, teamed up with the Federation of Master Builders to carry out a survey of over 600 construction companies which showed an increase of 30% since last year in the number of businesses who thought they had improved their environmental credentials and chances of winning business by using SWMPs.

The findings support the results of a previous NetRegs survey of large construction business earlier this year, which showed that 95% of them would give preference to subcontractors who can prove their green credentials, when awarding work.

The October survey, of over 600 UK-based construction businesses, examined attitudes towards environmental responsibility, and opinions on Site Waste Management Plans (SWMPs), which became a legal requirement in April 2008 for construction projects in England with a cost of over £300,000.

Debbie Chatting, Strategic Marketing Manager at NetRegs said: “This is further proof that good environmental performance helps the bottom line, as well as the environment. It’s great to see that small to medium-sized construction businesses are responding to the marketplace demand for environmental improvements by using SWMPs, and are seeing financial success as a result.

“The industry needs to think long term and take a proactive approach to environmental responsibility now, and not use the recession as an excuse to ignore it. Creating and using a greener approach on a daily basis will pay dividends to construction businesses in the long run.”

The survey also shows that awareness of SWMPs has grown significantly, with over 80 per cent of respondents now aware of the legislation, compared with just 49 per cent in 2008.

Nick Sandy, Director at construction company ST8 Limited said: “I have used SWMPs numerous times over the last few years and am convinced they are a positive thing.

“Not only have they made us more aware of the waste we produce, they also help us save money and win business.

“At ST8 we encourage the main team to recycle all materials which could be sold.

“Not only do SWMPs save us money but they also ensure that tradesmen tidy up after themselves.

“We can’t let the bad economic climate excuse us from our environmental responsibility; we still need to recycle and to manage our company properly.

“The NetRegs Simple Guide to SWMPs provides a great source of information in plain English that is useful and easy to digest.”

NetRegs.gov.uk offers a free, simple guide to SWMPs.

Sam Bond

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