BSI British Standards to begin work on responsible sourcing standards

Press release - 14 August 2008

BSI British Standards is to start work on developing standards which will assist organizations with responsible sourcing. It is proposed that the work will initially focus on the responsible sourcing of construction products, but is expected to grow into other sectors. This work will draw on existing industry practice and knowledge, with the objective of providing a commonly-agreed, widely-applicable specification for responsible sourcing of all construction products.

Over the last two years BSI has led the development of standards to provide organizations with guidance on how to translate the concepts of sustainability and corporate social responsibility into practical action. BSI has also worked with a wide range of industry experts to develop standards to promote sustainability and innovation within the construction sector.

Colin Loveday, Chairman of BSI’s Advisory Committee on Construction Products, commented: “The country’s aspirations on issues such as sustainability can only be delivered if there are clear, transparent and reliable ways of measuring performance. These measures need to be practical and also relevant to specific industry sectors. I believe that this is best achieved through national and European standards and am pleased that this proposal has been so well received. I hope that this work will set the pattern for future developments in this area. It’s an exciting prospect.”

Jane Thornback, of the Construction Products Association, added: “The Construction Products Association has been extremely keen for a responsible sourcing framework standard to be introduced and have been engaged in this process for much of the year. We are therefore delighted that BSI is proposing to work on this development, to cover all construction products. Many companies in the industry have already put good working practices in place, or are doing so now, and they will want some recognition for this. I am pleased that the framework standard will help to deliver this.”

Mike Low, Director of BSI British Standards, said, “BSI is very pleased to announce work in this new area. Responsible and sustainable sourcing should be a priority for every organization as more and more contracts and customers demand it. BSI will soon be able to provide a simple and reliable tool that helps make this possible.”

To complement this new area of work BSI British Standards is running a conference on sustainable procurement:

BSI British Standards Sustainable Procurement conference
12 November 2008, London

This conference and workshop will give delegates the knowledge and confidence to make a start on improving their practices. Learn about the standards that can help you improve your supply chain, and hear case studies from public and private sector organizations who are demonstrating best practice, including Marks and Spencer.