We acknowledge the importance of taking environmental issues into account during the purchase of products and services. The products that we use have environmental impacts throughout their production, distribution, use and end of life disposal. Our UK procurement policy describes our commitment to and progress towards sourcing environmentally sustainable products. All procurement practices are linked to our waste management strategies and other aspects of our environmental management system.
During 2005, we completed an in-depth sustainability survey of the environmental performance and green product specifications of our major UK suppliers. In 2006, we used this information to improve our understanding of environmental impacts in our supply chain and scored our suppliers on their performance. We intend to provide feedback to suppliers on good environmental practice in their sector along with suggestions on ways to improve performance. We focused on issues that could be cost neutral or even financially beneficial to suppliers. For example, the use of bio diesel or Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) in haulage vehicles could significantly reduce fuel costs and emissions.
Our focus will continue to be on working in partnership with our suppliers and helping them to improve performance.
Our US and UK environmental policies are available on-line in the Download Centre along with statements on UK performance by BSi Management Systems, RSK ENSR and Wastefile.
We minimise the use of toxic and hazardous materials on site where possible. In the UK, we use dual flush toilets and low emission boilers as standard, and our Options Centres stock energy-efficient appliances with an A or B rating. We also encourage our regional companies to recycle or reuse materials on site, wherever it is practical and affordable to do so.
We require our suppliers to provide all of our virgin timber from sustainable sources. We currently use FSC certified timber as well as PEFC certified softwood from Scandinavia and the Baltic States. In 2007, we will review our procurement chain with the aim of improving our current system and chain of custody.
In 2007, we will review our existing Green Procurement Policy and how we deliver this policy through our supply chain. We will address mechanisms such as supplier evaluation, tender documentation, standard contracts and performance management. As part of this process, we will look at introducing targets for our suppliers on packaging and environmental performance. In addition, we will develop a supplier environmental award scheme to encourage best practice. The award scheme will be launched in 2008.
George Wimpey East Scotland is working with WRAP (The Waste and Resources Action Programme) to investigate whether, as part of our remediation work, we could use quality compost on sites as an alternative to imported topsoil. WRAP has agreed to fund an interim feasibility study which will analyse existing soil quality at one of our large brownfield regeneration sites in Scotland. If this concept proves to be practical and cost effective, it could create a national market for large quantities of quality compost and significantly reduce the amount of domestic waste going to landfill.