Press Release

Balfour Beatty leads sustainability drive for the construction industry in the North West

2 October 2013


Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, joined eleven other major UK contractors this week to demonstrate to over 170 supply chain businesses in the North West the importance of embedding sustainable practices into their business models.

The Supply Chain Sustainability School event held at Manchester Town Hall yesterday was addressed by Chris Whitehead, Balfour Beatty’s Group Head of Sustainability, key UK customers, the Highways Agency and United Utilities, as well as supply chain partners, Reconomy.

The purpose of the Balfour Beatty-led event was to recruit new supply chain members to the School, and help increase their skills and competence, in order to drive sustainability forward in the construction industry. 

Balfour Beatty co-funds the School which was set up in 2012 and is run through Action Sustainability, to raise awareness of areas ranging from carbon and waste reduction, proactive planning and the need to implement intelligent building methods such as Building Information Modelling (compulsory on all publicly funded projects by 2015).

It also aims to assist in the recruitment of the next generation of young people to the construction industry through apprenticeships and training.  Within the first nine months of the school’s opening over 2000 professionals from more than 1300 companies have benefitted from the initiative.

Mark Hopkinson, Supplier Management Programme Manager, at United Utilities, said: “Sustainability is becoming more and more important in how we source our supply chain. Currently we see a gap between what we expect and what some of our supply chain can deliver, so the Sustainability School is a great way for the supply chain to develop their abilities for the benefit of us, our shareholders and customers.”

Chris Whitehead, Group Head of Sustainability at Balfour Beatty said: “Sustainability provides a further imperative for forging closer relationships with our supply chain. Over the past three years, Balfour Beatty’s supply chain has helped to reduce the company’s UK waste to landfill by 77% and UK carbon intensity (tonnes per £m sales) by 42%.  Our strong involvement with the Supply Chain School reflects our commitment to a sustainable supply chain which is essential to the long-term viability of our industry.”

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Media enquiries:

Scott Wilson
Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK
Tel. +44 (0)20 7963 2150

Notes to editors:

1. The Supply Chain School was started by a number of key BITC members and is delivered by Action Sustainability – a social enterprise with a strong track record of sustainable supply chain improvements across many companies and industries.  Other key partners of the Supply Chain Sustainability School are BAM, Carillion, Kier, Morgan Sindall, Willmott Dixon, Lend Lease, Aggregate Industries, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska and Wates. More information can be found at the website:

2.  Balfour Beatty ( is a global infrastructure group that delivers world class services essential to the development, creation and care of infrastructure assets; from finance and development, through design and project management to construction and maintenance.

Our businesses draw on more than 100 years of experience to deliver the highest levels of quality, safety and technical expertise to our clients principally in the UK, the US, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. We continue to develop our business in key growth markets in South Africa, Australia, Canada, Brazil and India.

With proven expertise in delivering infrastructure critical to support communities and society today and in the future, our key market sectors include transportation (roads, rail and aviation), power and energy, mining, water and social infrastructure such as hospitals and schools.

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