Supply Chain Sustainability School

What is the school?
The School was established five years ago by a group of top construction contractors, to provide a common approach to promoting sustainability within their supply chains. Since then it has grown to encompass 51 Partners (Osborne is one such partner), including clients and suppliers, and 14,000 supply chain members. The School provides a unique, free, resource of self assessments which create personalised learning action plans based upon e-learning modules. There are also regular national and regional events which focus on specific topics which partner members determine in their sector leadership meetings. The School is divided into sectors: Construction, Infrastructure, Homes, Off-site and FM – and there are learning modules and events tailored for each.

How does it work?

As a partner member, Osborne receives a dashboard of key performance indicators on our preferred suppliers for each of our business sectors. The dashboard shows us how our suppliers are progressing through the School. It charts how their knowledge on sustainability is increasing, based upon resources used and tests taken. At specific milestones, based upon the number of resources completed and a re-assessment of their sustainability knowledge, the suppliers are awarded bronze, silver and gold status. Nominated Osborne staff can access this data through a portal at any time and it can be included in bids and in client meetings as evidence that we are upskilling our supply chain in sustainability.

The scores, which are an average for each supplier, also help us identify areas where they could use added support. As a partner member, Action Sustainability, the supporting consultancy for the School, facilitate theme specific workshops on subjects that we choose to focus on. Both Infrastructure and Property Services have already held workshops on Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) with the School for their suppliers.

What difference does it make?

The coming year sees a focus on improving the standing (Gold, Silver or Bronze) of the existing members of the School, encouraging suppliers to undertake self-assessments, use the on-line resources and to progress their status by re-assessing.

This school is extremely important to ensure that every stage of the supply chain understands, appreciates and works towards being sustainably responsible. In construction, as with many industries, we are heavily reliant and involved with an array of suppliers of raw materials, contracting equipment, other complimentary trades etc  – meaning we must encourage and educate our entire supply chain to work towards realistic sustainable goals. You can never achieve these goals in isolation.

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