BSI responsible sourcing standard under development

A framework standard on the responsible sourcing of construction materials and products is likely to be published within a year. It will outline issues that responsible sourcing schemes should address.

The standard is driven by construction products manufacturers who say they are "excluded" from gaining extra credits on responsible sourcing under the Code for Sustainable Homes, BREEAM and the Olympics sustainability requirements.

Currently only timber suppliers that have responsible sourcing policies in place, such as certification with the Forest Stewardship Council, can benefit, according to the Construction Products Association.

Manufacturers want a framework standard so tailor-made schemes can be developed in each sector. The cement and steel sectors are thought to be in the early stages of creating their own responsible sourcing schemes.

Jane Thornback, environmental policy advisor at the Construction Products Association, said manufacturers need "clear harmonisation rather than a plethora of schemes". She warned that without agreed standards, sectors risked "whizzing off in their own direction", making it difficult to compare different materials.

The Building Research Establishment is drafting a publicly available standard (PAS), while the Construction Products Association is developing a draft discussion document. The draft should be available in three or four months while the PAS is expected within a year.

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