The building blocks of a
Responsible roofing contractors are not only concerned with the bottom line; they are going to increasing
lengths to ensure projects are carried out as sustainably as possible, writes Janice Tyler, environment and
supply chain manager at BriggsAmasco
The construction industry remains
among the largest contributors
of waste. Each year, poor design
and site management leads to
approximately 13% of all solid materials
delivered to sites – an estimated 10
million tonnes – being unused.
Inadequate storage and protection
often lead to production-related wastage
on construction sites, but lack of training
in sustainable building practice is another
crucial factor. It’s an issue that needs
urgent address if the industry is to fulfil
the UK government’s pledge to build
an additional 300,000 homes per year,
without over-burdening landfill sites
brimming with site materials.
Embrace the culture
At BriggsAmasco, it is our policy
to ensure that each roofing
project is as notable for its
as it is the quality of the installation.
Educating our employees in
sustainable working is a vital first step
to reducing the company’s carbon
footprint across all of its activities.
We believe that being sustainable
means embracing the three pillars of
sustainability: social, environmental
and economic. By integrating this
culture into our daily business, we
fulfil the needs of clients, suppliers, the
community and employees.
In practical terms, each new-starter
at BriggsAmasco receives a two-day
induction course. As well as covering
crucial aspects such as health and
safety, the interactive presentation
focuses on sustainability. Therefore,
the first thing required of employees
during the induction is to calculate
their personal eco footprint in order to
work out how many earths they need to
sustain their lifetime.
Although each country has a
different eco footprint, overall,
humanity requires one-and-a-half
earths a year to fulfil its needs. This
will increase to two earths by 2030
unless action is taken. I find people
relate to this statistic because it’s
personal, and the results always shock
them into realising just how adverse
pollutants are to the environment.
We roll out a similar induction for
of applying a heating temperature
of 210°C to employ it, it is operable at
160°C, which reduces air emissions.
Initiatives such as the mastic asphalt
finisher, coupled with in-house training
given to staff in order to raise their
sustainable awareness, have contributed
to BriggsAmasco’s environmental
performance. The company sets a
number of sustainable targets as part of
its KPIs. For example, in 2014 we set an
objective to reduce CO2 emissions from
company vehicles by 5% over three
years. This was achieved by December
2017, instigating the need for another
In 2015, we also set a threeyear
target to reduce our energy
consumption by 5% across nine
branches. We have managed to reduce
our gas and electricity combined by
10%, meaning we’re ahead of the target.
In terms of waste, on average we
divert approximately 91% of our nonhazardous
waste away from landfill
to recycle or recovery sites. A DEFRA
report on UK Statistics for Waste
showed that the construction and
demolition industry’s average recovery
for non-hazardous waste is 89.9%; above
the government target for 70% by 2020.
Working sustainably and sourcing
renewable materials is de rigueur for
many construction-based companies.
But the commitment to ‘cleaner’
working must prevail in order to
sustain environmental progress.
BriggsAmasco has been a gold
member of the Supply Chain
Sustainability School since its inception
in 2012. The school is a collaboration
between clients, contractors and firsttier
suppliers to help build, maintain
and operate more sustainable buildings,
infrastructure and homes. Programmes
such as this prove its participants are
paying more than lip service to bolster
their green credentials.
In my opinion, I believe that as well
as helping to fulfil the government’s
housing target, the industry should
focus on setting sustainable standards
for other sectors to follow.
our sub-contractors on-site.
Spill and waste management
are two of the main sustainability
issues employees should consider
during the course of their everyday
work. Hot and potentially harmful
liquids form a part of BriggsAmasco’s
work, therefore, staff need to be aware
how to deal with potential spillages in
order to prevent them spreading and
harming the environment. Of course,
emphasis is also placed on preventing
spillages in the first instance, as well as
outlining rules and regulations around
waste and what staff should look for on
waste transfer and consignment notes.
In regard to sustainable roof materials,
hot-melt scores highly. The system can
be reheated, which means there is no
waste and no packaging to dispose of.
It also makes for an ideal green roof
specification. It’s very durable and
extremely resistant to impact, which
gives it a long life expectancy. It means
it doesn’t need to be renewed as quickly
as other roof types.
Another sustainable innovation in
this sphere is the use of electric melters,
rather than LPG to heat melters. This
method not only saves cost, it reduces
CO2 emissions by about 65%. Mastic
asphalt is another roofing material with
environmental benefits. BriggsAmasco
has a finisher machine, which allows
the asphalt to be laid to a precision
thickness at lower temperatures than
traditional laying. Therefore, instead
58 www.rcimag.co.uk May 2019