200 companies leading the way for a sustainable future through the Supply Chain Sustainability School, plus ‘Future Workforce’ initiative launched to develop sustainability knowledge and green skills of the next generation.

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19 July 2023, London, UK — The built environment industry has today reached a major milestone with 200 companies leading the way for a sustainable future, including the launch of a ‘Future Workforce’ initiative, aimed at developing the sustainability knowledge and green skills of the next generation of workers.

United by a shared mission to deliver more efficient and sustainable projects, the 200 Partners collaborate through the Supply Chain Sustainability School (“the School”) to share best practice, knowledge and free resources with their supply chains and the wider industry.

Launched in 2012, the School was funded by seven founding Partners and CITB, with training delivered by Action Sustainability consultancy. Since then, it has led pioneering work to set new standards in climate change, modern slavery, social value and much more.

Skanska UK was one of the School’s founding Partners. Dale Turner, Director of Procurement and Supply Chain for Skanska UK, commented:

“Before the School was launched, the industry was really fragmented. What the School has done is created a great collaborative environment for companies and their supply chains to improve on sustainability going forward. As one of the founding Partners, to see it reach this 200 Partner milestone is incredible.”

The School has continued to grow and adapt in response to new challenges and opportunities, looking to impact the future of the built environment. In 2022, the School trained nearly 25,000 people from over 5,000 companies. It was also awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development in recognition of the significant environmental, social and economic benefits it has delivered to its Members and Partners.

Most recently, the School launched a ‘Future Workforce’ initiative. This welcomes education providers to join as Partners and engage in the sustainability agenda to prepare their staff and students in the same way as their peers in the industry. The initiative will also provide opportunities for the School’s existing Partners to collaborate to tackle the skills gap and workforce planning. Facilitating this collaboration is vital, as the School recognises the important part education providers play in the future of the industry and how, in turn, the industry has an impact on education.

The first education provider to sign was Wigan & Leigh College, at the same time becoming the School’s 200th Partner.

Anne-Marie Francis, Vice-Principal for Wigan & Leigh College, commented:

It is a real honour to be not only the School’s 200th Partner but also the first Partner supporting the Future Workforce initiative. Moving forward, the School will be instrumental in providing the necessary training to help our staff and students develop the sustainability knowledge and green skills needed for future careers within the industry.”

Having achieved its 200th Partner milestone, the School will continue to grow and work towards its vision of a built environment industry where everyone has the skills and knowledge to deliver a sustainable future.

Ian Heptonstall, Director of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, commented:

“When we first floated the idea of an online sustainability learning platform for the built environment industry, we were told it was unlikely that competing companies would collaborate, nor would people use an online training platform. But most of all, that supply chains were simply not interested in sustainability.

I am delighted to see that our 200th Partner is Wigan & Leigh College. If we are to ensure that we attract the best talent into our industry, this collaboration with the further education sector is essential and true to our vision of a School that is for all those who work in or want to work in the industry.”

Learn more about becoming a School Partner here.

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