Distribution logistics for sustainable supply chains

Making a sustainable supply chain

There is a growing demand across all industries to make supply chains more sustainable but doing so is a lot easier said than done and can often come at great costs. Stakeholders, investors, governments and even customers are now demanding more than ever that businesses are as environmentally friendly as possible and having a sustainable supply chain is a huge step towards reducing the impact a business has on the environment.

What is a sustainable supply chain?

When people refer to having a sustainable supply chain, they are normally refer to an organisation that consider the environmental and human impact of their products’ journey through the supply chain, from raw materials sourcing to production, storage, delivery and every transportation link in between. Areas to look at are energy usage, water consumption and waste production while having a positive impact on the people and communities in and around their operations

What are the benefits of a sustainable supply chain?

Sustainable construction / Wind Turbine Farm

The backing for sustainable supply chains is growing, more evidence is coming out all the time about the benefits which include reduced costs after start up, conserving resources, optimising processes, uncovering product innovations, increased productivity and promoted corporate values.

In most cases an organisations supply chain is the biggest driver in their environmental footprint. Supply chains often involve energy-intensive production and transportation as goods are made and moved around. This means that organisations can make the biggest difference in their environmental output by making changes to their supply chain rather than other business operations.

It might win you more business. Lots of clients are now looking at the sustainability of the businesses they are working with as they are demanding higher standards of environmental management.

Use accreditations to support your business.

Obtaining an Internationally recognised standards, such as ISO 14001 can provide clients with evidence of your commitment to reducing your environmental footprint. ISO 14001 is a management system that helps you identify gaps in your business where you could make green efficiency savings and is often a requirement in business tenders.

Depending on the size of your business, you may not be required to have an ISO. There are however more affordable options that are better suited to smaller contractors. SMAS Worksafe are a registered member with SSIP, which is a health & safety accreditation, but we are also able to review environmental documentation you might have. Find out more about our packages and how they could help your business with showing off your compliance.

What challenges do organisations face?

Biofuel drums / sustainable supply chain

There are plenty of hurdles in making a sustainable supply chain. Firstly, supply chains can often be very complex and involve people and organisations in different areas of a country or even overseas. This makes it incredibly difficult to pass messages and training onto all areas of a supply chain and make sure that everyone involved is doing their bit to improve sustainability.

Secondly is the cost, changing process and materials is often costly for businesses and the more environmentally friendly materials and process often come at a premium cost. Setting up new pipelines, sourcing new materials, setting up training etc is likely to cause significant upfront costs to a business however these processes may end up saving you money in the long term. But it’s hard for businesses to be certain that the upfront cost is an investment worth making.

In a 2018, a report from Economist Intelligence Unit and LLamasoft found that 38% of companies felt higher costs make it harder to adopt sustainable supply chains. Other options that were causing difficulty were monitoring complex supply chains (29%), organisational structure (24%) while lack of customer interest (20%) and lack of expertise (18%) were other factors behind not moving towards a more sustainable supply chain.

Construction Worker Using Drill To Install Window

Construction expected to surge but what trades will be in demand?

Following a slower year for construction in 2021 following the Coronavirus pandemic, the construction industry has returned to full swing and is expected to surge over the next 5 years which according to the CSN industry outlook could see a 4.4% yearly growth rate requiring over 200,000 more workers in that period to meet the demands.

The construction is expected to be infrastructure and new housing, whilst repairing and updating old homes will also make up a large part of the work required. In 2019 the UK government set the target of becoming carbon net-zero by 2050 and have announced this year that they hope to cut emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels, which would take them over three-quarters of the way to reaching the 2050 target.

Construction infrastructure

The goal is seen as one of the most ambitious climate change targets ever and as part of this initiative all homes and businesses will have to meet rigorous new energy efficiency standards to lower energy consumption and bills, helping to protect the environment.

These new standards include radically improving the energy performance of new homes with low carbon heating, reduce emissions and be zero carbon ready by 2025. This would see roughly a 75-80% reduction in carbon emissions to the current level of housing and older housing will be modernised with there being a significant improvement on the standard for extensions, making homes warmer and reducing bills. The requirement for replacement, repairs and parts to be more energy efficient, including windows and building services such as heat pumps and fixed lighting.

With these ambitious targets in place there is going to be a huge demand on workforce to carry out the changes. This does however represent a huge opportunity for construction to modernise, attract a more diverse talent pool and up skill its existing workforce but is a tough ask with many businesses still suffering from the effects of the pandemic.

On top of this commercial demand there is huge demand for trades people in residential homes following the shutdown caused by the pandemic, with lots of people looking to refresh their homes with extra money they might have due to the lockdown or simply wanting to update the home they have been confined to for much of 2020 and 2021.

But with all this construction planned, what trades are likely to see the highest demand?

Interior renovation, construction

It is expected that all trades will see higher demands over the coming 5 years, but with the targets for reducing CO2 emissions set by the government, there will be a need for workers to understand the modernisation that will help to meet these goals.

Infrastructure and house building are the two main areas that will see the biggest investment over the coming 5 years. Projects like HS2 will lead to growth in those regions and the maintenance of existing property to meet the governments CO2 goals will also be a large contributor to the demand for work.

According to CSN, the most in demand trades are forecast to be in wood trades & interior fit-out (5,500 per year), other construction professionals and technical staff (5,150), construction managers (3,600) and electrical installation trades and (3,400). There will also be a demand for non-construction, office-based professional, technical and IT support staff (7,850).

After a tough year for construction, there is light at the end of the tunnel as we return to normal working life and set out on reaching the goals for a sustainable future and hitting net-zero targets.

Risk assessment management process

How to write your risk assessment

A risk assessment is a useful tool to help employers meet their responsibility of making sure that their staff, the public and anyone else coming into contact with their site or workplace is safe and secure. Risk assessments allow employers to highlight the dangers that people may face and puts in place measures to reduce or in some cases completely remove the risks.

Risk assessments help employers to take control of risks. There is a lot of pressure and responsibility on employers to make sure all those who enter the environment they’re responsible for is safe and risk assessments are the foundation of spotting and reducing any risk.

It is also a legal requirement for any business that employs more than 5 people to hold a valid risks assessment. It is important that risk assessments are carried out and recorded thoroughly as they form the basis for health and safety policies and procedures.

What are risk assessment templates?

Risk assessment templates are an effective risk management tool. They normally come in the form of a document that breaks the full assessment down into different stages with space for you to record hazards and the people who are at risk.

Templates will also include a risk matrix – these are simply so you can record the level of risk and the likelihood of the risk happening. Once you have identified and evaluated the risks the template will direct you to record the existing control measures and any other measures that could be put in place to reduce the risks.

Do you need to use a template?

No, there is no requirement for an organisation to use a risk assessment template, they are simply there to help guide those who are unsure through the initial processes. You can create your own structure for carrying out and recording assessments, the templates are just there to make it easier for those who may be unsure.

Templates may help you save time and normally are structured in a way that makes it easy to record your findings and therefore easier for those in the business you’re sharing it with to understand.

What to watch out for when writing your risk assessment

If you’re using templates to write your risk assessment it is important not to copy the example answers and findings that may already be filled in.

The risk assessment needs to be your own, as every business will have slightly different risks and likelihoods. Copying a risk assessment will not only be no help for your business but it also won’t meet any of the legal requirements.

How should a risk assessment be structured?

Risk assessment management process

There is no one structure fits all when it comes to producing a risk assessment, which is often why you will find varying templates for different industries. Your risk assessment will vary depending on the work you carry out, the size of your business, the materials you use and the legislation you need to comply with.

Risk assessments for new workplaces or businesses may also differ from assessments carried out in areas that have been previously assessed.

However, you will need to follow the steps below:

  1. Identify the hazards
  2. Consider who is at risk
  3. Evaluate risks and the actions to control them
  4. Record findings
  5. Regular review of risks assessments

How to find templates

If you’re not sure how to structure your risk assessments or where to find the correct template for your business SMAS Worksafe can offer you guidance and support.

Our templates allow you to complete your assessments to a high standard and record findings in a clear manner. SMAS Worksafe members can download our risk assessment form via our portal. Members will also have access to various other templates to help with your businesses environmental, quality, anti-bribery and financial standing policies.

You can also download and view risk assessment templates and examples on the HSE website.

SMAS Worksafe / AJC Group annoucement

The AJC Group choose SMAS Worksafe for supply chain management

SMAS Worksafe are delighted to announce that The AJC Group have chosen to make SMAS Worksafe their SSIP Scheme of choice.

The AJC Group are one of Dorset and Hampshire’s leading property development companies. With over 40 years combined experience within the industry, they are committed to delivering lasting change, transforming lives and landscapes through the construction of high quality private and affordable homes.

As from 1st October, all contractors and suppliers working with The AJC Group will be required to hold a valid SSIP certificate with SMAS Worksafe as a minimum requirement.

“AJC are always looking at new and improved ways of working more efficiently with our Contractors to ensure their health & safety. The partnership we have with SMAS Worksafe to manage our Contractors’ Health & Safety Stage 1 requirements is something that we feel can help reduce the stress on us, knowing SMAS Worksafe are managing our contractor’s health & safety gives us great peace of mind.” George Bravington – Health & Safety Advisor, The AJC Group.

SMAS Worksafe will shortly initiate an onboarding campaign for all contractor and suppliers who work with The AJC Group and support them through the process of obtaining an SSIP certificate with them.

“We are extremely pleased to have gained The AJC Group as a new client. The partnership shows our continued commitment to helping house-building clients manage their contractors to create a safe workplace.” Mark Claridge – Partnership Manager, SMAS Ltd

To find out more about how SMAS can support your supply chain procurement and management systems contact Mark at markclaridge@smasltd.com or 01752 393404

SMAS Worksafe / Work Wallet annoucement

SMAS partner Health and Safety Platform Work Wallet®

SMAS Worksafe, one of the largest SSIP safety schemes in the UK, has partnered with Work Wallet® to provide its members with their state of the art health and safety app software.

Over 25,000 SMAS Worksafe members are being given the opportunity to use Work Wallet to help improve safety processes and keep operational in today’s working environment.

Work Wallet is used by many construction firms in the UK and in over 20 countries worldwide.

SMAS Worksafe members will gain access to the Essential Health and Safety modules: Audits and Inspections, Incident and Accident Reporting, Job Management and Safety Briefings.

Using Work Wallet will help ensure that SMAS Worksafe members keep on top of health and safety issues on sites including completing HSE inspections, creating and sending safety briefings, creating and sharing job packs, risk assessments, audits, training packs and all other documentation.

SMAS Worksafe members demonstrate their health and safety to clients through a full assessment of their health and safety systems to attain certification which is recognised nationwide by thousands of organisations. With the inclusion of Work Wallet within their membership, keeping on top of their inspections and safety records will be

SMAS Worksafe Logo

easier than ever.

Danny Marinou – Managing Director, SMAS Worksafe, said:

“We are delighted to offer this to our members as a crucial element of our Essentials Membership package. It adds great value and ensures that all their health and safety is stored and accessed in one place with this unique mobile app and online portal.


“At this time, when fewer people are in their offices and it’s harder to keep track, this clever mobile app solves many issues at the same time.”

Work Wallet provides an effective and easy to use way to link up data in real-time across any business, ensuring employees and contractors are fully connected, whether they’re working in the office, on the move or on site.

This means that whether staff are working on their own, with colleagues on one site or multiple sites, all their health and safety data can be gathered with one swipe.

Work Wallet CEO Jonny Gray, said:Work Wallet Logo

“We are delighted SMAS has chosen Work Wallet as their preferred health and safety app, Work Wallet has enabled thousands of people across UK businesses to create and record risk assessments, audits, near-misses and improve staff safety whether they’re on or off site.”

SMAS works with thousands of contractors, helping them to meet their health and safety obligations with their unrivalled health and safety assessment and compliance support.

Gray added:

“Work Wallet has also enabled staff to return to safe working environments by introducing Covid guidelines using the app.”

Although the UK is a safer place to work than Germany, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands, with fewer fatalities at work, according to the HSE in their latest stats, Work Wallet is helping businesses to be even safer by ensuring all critical information is available in one place as Work Wallet® delivers an All In One Health and Safety Management System.