How the construction industry can better embed sustainable solutions when delivering major projects was discussed at an ICE workshop in the West Midlands last week.
Senior procurement professionals from Highways England, Midland Metro Alliance and Cordelis Consulting talked about how sustainable development principles can be applied in the region, echoing the ideas behind Project 13.
Project 13 is an industry-wide and industry-led movement to change infrastructure delivery models providing better outcomes for the public and customers while moving to a more sustainable and collaborative business method.
Mark Borland, Head of Procurement Delivery at Highways England, said that collaboration was crucial to sustainable solutions.
“Moving away from a risk-based procurement model to … collaborative contract environments based on value and resilience has been key in delivering sustainable outcomes at Highways England,” he said.
This collaboration needs to be with the wider community as well, not just among the contractors.
Paula Gray, Head of Procurement at Midlands Metro Alliance, said: “Driving innovation and collaboration to get added value from the procurement process requires engaging with people and communities.
“Greater value can be sought by engaging with clients to understand their goals and achieve sustainable results.”
Malcolm Corlett, ICE West Midlands Chair, chaired the panel of speakers.
He said: “Too often, projects are procured on price and lowest cost, rather than the environmental impact and security of the planet’s resources.
“Today’s event will help inform a report due in the autumn about how the West Midlands can embed sustainable development principles into major projects to deliver the best balance for the environment, people and the economy.”
The event was hosted by Pinsent Masons in Birmingham.