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Last edited 17 Sep 2015

BES 6001 Responsible sourcing of construction products

The construction industry is a major consumer of resources and has a significant impact on the sustainability of the UK and the wider world. The responsible procurement of products used in the construction industry is a key part of the global drive for sustainable development.

BES 6001 Framework standard for responsible sourcing is a BRE environmental and sustainability standard. BRE is an independent, research-based consultancy, testing and training organisation, operating in the built environment and associated industries.

BRE suggest that BES 6001 ‘...provides a holistic approach to managing a product from the point at which component materials are mined or harvested, through manufacture and processing.’

BES 6001 issue 3 was published in 2014. It enables manufacturers of construction products to ensure, and then to prove, that their products have been made from materials that have been responsibly sourced. Guidance is provided for the organisation’s management, supply chain management and the environmental and social aspects that need to be addressed to ensure responsible procurement.

Third party assessment and certification undertaken against the requirements of BES 6001 provide organisations with the ability to demonstrate their commitment to the responsible sourcing of products.

BES 6001 is applicable to any material, product or product group. In some cases construction product sectors use the BES 6001 scheme as a framework to develop their own sector schemes, compliant with and equivalent to BES 6001. It can also be relevant to retailers who sell construction products.

In order to achieve the standard, an organisation must meet certain compulsory requirements. It is also possible to obtain a higher level of compliance which can result in a higher performance rating.

The key benefits of accreditation to BES 6001 are:

  • The ability to demonstrate that an organisation's products are responsibly sourced.
  • It allows a more informed decision when choosing suppliers.
  • The overall social and environmental performance of an organisation is improved.
  • It provides a route to obtaining credits under the BREEAM family of certification schemes.

Once certified, products are listed in the BRE Global on-line service Green Book Live enabling specifiers to compare and select those products and materials with the most responsible sourcing performance.

The BRE website also holds tables of all BES 6001 certificates organised by construction product category.

BES 6001 certificates last three years. However, at the end of each year the certificate must pass a verification process to check that essential features of the original certification are being maintained.


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