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Constructionskills and M&S launch sustainability course

ConstructionSkills, the industry’s Sector Skills Council, working together with Marks & Spencer, has developed an new sustainability course designed to enhance the skills of those working on construction and refurbishment sites across the country.
And the new course will become a requirement for all M&S construction contractors.

Site Sustainability Simplified is an interactive two-day course designed for staff with construction site management and supervisory responsibilities. The course will give delegates an understanding of the principles of sustainable construction and show them how this can be applied and put into practice on site.

Marks & Spencer has played an integral role in developing and implementing the course, as it recognises the need for personnel to understand the environmental implications of key activities during the construction process. The retailer has positioned itself as an exemplar organisation with its Plan A commitments to social, ethical and environmental responsibility and as a result was best placed to offer its expertise in the creation of the course.

Plan A contains several construction-specific commitments, such as sending no waste to landfill from M&S construction programmes, as well as those that have an impact on the materials used for refurbishment and new build of stores.

'We are committed to increasing understanding and recognition of how sustainable construction contributes to effective environmental responsibility,' said Crispin Burridge, head of sustainable construction, Marks & Spencer. 'There is a lack of awareness and skills within the industry at present and Site Sustainability Simplified is the latest example of how M&S is providing thought leadership on green issues and its commitment to share its learning with the broader community. For the future, it will be a requirement of our main contractors to ensure key site personnel attend this course, and it will contribute towards delivery our Plan A targets,' he added.

'This is an exciting new course which covers a wide range of important environmental and sustainability issues encountered on construction sites,' said Bridget Plowright, ConstructionSkills project manager. 'Sustainability is a complex area, and we have attempted to simplify it by developing a course for contractors that gives a good overview of the key issues.

'The course is designed to ensure site managers and supervisors in the construction industry are furnished with the skills required to meet the demands of the environmental and sustainability agenda. It will also support them in communicating effectively with site operatives.'

'This new course is intended to complement the existing suite of Site Safety Plus courses and aims to reach the same standing and respect in the industry as its forerunners.

The topics covered include waste, water, carbon, procurement, materials, travel, communities, bio-diversity, archaeology and heritage and BREEAM.

To ensure the integrity of the course content Marks & Spencer and ConstructionSkills drew on the expertise of the BRE in its development and evaluation.

The course has so far undergone a number of pilots which has been positively received by delegates.

For more details and how to book a place, see or call 0344 994 4433.
2 March 2010


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