The Kent and Medway Business Summit, hosted at The University of Kent’s Sibson Building, excitedly returned today for its 6th annual Summit – and what a morning it was.  The event consisted of keynote speeches and debates on vital topics such as Productivity, Sustainability, Place-Making and Skills within various industries throughout the Kent County. Well-structured and conducted, the summit strengthened our overall insight and b&m was grateful to be able to attend yet again.

This year, Paul was asked to sit on a panel to contribute towards an overall discussion regarding sustainability within business – an insightful theme within our industry and one which b&m is not unfamiliar with.  We’re grateful to be able to represent b&m in this way and shed light from our point of view.

So, what is sustainability? By simplified definition, sustainability is the ability to exist and develop without depleting our natural resources for the future, nor compromising the ability for future generations to meet their own needs.

Taking a look around, the need for basic sustainability seems obvious, but it’s also obvious that not every aspect complies. Within business industries, this concept may seem even harder to achieve. By default – the practice of sustainability does often emphasise a competitive advantage that we are not unaware of. There is also an obvious ethical perspective that has always been important to b&m within multiple sectors, therefore there are various ways in which we choose to uphold sustainability.

b&m is ISO14001 certified, which essentially means that we incorporate environmental issues into our business management. This is done by complying with an updated criteria within our environmental management system.

We are committed to a Carbon Reduction Plan which is consistently improved though our ISO14001 certification. Some of this includes sustainable working practices, such as working from home, amongst other strategies. Our short-term carbon challenge involves a commitment to carbon footprint offsetting.

We are also members of the SME Climate Hub and are committed to halving our greenhouse gas emissions before 2030, achieving net zero emissions before 2050 and disclosing our progress on a yearly basis.

Taking these efforts into consideration we understand our ultimate aims are a continuous endeavour. However, a  constant question remains: How much more can the construction industry do to achieve a progressive and influential level of sustainability at its epitome? This is a topic that we will consider for years to come and we encourage this discussion to be had amongst all industries.

How are you sustainable within your workplace and how can we all improve within the upcoming years?