Case Study

Increasing materials visibility and collaboration in the supply chain 2019

4 min
21 August 2019

Our supply chain Sustainability Schedule, developed in FY18 as the result of an assessment of supply chain issues and risks impacting the construction industry, is now being piloted and integrated into development projects. One of the key aspects of the Schedule is the requirement of our contractors to clearly document and provide evidence of sustainability initiatives and measures, such as materials used in the projects via a materials verification register. This register outlines the minimum verification and certification requirements to ensure a responsible outcome.

In FY19, we worked with project contractors for Birtinya to implement the improved materials register. Executing this was a collaborative process, with materials verification discussed in each project meeting, ensuring that the contactor was proactively reporting on progress of their materials compliance. Verifying the standards and qualities of our materials is crucial to meeting our business and sustainability objectives, including:

Quality: Ensuring each raw material and final product is sourced from quality materials and using appropriate fabrication ensures the longevity and safety of an asset. Whilst sourcing structural steel for Birtinya, the register required Australian Certification standards and practices to be followed, with the contractor performing quality control inspections at the overseas fabrication plant to ensure quality control, of which evidence and outcomes were collected and documented.

Human Rights practices: Labour affected by modern slavery has a higher than typical occurrence in the supply chain in materials such as tiles or stone. As such, tiles for Birtinya were sourced from a reputable Australian supplier who could provide a verified chain of custody. Doing so allowed our contractor visibility and certainty of the human rights practices within the manufacturing processes.

Environmental: Ensuring timber products are sourced from renewable sources ensures long-term supply availability and environmentally sustainability. Birtinya has a higher extent of engineered timber product finishes than other similar projects (plywood, decorative timber veneers). We obtained certification that timber products used were certified by forest certification scheme or from a reused source.

Health: High-VOC levels in chemical products (adhesives, sealants, paints, PVC) can be toxic and harmful to health. Our materials register ensured all products sourced for Birtinya contained low-level VOCs, ensuring the health and safety of onsite workers, Stockland staff, tenants and the community.

Whilst materials standards are by no means a new concept for Stockland, with the new Sustainability Schedule requirements in part overlapping with Green Star obligations, this ensures the process is front of mind from project conception through to delivery. Typically, contractors would collect the minimum information required for Green Star and Stockland standards, and submit their information about the project once completed. This new practice ensures early and ongoing monitoring of progress, certification being cited before product selections or installations, and increased visibility and collaboration during the process for Stockland.