BES 6001 (The Framework Standard for Responsible Sourcing) FAQs

1.   What is Responsible Sourcing?
2.   What is BES 6001 certification?
3.   Why should I seek to achieve BES 6001 certification?
4.   What materials are covered by BES 6001?
5.   How much does certification cost?
6.   How far back down the supply chain must I go?
7.   What if I have suppliers from outside the EU?
8.   How long does it take to get certified?
9.   What is the certification process?
10. How long does the certificate last?
11. What are the benefits of BES 6001 certification?
12. How do my clients know I'm certified?
13. How do I start the certification process?
14. Where can I find out more about BES 6001?

 

1. What is Responsible Sourcing?

Responsible Sourcing is defined in BS8902 - Responsible sourcing sector certification schemes for construction products – Specification as:

‘[The] management of sustainable development in the provision or procurement of a product’

…where sustainable development is further defined as:

‘[A]n enduring, balanced approach to economic activity, environmental responsibility and social progress’

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2. What is BES 6001 certification?

The BES 6001 standard is a means of securing certification to demonstrate through independent, third-party certification, that products certified against the scheme have been responsibly sourced.  BES 6001 certification does not cover a company’s individual site or sites but is focused on the certification of individual products or product groups manufactured at one or more locations.

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3. Why should I seek to achieve BES 6001 certification?

One very good reason to seek BES 6001 certification comes from the UK Contractor’s Group(who represent over 30 leading construction companies who together account for a third of the UK construction industry turnover).  The UKCG state that:

‘UKCG members support and give preference to procuring products which are able to demonstrate compliance with a recognised responsible sourcing scheme, certified by a third party’

…BES 6001 is such a scheme.

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4. What materials are covered by BES 6001?

Unlike many other schemes BES 6001 is not a sector specific standard; any material, product or product group can be certificated against the standard.  However, in some cases individual construction product sectors have made use of the BES 6001 scheme as a framework and have developed their own sector scheme which is fully compliant and equivalent to BES 6001.  An example is the Eco-Reinforcement scheme for steel reinforcement in concrete – please see www.eco-reinforcement.org.

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5. How much does certification cost?

A manufacturer, seeking certification of a single product, manufactured in a single plant in the UK, would pay about £8K for the certification.  This fee includes a site audit to the manufacturing plant and Head Office (usually the same location) as well as all certification costs (including uploading onto Green Book Live).  This cost would increase for multiple products and/or multiple plants (as well as for manufacturing plants outside the UK).  However, the cost per product certification decreases when multiple products/locations are included into a single assessment process.

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6. How far back down the supply chain must I go?

As a minimum, 60% of the constituent materials (by both mass and volume) in the assessed product shall be traceable down the supply chain, through appropriate chain of custody evidence, to the organisations which:

  • extract and acquire raw materials; or
  • recover recycled materials; or
  • produce by-products or production residues; or
  • process commodity traded chemicals

In addition, the organisation must have a documented system for its purchasing process and the approval of all of its suppliers who provide input materials for the product being assessed. The system must be designed to implement the criteria with respect to the BES 6001 standard.  The organisation must also maintain a list of all the suppliers that provide constituent materials for the assessed product.

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7. What if I have suppliers from outside the EU?

Where supply chain organisations source constituent materials for the assessed product from  outside the EU, or from states that have not declared adherence to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, they must undertake appropriate risk assessments and demonstrate due diligence in monitoring compliance with all the requirements of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

The following schemes are examples of appropriate mechanisms for demonstrating due diligence:

  • Membership of the Ethical Trade Initiative
  • Membership of the United Nations Global Compact
  • Certification to the Social Accountability International SA8000 standard

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8. How long does it take to get certified?

The timeframe from application to certification is in the order of 12-20 weeks depending on a number of factors including:

  • the complexity of the application (input materials, input sources etc…)
  • the planned level of pass (the higher the anticipated level the longer the certification process is likely to be) – although such certification secures more credits in BREEAM
  • plant location(s) and numbers
  • speed of response of the client in providing suitable supporting evidence and organising site audits

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9. What is the certification process?

The process, following the acceptance of the BRE’s proposal and receipt by BRE of full certification fees, is:

  • The client prepares and sends to BRE an evidence pack (electronic, hard-copy or a mixture) to support the certification.
  • BRE prepares and sends to the client a pre-assessment report based on the pre-assessment evidence pack.
  • A site audit (or audits) is undertaken by BRE.
  • BRE prepares a final report after the site audit(s) and this report is endorsed by the client.
  • The endorsed final report is verified within BRE and a final certification score is determined.
  • The certificate is issues to the client and details placed on Green Book Live.

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10. How long does the certificate last?

A BES 6001 certificate lasts for three years.  However, at the end of each year the certificate must pass an Annual Verification process to check that essential features of the original certification are being maintained.  A certificate pass level cannot be changed during an Annual verification.

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11. What are the benefits of BES 6001 certification?

The key benefits from having products certified to BES 6001 include:

  • Minimising risk within your product supply chain
  • Securing additional credits within both BREEAM and the Code for Sustainable Homes
  • Providing vital product differentiation and market advantage for certified products
  • Delivering a route to benchmark and achieve continuous improvement regarding the sustainability of construction products

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12. How do my clients know I’m certified?

Once the certification is completed each certificate is added to BRE’s Green Book Live website.  Users can apply the site’s search facilities to identify suppliers, materials and certificate details.  All certificates are downloadable from the website.

All products with BES 6001 certification from BRE can carry the BRE Global Certification Mark for responsibly sourced products certified to BES 6001:

BES6001

…and companies with BES 6001 certified products can use the BRE BES 6001 Responsible Sourcing Badge of Recognition on marketing material, letterheads etc:

BES6001 Logo

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13. How do I start the certification process?

Complete the application form (available on the website) and return it (with the appropriate application fee) to BRE.

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14. Where can I find out more about BES 6001?

Email the responsible sourcing helpdesk at responsiblesourcing@bre.co.uk.

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