Aggregate Industries and Responsible Sourcing

Case study: Responsible sourcing

Name of client: Aggregate Industries - Crossrail


Client background

As a leading producer of construction materials, Aggregate Industries was the first supplier in the industry to achieve certification under BES 6001: The Framework Standard for Responsible Sourcing.  Since its certification in 2009, Aggregate Industries has embedded the principles of responsible sourcing across its entire business.


Responsible sourcing in action: Crossrail, Greater London

Aggregate Industries has been a leading supplier of materials to Crossrail since commencement of the project in 2009.  Aggregate Industries has supplied products to all of the main construction packages on the programme. 

At an early stage, Crossrail Ltd committed to build on the success of the London 2012 Olympics and placed a strong emphasis on six stated themes of responsible and sustainable procurement. The principles of responsible sourcing are embedded in the pre-tender evaluation for Crossrail schemes and, through appointment of suitable partners, robust standards are fostered in the project supply chain. 

With contractual targets in place from Crossrail for the top tier construction contractors, Aggregate Industries used its BES 6001 certification to support the requirements of this complex project.  At tender stage, Aggregate Industries’ responsible sourcing principles incorporating ethical trading, environmental sustainability and supply chain management were appraised alongside other factors such as price and quality.

Formal certification to BES 6001 is referenced in the bespoke BREEAM for Underground Stations framework, developed for Crossrail by BRE Global.  Aggregate Industries’ BES 6001 certification allows the contractors to demonstrate legal and responsible sourcing compliance and increases their overall BREEAM score under the set of assessment criteria for the underground stations.

Following appointment and as part of its contractual engagement, Aggregate Industries submits an annual return on responsible procurement to the Tier 1 contractors, drawing on the themes of its BES 6001 certification to support its responses and demonstrate continuous improvement to Crossrail.  These returns also substantiate the BREEAM certification of the underground stations to which Aggregate Industries supply materials, enabling Crossrail to objectively assess the environmental impact and performance of the finished buildings. 

With guidance provided to Crossrail through BES 6001, the whole supply chain, including Aggregate Industries, has the opportunity to promote materials and services which reduce overall environmental impact, including secondary aggregates and sustainable rail and barge transportation.

Setting new standards for the future

The principles of the London 2012 Olympics and Crossrail have become benchmarks of excellence in the construction industry, and Aggregate Industries is now seeing these used as models for the delivery of forthcoming large infrastructure projects including the Thames Tideway Tunnel and HS2.

Aggregate Industries believe that as clients demand ever increasing standards of responsible and sustainably sourced materials, formal certifications such as BES 6001 will be the foundation of the supply chain for future major construction and infrastructure projects.

Aggregate Industries’ view

Paul McCaffrey, Aggregate Industries’ Sustainable Products Manager, notes:

‘Over the last five years, there has been a significant focus from our client base to demonstrate formal certification to standards of ethical and sustainable performance.  For us, BES 6001 is a holistic way in which we can draw all of our initiatives together under a single certified process, demonstrating to our customers and our clients that they can source our materials with confidence.’


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