A recent survey by global management firm, Boston Consulting Group, found an overwhelming number of consumers support green supply chain initiatives. The survey also found an impressive 70% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable goods. 

As we move to support a more sustainable life - suppliers, whether direct to consumer or business to business, are too looking at new ways of working to ensure we’re all doing our bit to mitigate the impact of our effects on the planet.   

While product and price are still important, there are an increasing number of contractors and trade professionals in the civils sector who want to know how their goods are being supplied. As the sector drives to mitigate risks and help shape a more sustainable world, finding a supply partner that can help them have a more positive impact on the communities they serve, has become a big priority for Keyline Civils Specialist’s customers. The conversation no longer revolves solely around price and availability - it’s now also about how the industry can best work together to improve our environment for the future. 

Keyline is committed to leading the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda and driving meaningful change across the industry. Here, Chris Woollard, our Commercial Director, shares four ways we are driving the green agenda. 


We’ve achieved gold status in the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) for over 10 years. FORS recognises exemplary levels of compliance in legal requirements, safety, fuel efficiency, and environmental improvement within fleet operations. In addition to the more practical steps we take to achieve Gold status, a very big part of how that is achieved and maintained is our focus on driver performance. In addition to an ongoing programme to replace our fleet with the latest and most efficient vehicles, we’ve also looked at how we are using our fleet to reduce carbon emissions. We have set rigorous standards around how our vehicles are driven to drive down emissions, which are then monitored by an onboard electronic, telematic driver monitoring system across Keyline nationwide fleet. The device monitors and scores the driver’s performance, on every journey, against five key driving disciplines: idling, accelerating, breaking, speed and cornering. FORS Gold is important to us, particularly as the requirements are so stringent.


The need for the most sustainable solutions reaches across our whole business and we are continuously looking at what we can do to minimise our impact on the environment. This could be as simple as changing the light bulbs to LED versions, looking at how the buildings are heated, or how we deal with onsite waste. We are also reducing the complexity and processes we operate which have an impact on the environment, such as alternative fuel, trying to use forklifts less, which can be less harmful from an emissions perspective. We have so much work going on in this area here at Keyline and across the Group - at the start of November alone we announced that we have moved to a 100% renewable electricity tariff for all our sites. As well as formally being accredited by the Science Based Targets initiative (‘SBTi’) who have recognised our commitments to reduce our total greenhouse gas emissions (read the press release here).

We’ve recently implemented an improved delivery service which allows us to optimise our routes from a transport planning perspective. This enhances the customer experience, while allowing us to make the most efficient deliveries. It also saves time on site for customers by giving them a two-hour window and a pre-warning text about delivery times. This not only ensures that deliveries are made quickly and efficiently, it minimises the time our vehicles spend on-site, increasing ours and our customers’ safety. Technology like this will allow us to further our ESG commitments. As with any new service, we are looking at how we can develop it further, in terms of customer experience, and we are also asking ourselves how we can use the technology to support our ESG agenda. Can we work out the greenest route or the one that uses the least carbon?

Our apprenticeship scheme is of key importance to us as a group and we are seeing the positive impact that bringing new people, with new ideas into our business has. We believe, and know that,sustainability is a wider issue than just carbon emissions - it includes our people and how we invest in them. We are a diverse and inclusive business, but we are striving to expand that, and to create a place to work where you can always be your best self in the workplace. That’s all about diversity of culture, of different communities, but also diversity of generation and thought. 

Customer requirements have evolved to include ESG solutions for the products they use and for us to provide evidence of the complete ESG packages of their suppliers. To continuously improve in this area we are asking our manufacturers what they are doing differently with their products and setting expectations on behalf of our customers' needs. There are some amazing supplier innovations in the market - and we are committed to delivering them for our customers.It doesn’t stop with the product - its the packaging too and this is where the need to increase the minimum recycled content in packaging. This responsibility is with us as a merchant, as well as our manufacturing partners and we are actively reducing our own plastic use, and avoiding landfill usage.
As a business, our goal is to bring our supply chain on this sustainable journey with us. As a market leader in our sector, we believe a truly collaborative approach between manufacturing and distribution will ensure we are leading and achieving the ESG targets for us and our customers.
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