CARES in ‘ground-breaking’ - Steel Sustainability Agreement across Australasia


CARES in ‘ground-breaking’ - Steel Sustainability Agreement across Australasia

CARES is to play a key role in transforming sustainability standards across the steel supply chain in Australasia, it was announced today (Monday March 8th).

Under a ‘ground-breaking’ agreement reached with ACRS, the certification body responsible for auditing reinforcing steel entering the market in Australia and New Zealand, CARES’ acclaimed Sustainable Constructional Steels (SCS) scheme will be used to assess product sustainability standards, leading to a “dramatic improvement” in steel assurance.

The tie-up between CARES and its Australasian counterpart follows more than two years’ detailed discussions on the most appropriate route to optimise steel sustainability measurement across a vast supply chain, encompassing major public infrastructure projects right down to small commercial and residential developments in the trans-Tasman construction sector.

“This is a very important moment for us all, given the challenges this industry has faced in recent years,” said CARES Chief Executive Officer Lee Brankley. “Despite the complexities of these markets, and the additional issues everyone has faced in finding a way to maintain full operational capability during the pandemic, we have been able to make real progress – and I am delighted that our agreement with ACRS has now been finalised.”

Mr Brankley said the roll-out of CARES’ SCS scheme with ACRS represented “further international recognition” of CARES’ market-leading role in the sustainability assessment of safety critical steel reinforcement products. Transparency in the sustainability performance of products offered to the industry would assist those making critical procurement decisions where environmental, social and governance factors were key priorities for stakeholders.

Philip Sanders, ACRS’ Executive Director, said: “The introduction of this Scheme will ensure that the public knows that steel installed in their homes, high rise commercial and residential buildings and across Australasian infrastructure meets the highest global standards.”

With clarity around the ‘back story’ of product offered to the market, confidence in the certification process would increase. The risk of misrepresentation of product performance would be significantly reduced by the introduction of independent, proven verification standards.

Mr Brankley said that “recent events have confirmed, more than ever, how important it is to build confidence in the provenance of safety critical products, like steel, entering the construction supply chain. CARES is proud of its long track record in operating an SCS scheme which has gained global recognition and the partnership launched today with ACRS is a real turning point for the sector in Australia and New Zealand.”

He added that while CARES had a long and proud record built from its UK base, its reach has grown significantly to more than 40 markets globally, with an increasing number of manufacturers and clients seeking to lock in the confidence that comes from verified, independent, third-party scrutiny.