FIS has this week launched a new Sustainability Toolkit to help the sector to take a pro-active lead as a supply chain in supporting the UK ambition and meeting legal requirements linked to UK Net Zero carbon commitments, but also to look more broadly at the ethical and environmental aspects of sustainability.

In June 2019, the UK became the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050.   With the The (Conference of the Parties) COP26 Summit taking place in the UK in November 2021, this year has been designated “The UK’s year or Climate Action”.   With Construction accounting for 40% of UK Carbon Consumption, the construction industry is critical to supporting this commitment.  In turn the Finishes and Interiors Sector representing around 11% of UK Construction and decisions and processes associated with the fit-out and finishing of buildings is estimated to account for 40% of energy in a building and hence has a big part to play in realising change.  A recent manifesto published by Perkins & Will sets down a clear strategy to moving to zero carbon and identifies that the built environment is responsible for 40% of the UK’s total carbon footprint and within this fit-out is responsible for 40% of energy in a building.  A key figure to target improvement identified in this report is that 300 tonnes of fit-out material goes to landfill every day.

The Sustainability Toolkit is the first output of a new Sustainability Working Group (which is being developed in partnership with the Supply Chain Sustainability School) has been established within the FIS community to help inform activity and provide a platform to encourage collaboration through the FIS and with wider industry initiatives.  The plan is to use this group of experts to set down a clear action plan for the sector and highlight key strategic relationships that can be developed through the FIS to support transformation.   Initially focus is in 5 core areas:

  • Increasing knowledge and understanding within the supply chain
  • Setting targets and standardisation (including monitoring and measuring impact)
  • Providing an active network and encouraging collaboration
  • Highlighting individuals and approaches that help inspire and inform change
  • Informing design and encouraging better asset management

FIS Chief Executive Iain McIlwee stated:

“Whilst many have not been hit by the full force of the Net Zero tidal wave that seems to be heading our way, it is absolutely dominating discussions around the transformation of construction.  When you step back and look at the principles of sustainability, they sit very closely to everything FIS stands for.  Beyond the obvious environmental considerations, the ingredients of change are value led change, resource efficiency, innovation and harnessing technology, productivity, quality, collaboration and ultimately early engagement and dialogue up and down the supply chain.  We are really grateful to the members who have got stuck in to date and look forward to exploring the full potential of the race to Net Zero and a focus on fairness and inclusivity that will be a key to transforming our supply chain for the better”.

The FIS Sustainability Toolkit is available here

If you are interested in joining the working group or simply seeing the draft action plan email or call FIS on 0121 707 0077

Next meeting of the FIS Sustainability Working Group is set for 3pm on the 27th May – the meeting will be virtual.  If interested in attending, email