Posted on Friday 23 April 2010 by Ulster Business

Working with its supply chain on the Royal Victoria Hospital development, Newtownabbey-based McLaughlin & Harvey achieved a collective saving of £280,000 by taking a collaborative approach to resource efficiency.

With support from Envirowise, funded locally by Invest Northern Ireland, McLaughlin & Harvey has encouraged suppliers involved in the construction of the hospital’s new critical care centre to become more sustainable – and save money in the process. This includes establishing a Supply Chain Project to work with local suppliers such as Warwick Engineering, Blackbourne Integrated M&E and McMullen Architects to identify areas for improved resource efficiency and environmental performance. The 12-storey centre, which was granted planning permission in March 2007, will be capable of dealing with up to 80,000 patients per year. The project is worth around £114,000,000 to McLaughlin & Harvey. Richard Robinson, Quality & Environmental Manager at McLaughlin & Harvey, said: “At McLaughlin & Harvey we have worked hard with the experts at Envirowise to embed sustainability in all aspects of the business, so we were keen to work with our suppliers to help them realise the benefits of becoming more resource efficient. Not only has this achieved considerable financial savings, it has also helped to make this project as sustainable as possible. “Internally, the firm has established a system for measuring and reporting site sustainability, through focused Key Performance Indicators that are designed to really show sustainability performance.” ‘This approach won McLaughlin & Harvey a Green Apple Award from the Green Organisation that was presented at the House of Commons in November 2009. “By understanding sustainable construction,” Richard said, “McLaughlin & Harvey has been able to manage the construction process to make significant waste and energy reductions.” Sam McCloskey, Envirowise Regional Manager for Northern Ireland, added: “McLaughlin & Harvey is a great example of a company looking at not only its direct impact on the environment, but also the ways in which working with suppliers can reduce the carbon footprint of the entire site and cut costs for all concerned. Sharing ideas and best practice in this way not only boosts the bottom line for the companies involved, but will also help to forge strong business relationships for future years.” Olive Hill, Director of Technology and Process Development at Invest Northern Ireland, said: “A direct correlation exists between improvements in resource efficiency and a company’s profit margins. By engaging with the experts from Envirowise, businesses such as McLaughlin & Harvey can find out how to reduce waste and achieve significant financial savings in the process. The construction industry’s endorsement of McLaughlin & Harvey’s approach to sustainability was also recognised last year by its winning of the 2009 CEF/Specify Award for Environmental Sustainability, sponsored by Invest NI.” To help other construction firms in Northern Ireland benefit from improved resource efficiency, Envirowise has launched a range of free fact sheets for contractors and sole trades people, which provide practical advice on reducing waste and saving money through resource efficiency. There are seven factsheets available, providing tailored information for labourers, bricklayers, electricians, plumbers, decorators, plasterers and carpenters. The new guides also highlight legislation that will impact on sole traders, along with details of organisations that can offer more help and advice, and can be downloaded for free at


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