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BES 6001 Case Study - Marshalls

Company background

Established in the late 1880s, Marshalls is the UK's leading manufacturer of natural stone and concrete hard landscaping products.  Marshalls supplies the construction, home improvement and landscape markets.  The company has workforce of over 2,000 based at 54 sites across the UK.  Marshalls hard landscaping products can be seen at some of the UK’s most prestigious sites including Trafalgar Square, the London 2012 Olympic Park and South Kensington’s award winning Exhibition Road.                        

Marshalls’ Motivation

Marshalls has embedded Sustainability into the heart of their business, operating under a corporate triple bottom line of Economic, Environmental and Social Responsibility, whilst also ensuring that their products provide economic, environmental and social benefits to their customers.  These principles were expressed in Marshalls 2012 Environmental KPI Report:

‘As a business, we aim to set ourselves apart in all that we do, and this includes leading the way on social, environmental and economic management.  Sound environmental management and behaviours are increasingly important for customers and end-users of our products. By reducing the environmental impact of our activities, managing our operations in a sustainable way, and seeking innovation in our use of energy and materials, we aim to improve overall business efficiency, build on positive customer and supplier relationships and reinforce the core values connected with ‘creating better landscapes’.’

In line with these core business values, Marshalls wished to demonstrate their commitment to the principles of responsible sourcing, covering social, environmental and economic principles by seeking BES 6001 certification for concrete products manufactured at 12 of their UK sites.  These product ranges were:

  • Concrete flag and kerb products
  • Concrete block paving
  • Wet cast paving and walling
  • Pressed Walling
  • Drainage Products
  • Traffic Management Products

In addition, Marshalls recognised that securing BES 6001 certification would help their customers secure additional ‘BREEAM’ or ‘Code for Sustainable Homes’ credits, support their commitments to industry initiatives and to achieve competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Certification process

The certification and audit process began in March 2011 with the drafting of a pre-assessment report based on a range of documentary evidence provided by Marshalls.  BRE then made four visits between May and June to a number of Marshalls sites, including their main office in West Yorkshire and production facilities at Brookfoot and West Lane near Halifax, St Ives, Cambridgeshire and Sandy, Bedfordshire.

These site visits enabled BRE Global auditors to review Marshalls' responsible sourcing related processes both at their main office where the various policies and procedures were developed and managed, through to Marshalls front-line manufacturing plants where the policies were implemented in the production process.

By July 2011 the process was complete and Marshalls had secured a ‘Very Good’ BES 6001 certified rating for all the products which entered the certification process.

In 2012 Marshalls also successfully passed their first annual verification.

Customer benefits

Marshalls are now in their second year of certification and David Morrell, Marshalls Head of Sustainability has been delighted with the results of the BES 6001 certification noting that…

 “BES 6001 allows us to communicate the complex message of management systems, supply chain engagement and a host of sustainable policies, targets & reports in a simple, third party assessed certification scheme.  The Standard and audit process required no more than to demonstrate what we were already doing as a business.”