Clarks Contracts

VIBES Award: Management (SME) Category Award

WINNER

Highlights

Clark Contracts initially focused on waste issues in their projects, as this was a major cost to the business and their customers. However, they have now extended their monitoring and introduced targets for water, energy and fuel use in addition to waste. Their use of a single waste management company for all projects has allowed them to develop a standardised method of reporting waste data and facilitated more accurate assessment of their performance.

Clark Contracts was established as a joinery company in 1978 and have since developed into six divisions working in the construction, refurbishment and maintenance sectors of the construction industry, with individual contract values of up to £10 million. Clark Contracts won the VIBES Management Award in the Medium Business Category for their Johnstone High School Project; an £8 million refurbishment project of an existing high school for Renfrewshire Council, which included the full strip-out and replacement of classrooms, electrical and mechanical services and external windows. Sound environmental and social policies are part of the company ethos at Clark Contracts.

The business achieved ISO 14001 accreditation in January 2010 however it has been undertaking good environmental management via their innovative Site Waste Management Plans (SWMPs) for a significant period prior to ISO accreditation. All staff receive induction training which outlines the company environmental policy, in addition to regular toolbox talks throughout the lifespan of a project. Subcontractors on site are also trained and there is clear signage and instructions on waste management practices provided on all projects.

Clark Contracts has implemented a very effective monitoring and reporting procedure, with detailed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and a well-informed workforce working towards achieving them. Fortnightly audits, which include environmental criteria, are conducted on-site, recorded and reported monthly to the company directors. Project operatives have access to an enhanced bonus scheme to achieve the KPIs set in the SWMP. These employees are responsible for ensuring that site operatives are effectively segregating waste and thus preventing contamination. The business has developed a register of approved contractors who can demonstrate good environmental performance and understand the ethos of Clark Contracts’ business.

This is enabling the business to act as a leader by driving environmental improvements and demonstrating best practice through their network of subcontractors. Clark Contracts was established as a joinery company in 1978 and have since developed into six divisions working in the construction, refurbishment and maintenance sectors of the construction industry, with individual contract values of up to £10 million.

Clark Contracts initially focused on waste issues in their projects, as this was a major cost to the business and their customers. However, they have now extended their monitoring and introduced targets for water, energy and fuel use in addition to waste. Their use of a single waste management company for all projects has allowed them to develop a standardised method of reporting waste data and facilitated more accurate assessment of their performance.

When working on the Johnstone High School project, the business worked with their client to ensure that all reusable items were salvaged or refurbished. As a result, the amount of new furniture was reduced. Savings on the project were estimated at £44,616, with 59.15% of waste produced on the site being recycled and 71% of waste diverted from landfill. Projects such as this are exemplars of good practice and Clark Contracts has used their good environmental performance to secure further contracts. Pre-qualifying questions for Local Authority contracts are based on strict environmental service level agreements. The company’s SWMP approach and ISO14001 accreditation are key advantages in helping them to secure this type of work. Despite the market downturn, Clark Contracts business has remained buoyant.

The business has good relations with communities in the area they work in; predominantly through the sourcing of subcontractors in the local area each project is running in. This ensures local employment and benefits to the local economy, in addition to reducing the carbon footprint of the project through reductions in the distance staff have to travel to work. The business also allows their staff to undertake recognised training, with six staff graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University quantity surveying course last year.

Clark Contracts have demonstrated innovation by developing their own SWMP template which is focussed on refurbishment, rather than using the standard WRAP/Zero Waste Scotland templates that are focussed on new buildings. The template was developed internally with assistance from Zero Waste Scotland.

Gordon Cunningham, managing director, Clark Contracts said, “We believe this prestigious award win outlines the hard work undertaken by everyone at Clark Contracts over the past few years to create a culture focused on eliminating waste and improving the efficient use of materials, whilst delivering significant cost savings to the business.

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2020 Scotland's Climate Group
Anglian Water Business
Energy Saving Trust
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Keep Scotland Beautiful
Pernod Ricard
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Scottish Water
ScottishPower
SEPA
The Scottish Government
The University of Stirling, Management School
Zero Waste Scotland

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