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Ditch plastic water cooler cups if you want our business, says EA boss

plastic cups

Contractors should ditch plastic cups at water coolers if they want to win work with the Environment Agency, its boss has said.

In an interview with its chief executive Sir James Bevan in the September edition of New Civil Engineer out today, Bevan said that the supply chain must follow its lead and “walk the walk” in terms of sustainability.

In the interview he says: “When we got into this building… we had a nice little kitchen, but it also had a container full of plastic cups, so we ripped it off the wall. That’s an example of us trying to walk the walk. What we want from ourselves and our suppliers is that we bear down as far as possible, as close to zero use of single use plastic.”

The Agency  is currently procuring a £1.5bn flood defence framework, which includes a lot worth £300M for professional services including design and consultancy, and a lot worth up to £1.2bn for programme delivery. The new commercial arrangements should be in place by July next year.

Other sustainable practices the Agency is looking for from suppliers include minimising the volume of materials required, minimising waste materials,  avoiding the using virgin, finite resources as far as practicable, and looking to use materials and products from recycled or renewable sources. It also wants suppliers to use materials that can be sourced locally; to reduce carbon impact of transportation; and to encourage innovation.

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