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Network Rail to prioritise sustainable bids

Network Rail is to prioritise sustainability in such a way that complying bidders could win major projects work even if they came in with the highest price, NCE has learned.

Network Rail intends to score bidders on a sliding scale for their sustainability credentials in such a way that the percentage points earned could mean a contractor winning work even if it tenders a higher price.

The move is thought by Network Rail to be the first time a major client has adopted such a specific and weighted approach to ensuring sustainability is treated as seriously beneficial to business.

The proposals would mean that a maximum of 5% weighting could be achieved for sustainability in the tender criteria. 

Skanska commercial director for civil engineering Andrew English, who is also chairman for Network Rail’s commercial directors forum working group on sustainability said: “To my knowledge Network Rail is the first to identify a particular percentage score specifically for sustainability.”

The specifics of how sustainability efforts will be measured through the tender process is still a “work in progress”, according to English. 

But he stressed the importance of the initiative.  

“Sustainability is where health and safety was 20 years ago,” he said.

Network Rail Infrastructure Projects finance and commercial director David McLoughlin said that over time the organisation would be able to build up data that would allow it to improve its ability to benchmark sustainability standards.

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