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SmartWaste, Mace and sustainability: An interview with Andrew Kinsey

Andrew Kinsey, Head of Sustainability for Construction at Mace since 2012, has been using SmartWaste for several years. He talked to us about his experiences with this tool and how it has benefited Mace’s construction processes.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what drew you to sustainability?

Facade of New Fetter Lane building
<strong><span style=color 333333><em>Facade of New Fetter Lane<em><span><strong>

“My personal interest in sustainability began in school, where environmental topics were already being taught. This combined with a parent who was a teacher, continuously feeding my interest with information, led to an early interest in what I viewed to be a very important subject.

After school I continued to expand my knowledge in environmental areas and it was through studying this interest that I ended up choosing sustainability as a career.

I enjoy working with different people and organisations, persuading them to be more efficient and sustainable. Everyone is on a journey with sustainability; while some individuals and organisations are just beginning to think about it, others are very on top of it, going above and beyond minimum requirements.”


Tell us more about Mace and sustainability…

The long term security of businesses centres on aspects such as sustainability and health & safety

“In a way, for many organisations, an enlightened self-interest drives the incorporation of sustainable practices. The long term security of businesses centres on aspects such as sustainability and health & safety. Mace not only acknowledges this and acts on it, but actively strives to be a leader in the pursuit of delivering a better way.

For example, Mace was the first major contractor to adopt Sedex as a mechanism to improve the management of ethical and responsible practices within the supply chain.   We adopted sustainable building practices early on with an increasing focus on prefabrication and off site manufacture on projects such as Heathrow Terminal 5 and more recently, The Shard and 5 Broadgate.”

Shard against a pink sky
<strong><span style=color 333333><em>The Shard<em><span><strong>

Why did Mace choose SmartWaste?

“As a contractor, Mace has over 60 live construction projects at any one time across eight business units in the UK, leading to the creation of vast amounts of data along the supply chain and construction process. Mace needed a tool quickly to help better manage sustainability and provide finer detailed information across all fields.

…growing necessity for us to meet environmental requirements and prove our track record

A need for a more efficient and accessible system was complimented by a growing necessity from some clients for us to meet environmental requirements and prove our track record – making environmental consideration a differentiator. This created an urgency that removed the prospect of creating a bespoke system. Instead Mace looked for pre-existing software that could be easily adapted to Mace’s needs.

This led us to investing in the SmartWaste system. By creating automated league tables and ratings based on a weighted scorecard, this quickly suited our need to motivate people to consistently and accurately collect environmental and sustainability data. The ease of adding data and generating statistics across multiple fields made incentivising the uptake of monitoring environmental aspects across all aspects of construction a lot more effective.

SmartWaste is an invaluable tool to collate and validate data across our construction projects and supporting our external certifications such as ISO14001, Achilles Building Confidence and BREEAM assessments.”

How has SmartWaste helped you and Mace?

It encourages us to be smarter and to share information on our lessons learnt

“Fundamentally it encourages us to be smarter in terms of collecting data and sharing information regarding our lessons learnt.

Bullet charts and spark line graphs included in SmartWaste convey a rich story in a small space enabling us to understand our progress towards achieving sustainability goals, whilst motivating our teams to aspire towards a more sustainable way of working.

The monthly scoring and ratings built into SmartWaste provide regular feedback and help our people and projects keep on track with environmental objectives and targets. Additional points engage people and project teams to develop and share innovation and best practices for the benefit of the business.

 So far, application of SmartWaste has helped saved us:

  • Approximately 2 days of management time on a monthly basis in validating data vs previous manual processes
  • Over £500,000 in reused materials
  • Circa £1.3m from best practices/innovations

Project specific savings including:

  • 280 tonnes in waste avoided.
  • £15,000 and additional carbon and time savings through reducing transport of materials from manufacturers

 Having a system like this means that we can track where savings are being made, and improve processes during projects to help meet our sustainability targets – and importantly, those of our clients.

Use of SmartWaste allows responsibility for data collection to be distributed throughout the supply chain. For example, one of our trusted logistics suppliers has taken responsibility for their own data input, but it can be accessed by all those involved in the same project and is validated by the Mace team.  SmartWaste also enables us to share data through client and supply chain links improving the efficiency of data collection.”

Photo of the front of Birmingham New Street
<strong><span style=color 333333><em>Birmingham New Street<em><span><strong>

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s construction, what role do you see for digital tools like this in the future?

“In the future I can see there being a challenge around the number of different software tools we have. I would like to see a convergence of some tools, or at least better communication between them. Stronger integration is particularly important between health & safety and environmental aspects to give a greater holistic view of a project’s strengths and weaknesses – BIM is a driver for this.

Many programmes require a lot of data entry, creating a data rich yet knowledge poor database, which is not easily analysed. Similarly it’s not easy to pull information from these systems. SmartWaste helps in this respect with its dashboards, providing at-a-glance information.”

To find out more about SmartWaste and how this tool can help you, please visit