BRC Ltd, and Responsible Sourcing

Case Study
Name of client: BRC Ltd
Timeframe: December 2009 – February 2010

Client challenge

BRC Ltd were one of a number of stakeholders within the steel reinforcement industry who at an early stage recognised the importance and market advantage of demonstrating the responsible sourcing of their products by third-part certification. BRC Ltd was the first steel reinforcement fabricator to seek responsible sourcing certification.

The BRE Global approach

BRE Global worked closely with a wide range of sector stakeholders to develop a robust scheme to certify the responsible sourcing of steel products for the reinforcement of concrete.  The scheme, Eco-Reinforcement, is based on BES 6001Framework Standard for the Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products and is now owned by Eco-Reinforcement Ltd. BRE Global offers independent third party certification services for the scheme (for more information please see

The scheme focused primarily on the Organisational Management, Supply Chain Management, and Environmental and Social aspects of BRC Ltd’s operation.

Expert BRE Global auditors visited a number of BRC Ltd sites across the UK to audit their performance.

Significant challenges were met in relation to BRC Ltd staff’s understanding of the nature of evidence required on-site to demonstrate compliance with the scheme. The ground-breaking nature of the scheme with limited ‘case history’ was the greatest challenge.  This was overcome through rigorous reading and understanding of the scheme documentation.

Key outcomes

After careful analysis of the evidence provided by BRC Ltd, BRE Global awarded BRC Ltd, Eco-Reinforcement certification with a ‘Good’ rating.

The act of undertaking Eco-Reinforcement certification meant that BRC Ltd had to examine a wide range of KPIs within their business.  BRC Ltd can now demonstrate:

  • their supply chain is one based on responsible and ethical practices
  • 100% of their supply chain materials is traceable to known ethical and responsible sources
  • a wide range of environmentally sympathetic actions from carbon emissions to waste, employee training to links with local communities
  • their independently verified responsible sourcing credentials to prospective clients. Clients who are increasingly demanding formal responsible sourcing certification of the products they specify.

In mid-2010 BRC Ltd won a supply contract for reinforcing products where one key client requirement was proof of the responsible sourcing of the material.  BRC Ltd was in the unique position of being able to demonstrate this through their work with BRE Global.  BRC Ltd is confident that this will be the first of many similar contract requirements.

Following the award of this certificate a number of other steel reinforcement fabricators have engaged with BRE Global to secure Eco-Reinforcement certification.

Julia Bloomer, Managing Director of BRC Ltd said:

BRC Ltd is committed to being a sustainable reinforcing steel fabricator and mesh producer. This commitment has been demonstrated through our involvement, with BRE Global and other industry stakeholders, in the development of the Eco-Reinforcement scheme. Our certification by BRE Global in February 2010 was a defining moment for BRC Ltd, the first fabricator to be certified to a responsible sourcing scheme.”