BREEAM is the world’s leading science-based suite of validation and certification systems for sustainable built environment.

Responsible sourcing considers a wide range of sustainability issues across entire supply chains, and by doing so encompasses various elements of resource stewardship, corporate responsibility and sustainable procurement practice. BRE has supported responsible sourcing by awarding credits within its building assessment schemes since the mid-1990s.

Within BREEAM (and HQM), responsible sourcing is assessed by looking at the responsible sourcing credentials of specified construction products using responsible sourcing certification schemes (RSCS) that have been evaluated by BRE. As there are a growing number of responsible sourcing certification schemes available, each responding to the specific needs and issues relating to the their respective sectors, BREEAM has recognised the need to differentiate between schemes on the basis of their scope and rigour. This is based on a common set of overarching evaluation criteria relating to each scheme’s stakeholder engagement, certification rigour, scope and transparency.

The RSCS evaluation methodology was developed by BREEAM involving responsible sourcing scheme operators and wider stakeholder engagement between 2013 and 2016. The documents, which can be downloaded from the links below, explain the methodology and present the score levels for use in BREEAM and HQM assessments.

Criteria for the evaluation of RSCS schemes within BREEAM 

This document contains the BREEAM evaluation criteria for RSCS, along with respective guidance. 

Summarising RSCS evaluations for use in BREEAM

This document contains the method for summarising individual evaluation criteria scores into a single score level for use in BREEAM and HQM assessments. It also contains the evaluation outcomes of the first six schemes to be evaluated

Guidance Note 18 (GN18)

This document contains the score levels for RSCS that are recognised by BREEAM for use in BREEAM and HQM assessments, along with respective guidance

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If you are interested in having a responsible sourcing scheme evaluated for use in BREEAM and HQM, or require further information on the subjects covered by this page, please email [email protected] or call 0370 218 7574.