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‘Sustainable’ contracts on agenda

The Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) will meet to discuss introducing sustainability obligations into contracts. The JCT policy meeting will involve a number of key construction organisations from across the industry, will discuss whether contracts should include stronger sustainability performance provisions for the construction process. Questions whether such provisions could be effective, what remedies could be sought for failure to meet sustainability requirements, and how contracts could encourage professional advisers to give priority to sustainable design features will be debated. Peter Hibberd, JCT secretary-general, said: “It will be interesting to hear what the supply and demand sides of the industry think about this proposal, and to explore how, and if, contracts can be used effectively to improve sustainability in the industry. “Contracts already provide the framework for performance of the parties working on a project, and could be adapted to include environmental provisions. Although many leading organisations are responding to the calls for greater corporate social responsibility across the range of their activities, the cost of improving the overall environmental performance of a project is something some employers may be unable or unwilling to bear.” The JCT said the proposed approach is similar to that being adopted by the Olympic Delivery Agency, which will intends to ensure high standards of sustainability, of health and safety, and of occupational health, throughout the entire supply chain on the project.