Sustainable Constructional Steel scheme

Reinforcing steel is a significant part of any major construction project. The supply chain for reinforcing steel, its production, distribution, processing and delivery to a construction site, is complex. At each stage in the supply chain, steel is transferred from one company to another. This global purchasing and local use requires effective management of the supply chain if construction projects are to be delivered on time and on budget. The CARES approach to product certification is unique and provides a positive link, often referred to as full product traceability or 'chain of custody,' throughout the whole supply chain from the producer to the end-user.

Reinforcing steel producers and processors are coming under increasing pressure to take actions to mitigate their climate change impacts. Such impacts are connected with the level of greenhouse gas emissions and are commonly referred to as the business carbon footprint. CARES and its stakeholders have developed the Sustainable Constructional Steel (SCS) scheme in response to this demand and building upon the full product traceability required by its Steel for the Reinforcement of Concrete (SRC) product certification schemes.

List of CARES SCS scheme stakeholders:

  • Construction Industry Specifiers
  • Construction Industry Contractors
  • Building and Infrastructure Users
  • Steel Manufacturer (Producer)
  • Construction Steel Products Manufacturer (Processor/Fabricator)
  • CARES Board
  • CARES SCS Scheme Sustainability Committee Members
  • CARES Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) members and Chair’s nominees
  • CARES staff and contractors
  • Steel industry bodies, including World Steel
  • Construction industry evaluation and certification bodies, including BRE, LEED, ESTIMDAMA and other regional organisations that manage building design criteria and evaluations
  • Competitor Certification Bodies
  • Broader construction materials industry bodies and companies
  • Communities near Steel manufacturers and suppliers
  • Non-Governmental Organisations representing environmental, social and economic interests
  • Governments and politicians
  • Workers within the construction and steel industries
  • Enforcement agencies that represent compliance interests relating to environmental, health and safety and other sustainability aspects
  • Standard development organisations

What is sustainable constructional steel certification?

The objective of the CARES SCS scheme is to provide independent certification of the environmental performance of steel products. The assessment is based on an environmental management system to ISO 14001 and, in addition, the identification, collection, auditing and reporting to CARES of certain sustainability data. The environmental criteria were developed by a group of industry experts, and cover the entire supply chain from the production of the steel through its processing to the delivery of the finished product to the construction site.

The CARES SCS scheme aims, in particular, to establish a dynamic framework to improve the energy and environmental performance of products and provide a robust and transparent mechanism for communicating the environmental performance of steel products to designers, specifiers and clients.

How do you achieve certification?

Firms wishing to achieve certification must operate in accordance with the CARES SRC scheme. This will already have included within it the management system for quality according to ISO 9001. In addition, the firm must operate to a documented environmental management system that satisfies the requirements of ISO 14001. Firms that wish to achieve approval to the SCS scheme can contact CARES to obtain some guidance on how to proceed.

For those firms eligible to apply for certification, the assessment procedure commences with a detailed review of their Environmental/Management System Manual against the requirements of ISO 14001. Providing the Environmental/Management System Manual meets the requirements of ISO 14001, an assessment of the firm’s system is carried out. The assessment team may comprise one or more auditors depending upon the size and complexity of the firm's activities. After a successful assessment and the payment of fees a Certificate of Approval will be issued.

Why choose CARES?

Achieving certification to ISO 14001 requires considerable effort and commitment from a company. It is often the beginning of improved process and business performance. CARES provides free marketing support to promote successful certification and allows a certificated firm to display the relevant CARES "quality mark" on publicity and stationery. All approved companies are automatically included in the CARES Approved Firms section of this website.

Having invested so much in a management system which includes the requirements of both ISO 9001 and ISO14001 as well as controlling your processes to an extent which assures consistent achievement of product compliance, please entrust an assessment to a certification body that understands the product, processes and supply chain.

Reference documents

 CARES Sector Average EPD Report for Constructional Steel

 BREEAM recognition: BREEAM UK New Construction 2014 recognised CARES Sustainable Constructional Steel (SCS) Scheme as Responsible Sourcing Certification Scheme  (September 2014)

BREEAM recognition: CARES Sustainable Scheme Open Letter (PDF Oct 2013)

 CARES Sustainability Report (2016)

 CARES Sustainability Report (2015)

 CARES Sustainability Report (2014)

CARES Sustainability Report (2013)

CARES Sustainability Report (2012)

 SCS Scheme Manual (PDF)

SRS Scheme Targets (PDF)

CARES Sustainability Information Leaflet (PDF)

Further information for users/specifiers/procurers of reinforcing steel (PDF)

 CARES SCS scheme audit results 2014-2015

 CARES SCS scheme audit results 2016