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Taking Responsibility

’s blogger this week considers why repairing everyday including cladding, doors and windows, or interior surfaces such as sinks and worktops, should be seen as part of a company’s responsible approach to sustainability.

The damage that dare not speak its name.

The account of George Washington being questioned by his father about a cherry tree having been cut down is a parable known to many of us, and is taught to virtually every American child – but it also has something to teach the UK construction industry in relation to the way it approaches the challenge of cutting its environmental footprint.

According to the parable about the future first President of the United States, because he admitted his guilt in felling the tree, his father did not punish him, and it is accepted that he went on to be one of the country’s greatest and most respected leaders.

Ignoring for a moment tree preservation orders and the current controversy about changes to the planning regulations, the actual irony is contained in the fact that UK building contractors are generally pretty reluctant to talk about the damage that occurs as a consequence of almost any work being executed, even though it is completely accidental, and in many cases virtually unavoidable.

Moving heavy materials and cumbersome components around a construction site, either by hand or with the use of mechanised equipment, regularly causes dents and scratches as well as more serious damage.  And so for the personnel at the sharp end of any building project, there is always ‘snagging’ to be dealt with before handover.

And if we’re going to be honest as well, Plastic Surgeon’s business model revolves around responding to clients’ needs to deal with such challenges as quickly and cost effectively as possible. Where our service really adds value, however, is not merely in the comprehensive range or repair techniques we offer, but also our holistic approach to ensuring our customers can quantify the ecological benefits of employing our Finishers. And getting people in the industry to recognise this as a positive, is a battle we believe we are slowly winning.

Although some of the UK’s biggest contractors, housebuilders and even giants of the insurance world are shy about admitting they call on our expertise, others such as BAM Construction have not merely cooperated with us on publicity stories, but actually incorporate the figures we can provide into their own environmental assessments.

BAM Construction in particular is ahead of not only government, but also its own stringent targets for achieving ‘zero waste to landfill’, with our Finishers now routinely being called upon to carry out snagging operations which other site operatives such as carpenters or decorators simply are not trained or equipped to carry out.

In addition to this, the data gathered from each Plastic Surgeon Finisher’s hand held computer, is not only used for invoicing purposes, but can also be processed using our VisibilITy software, to generate reports on the quantities and weights of building components saved from being skipped.  And for each of these little victories, there is also the saving of raw materials, energy and vehicle miles in producing and installing replacements.

You will not be surprised to hear then that we wish everyone in the construction industry came clean about the reality of accidental damage, and rather than being embarrassed about letting us repair it in the most environmentally responsible way possible, they were actually proud of the fact. Given the facts, both shareholders and the public, or other end customer, should be of a similar mind.

So whatever the snagging challenge you’re facing, Plastic Surgeon will be pleased to help – unless it concerns a tree, and then we suggest you contact an arborealist.

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