In an era of increasing environmental consciousness, adopting sustainable practices has become crucial for businesses across all industries. While it is one of the most profitable and future-proof sectors, the construction industry is responsible for 45% of total carbon emissions in the UK.
Something needs to be done and thankfully, many businesses are now trying hard to make a serious change. Here, we’ll be exploring how the construction sector can become more sustainable and reach the net zero target set by United Nations in the coming years without sacrificing productivity.
Building a sustainable supply chain
Cultivating a more sustainable supply chain mean being more selective with the businesses you collaborate with. Every aspect of your business should take sustainability into account, from your personal protective equipment supplier to the shipping companies you rely on. Only partner with ethical suppliers, looking for certifications like the FSC for proof, and embrace local sourcing, where possible. Because, by reducing transportation distances, you can minimise carbon emissions associated with the delivery of materials and equipment.
Taking care of your waste
The waste your company produces is one of the most crucial points to consider when creating a more sustainable culture. Embedding sustainability into an effective waste management policy that includes waste reduction, recycling, and responsible disposal practices will certainly help incombatting the industry’s abundant waste problems. Establish dedicated areas on construction sites for sorting and recycling different types of waste materials, such as concrete, metal, plastics, and wood. Also, consider partnering with reputable waste management companies that prioritiserecycling and responsible disposal.
Using sustainable materials
By relying more frequently on building materials produced sustainably, structures themselves will be more eco-friendly during their entire lifecycle. Look for materials made from recycled content, such as recycled steel or reclaimed wood or materials with low embodied carbon and low environmental impact throughout their life cycle. You should also be using energy-efficient equipment and products such as lighting fixtures, HVAC systems, and appliances. These choices can lead to dramatically reduced energy consumption and lower operational costs. Ensure that the materials you use are sourced responsibly too by seeking suppliers who follow sustainable extraction practices and consider certifications like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method(BREEAM).
Switching to renewable fuel alternatives
Transitioning from traditional fossil fuels to renewable energy sources can have a substantial positive impact on your business’s sustainability. Install solar panels or wind turbines on construction sites or office buildings to generate renewable energy, incorporate electric or hybrid vehicles into your construction fleet to reduce emissions and explore incentives and grants available to support the adoption of clean transportation options. These are quite significant changes, we know, but by making them now, you’ll be better placed to face the future with confidence.