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3 Ways The Construction Industry Can Become More Sustainable

It is no secret that the construction industry plays a significant role in generating carbon emissions and waste. Reports indicate that the built environment and construction sector alone contribute to 38% of the world’s carbon emissions. Furthermore, it has been estimated that globally we build the equivalent of a city the size of Paris every week.


Given the UK’s commitment to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, there is mounting pressure on industries and business owners of all backgrounds to adopt a more proactive stance in addressing climate change.


Whilst the construction industry encounters numerous hurdles in its pursuit of sustainability, there are still plenty of actions that individual businesses can take to contribute to a greener future.


In this article, we will delve into three practical measures that the construction industry can implement to enhance its sustainability.


Choosing the right materials 

Switching to environmentally-friendly materials stands out as one of the most impactful changes construction firms can make to reduce their carbon footprint. Certain enduring elements of the construction industry, such as concrete, significantly contribute to the acceleration of climate change. Studies conducted in the late 2010s revealed that concrete alone could account for 4-8% of global CO2 emissions. Although the expenses and logistical challenges associated with transitioning away from conventional construction materials may seem daunting, actively exploring eco-friendly alternatives to replace your usual materials can yield significant benefits, propelling your company ahead in terms of sustainability.


Reducing and reusing waste

Unfortunately, as the process of construction inherently involves demolishing existing structures, achieving a completely waste-free construction site will always remain unattainable. However, the fate of those demolished materials can profoundly impact your business’s overall carbon footprint. Many construction companies already have policies in place for recycling obvious materials like glass and packaging. However,  it is always worth considering a comprehensive review of waste-disposal practices, to explore any sustainable alternatives that may have been overlooked for other materials. While it can be challenging to identify suitable facilities for recycling specific items, conducting thorough audits of your projects and adopting appropriate policies will enhance your business’s sustainability and could yield significant cost savings.


Moving to cashless payments 

Despite the widespread transition to a cashless society observed in various industries, the construction sector stands out as a notably cash-oriented business, particularly among smaller contractors. Although it may appear insignificant at first glance, the reliance on cash has been proven to exert a significant and adverse environmental impact. While it may not be viable for all businesses to switch to sustainable materials, every individual can play a part in reducing the global reliance on cash, which is a contributing factor to climate change. By implementing online deposit options on your website and utilising tap-to-pay devices from UK payment solution providers, you can gradually liberate your business from the dependency on cash. Embracing these digital payment methods not only fosters convenience but also contributes to the construction industry’s overall sustainability efforts.


While the construction industry as a whole has a significant environmental impact, there are numerous accessible avenues through which business owners can actively contribute to shaping a more positive and greener future for the industry. 


Remember, if you are faced with a construction dispute, Mercantile Barristers will be happy to assist. Do use the enquiry form below to contact us to discuss your matter further.

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