Let’s wrap up our series on New Year’s resolutions for construction. We have already discussed the importance of focusing on the worker and leveraging technology. Today let’s explore the topic of considering sustainability in construction.
Here is the reality of the situation: All business stakeholders will benefit from stronger ESG policies—and this is certainly true in the construction industry, where the net zero energy movement has taken hold.
Consider what McCarthy Building Companies is doing. The company recognizes net zero energy buildings produce as much renewable energy onsite as they use on an annual basis, meaning these buildings are able to thrive solely on the energy they create.
This company’s commitment revolves around four basic principles including:
- Weaving sustainability into the fabric of all company operations
- Encouraging every client and building partner to seriously consider sustainable building practices
- Bringing viable green building solutions to the table
- Educating and training employees to give them the tools to lead the way
All business stakeholders benefiting from stronger ESG policies is perhaps an obvious statement, but it is also backed up by data now too. GlobalData’s latest thematic report, Thematic Research: ESG – Top Trends by Sector, notes that, while saving the planet used to just equate to implementing sustainable practices such as ‘limiting the use of plastics’ and ‘reducing carbon footprint,’ sustainability has morphed into an umbrella term that includes all aspects of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) issues. The company proposes an ESG framework that identifies key areas in which companies should invest.
Here’s the framework. Environmental should include considerations for climate change, pollution, biodiversity, and natural resources. Meanwhile social should identify human rights, diversity and inclusion, health and safety, and community impact. Finally, governance should include corporate structure, risk management, corruption and bribery, and ethics.
Interestingly, many respondents remain skeptical about corporate commitments to ESG. The data shows the share of respondents that believed that most companies are fully committed to ESG remained relatively low (27%), even though it is now at its highest level since GlobalData started asking the question in Q1 2021.
So, while we are making progress, perhaps it is not fast enough? Peggy Smedley declared this needs to be the decade of sustainability. She is on a mission to help businesses and consumers to focus on green and consume less. Perhaps there is no better place to do this than in the construction industry, which is one of the reasons she is embarking on a new journey: From the Ground Up: Project Sustainability Living Lab home, which creates the best approaches to building a home and restoring natural ecosystems.
If ESG and sustainability are not on your resolution list for 2022, they should be. We need to be more responsible with our world and sure it is clean and green for all future generations. Here’s to the future. What are your resolutions for 2022?
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