Six Construction Companies Championing Sustainability

12 May 2020 by Jonathan Goldsmith
blog author

​The construction industry is more than aware of the urgency to build more robust sustainability foundations into its operations to lessen the environmental impact.

With around 40 per cent of man-made global carbon emissions arising from constructing and operating buildings, it is fair to say the industry often falls under the spotlight for its negative contribution to the planet.

Although it consumes around one-third of the world’s natural resources (and 400 million tonnes of material in the UK each year), the good news is that the sector is cleaning up its act. It is investing in new sustainable technology, using less carbon-intensive materials and becoming more energy efficient. 

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We have looked at six construction and development firms recognised for their sustainability efforts and demonstration of company best-practice.

1.       Mace

Mace is a member of the RE100 commitment - a global initiative to encourage organisations to use 100 per cent renewable energy. 

The firm has piloted more than 20 diesel-alternatives and energy-saving digital solutions and wants to reach net zero carbon emissions this year.  It will offset outstanding emissions to Gold Standard (the independent benchmark for carbon offsets).

Mace has implemented a 'Steps without footprints’ strategy to help employees achieve its goal by working towards ‘Reduce, Transform, Investigate and Influence’ disciplines.

2.       Lendlease

Lendlease’s sustainability framework highlights three vital areas: sustainable economic growth, vibrant and resilient communities and cities, and healthy planet and people.

It aims to conserve water, reduce waste, source sustainable materials, use renewable energy and purchase carbon offsets.

Lendlease is the only property and construction company participating in the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) advisory group for 2050 scenario planning. A range of environmental, social, technological, economic and policy indicators are used for the planning. 

3.       Canary Wharf Group

Canary Wharf Group (CWG) has purchased 100 per cent renewable electricity for the Canary Wharf Estate since 2012, with zero waste going to landfill from managed operations.

It is also creating a platform to develop technology and places of the future to embed climate change mitigation.

Last summer, CWG was awarded the Plastic Free Communities Approved status by Surfers Against Sewage charity, in recognition of its efforts to reduce single-use plastic.

4.       Laing O’Rourke

Sustainability priorities are organised around four EPIC themes: Environment, People, Industry and Community as the company works to maximise performance in all areas.

Laing O’Rourke uses an ‘engineering enterprise’ model, to implement a sustainability strategy by meeting the economic, social and environmental challenges.

It uses digital engineering tools which integrate data about a structure, with the ‘virtual construction’ reducing waste at all stages of the project lifecycle.

5.       Sir Robert McAlpine

A sustainability strategy has been carved out for the next four years, covering net zero carbon emissions, resource efficiency, ethical procurement and social value.

The firm also wants a year-on-year reduction in carbon emissions and has signed up to the Carbon Trust Standard to deliver on its pledge.

Sir Robert McAlpine is also continuing to maximise resource efficiency and apply circular economy principles by using more modern methods of construction and collaboration.

6.       Skanska

Skanska analyses products and technology to embed sustainability at all stages of construction, development and maintenance.

Environmental performance is measured via its strategic tool, the Skanska Color Palette™. It ranges from Vanilla to Deep Green, reflecting the stages between legal compliance and near-zero environmental impact. A Deep Green project achieves zero environmental impact in at least three areas, covering energy, carbon, materials and water.  

Skanska also measures corporate environmental performance through strategic indicators for waste, energy, carbon and water consumption.

Acre is proud to have supported all six of the aforementioned businesses by placing dedicated and impactful sustainability and CR professionals, who have made an immediate contribution to their sustainability agendas. If you would like to learn more about Acre’s service offering in the construction sector, please contact Johnny at Jonathan.Goldsmith@acre.com

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