It is typical for the average construction company to draw upon natural resources. Yet, with a fast-moving global focus on environmental positivity, how does this industry stand up to the challenge? The pressure is very real, and companies have to respond accordingly.
Blindly moving forward with a project that is detrimental to the eco-initiative is rapidly becoming unacceptable, and this is being reflected in changing regulations and policies regarding building too. This guide aims to answer why the environment is a key focus for modern construction companies.
Table of Contents
The Impact of Construction on the Environment
The construction industry is responsible for a significant portion of pollution in this country. Statistics like this show that building projects and similar are one of the top three contributors to CO2 emissions, which are known to be harmful to the atmosphere and general environment.
It is one of the greenhouse gases that continue to cause devastating effects such as decreased air quality, wildlife destruction, and crop quality/capacity decline.
What these statistics also show is that this figure has slowly started to shift, making it decline from what it was previously. So, the construction industry has taken note and started to affect changes within to modify practices and become more sustainable – and it’s beginning to work.
What are the negative impacts of construction on the environment? There are lots of answers to this question.
- Wildlife and natural habitat destruction or displacement. Too often habitats and local wildlife are displaced, or green spaces are destroyed to lay down buildings. While humans need housing, and there will most likely always be a demand for construction in some form, natural environments have to be more carefully considered in terms of where the plots are laid and how the habitats are protected.
- General biodiversity decline. Anything that affects the natural habitats around a building site or construction lot negatively affects the biodiversity. Protecting it requires practice shaping and forethought, but it is an achievable goal.
- The pillaging of natural resources for building purposes. Moving away from this is one of the biggest challenges facing construction companies with regard to cost, pricing, and sourcing materials. However, there is an undeniable call to action to choose and use more eco-friendly materials with a focus on using recycled and reclaimed.
- Heavy contributors of pollutive elements. Through the use of concrete alone, this industry cannot deny the harm they put out there. Yet concrete is not the only detrimental consideration; there are plenty of harmful consequences to be held accountable for.
- Negative impact on air quality. CO2, again, one of the main emissions from building works, is harmful in large quantities and decreases the quality of air, leading to respiratory problems in concentrated areas and more. It also adds to climate change.
- Perpetrators of noise pollution. Noise pollution, while not as damaging as other forms, is still a significant issue. Construction work is loud and disturbing. This is not an issue easily resolved; however, there are more considerate practices such as pre-warning local residents, etc., that can be implemented.
The second point centres around governmental pressure to deliver more eco-friendly practices across the board. Legislation and policy feel to be in a semi-constant flux of changing its mind and updating, and the topic is certainly discussed at length on a regular basis by multiple outlets.
None of these facts are bad things. This is an issue that should be debated heavily and weighed on the collective mindset to exhibit meaningful changes. So, what is the government focusing on?
Biodiversity Net Gain
Recent policies suggest any construction project, regardless of intent, should include a biodiversity net gain plan to ensure the finished result has a high net gain score.
To read up on biodiversity, this article from Arbtech is incredibly comprehensive and explores all the key points that need to be expressed. Arbtech is a UK-wide professional survey service.
They provide in-depth, expert surveys around ecology considerations and trees, to secure planning permission for building projects but also in other contexts.
Lowering Pollution Levels
The majority of countries across the globe aim to reduce their carbon emissions every year. How they achieve that is down to each government to decide.
Because construction companies are a significant lead when it comes to contributing to the country’s pollution statistics, there is a natural focus there in terms of making things more sustainable and eco-friendly.
General Eco-Friendly Practices
This could be the use of sustainable materials, or ensuring properties adhere to insulation standards. Renewable energy is a key focus also, to move away from the heavy reliance on natural resources for domestic energy purposes.
Client Mentality Shift
As with any industry, public opinion matters. How clients perceive you in terms of ethics and morals is a big deciding factor as to whether or not they choose to hire your services. The construction company, like many others, needs its customer base to be growing constantly.
With the global mood shift towards eco-friendly everything, it is vital to keep up that ethos in how the company chooses to run its operations.
It has become apparent that companies who opt for sustainable materials and environmentally focused architectural planning are more likely to be chosen over those who don’t.
The population collective sincerely cares about protecting the Earth, and it would be no real surprise if the future only held sustainable, green housing. The industry needs to keep up with the client trends.
So, the three main reasons why the environment is a key focus for modern construction companies come down to a shift in mindset from clients, governmental pressure, and the undeniable impact that this industry has on the environment.
All of these are clear enough motivation to move forward with better, more sustainable practices to protect this industry and the future of the Earth. Moving towards a focus on eco-friendly plot placement, material, and protecting biodiversity are three core areas to start implementing changing habits and making positive changes.