6 Ways to Make Your Construction Business More Sustainable

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As a construction company, your main goal is to serve your clients by building structures. But it’s also important to respect the environment while you’re at it.

According to one estimate, the construction industry accounts for 25% to 45% of the world’s carbon emissions. Between all the minerals that are mined for construction materials to all the fuel used to transport and shape them, a lot of fossil fuels are burned.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t reduce your carbon footprint and make your construction business more sustainable.

Here are six things you can try:

1. Use environmentally conscious building designs

The first area where you can make a lasting difference is building design. In other words, sustainability starts before you ever break ground.

For example, you could integrate green design strategies, such as solar panels, natural ventilation, green roofs (roofs with vegetation), and smart appliances like smart thermostats and HVAC systems. All of these contribute to the long-term sustainability of the building.

2. Use green building materials

On a similar note, construction companies can support sustainability by using green building materials. These include timber from sustainable forests, recyclable materials, low-carbon concrete, paints with low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC), and even bamboo. By replacing traditional wood and stone with more sustainable materials, you lower your overall carbon footprint.

3. Reduce fuel consumption

Another way to lower your carbon footprint is to reduce fuel consumption. Heavy machinery and trucks tend to burn a lot of fuel, so any reduction is positive.

For example, you could choose energy-efficient equipment, use renewable energy sources, and even have construction workers use public transportation, electric vehicles, or bicycles to get to work. You won’t be able to eliminate all your fuel consumption, but you can at least reduce it.

4. Cut noise pollution

Though often disregarded, noise pollution can be a major side effect of construction projects. If not properly under control, neighbors may get annoyed and file complaints. To reduce noise pollution, try to restrict the use of heavy machinery to daylight hours when they will be least disruptive, minimize machine idling, and upgrade to quieter, more fuel-efficient models. None of this is a complete fix, but it can help.

5. Minimize waste

Construction sites produce a lot of waste: waste from demolition, excavation, construction, and more. To reduce the waste you create, try recycling, reducing packaging, composting, and using an eco-friendly dumpster rental. Every bit counts. And the more you can reduce your waste, the more you’ll save on waste removal, too.

6. Manage water use

Water is another resource used in large quantities during construction projects. Conserving water, however, can help you lower your environmental impact. You can do this by collecting rainwater, using low-flow fixtures, and installing water-efficient landscaping (the same techniques can be used when the building is up and running, too).

Adding it all up

At the end of the day, there are many ways you can improve the sustainability of your construction business. Whether you use environmentally friendly building designs, use green building materials, reduce fuel consumption, cut noise pollution, minimize waste, or manage water use, it all helps.

So, do what you can. And educate all your workers and contractors on the above sustainability techniques, too. That way, your whole team can work toward contributing to a greener future. And who knows? You may win more business by actively demonstrating your commitment to sustainability construction practices. It’s a win-win!

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Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in tech, social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.