The construction industry contributes significantly to climate change. This sector is responsible for the exploitation of more than 50% of the natural resources, and most of these resources are non-renewable. Further, noise and light pollution affects wildlife, such as bats, birds, and badgers. Further, the release of carbon dioxide during the manufacture of materials contributes to climate change. Here are a few ways that construction companies can be more sustainable.
Focus on Producing Metal Materials
Metal is one of the most sustainable construction materials. One of the main advantages of metal as a construction material is its longevity. The material is lightweight, resists fires, and lasts more than wood and plastic. It also withstands attack by insects, rot, and mold. You can have a metal roof for a century as long as you take good care of it.
Metal is also a strong material that will protect your home from hurricanes, rain, ice, and so many other environmental factors. When you combine it with eco-friendly and non-toxic insulation materials, you will be good to go.
Another advantage is that metal fabrication is done off-site. Contractors fabricate the metal in a controlled environment where they apply milling and welding treatments and recycle any small pieces of waste metal. The construction waste from metal is less than two percent and even that can be recycled. Unlike other materials, metal recycling can be done severally without any changes like metal. According to Cenvar Roofing, a metal roof replacement company, “metal is the only roofing material available on the market that remains 100% non-combustible throughout the entire lifespan of the roof.”
Focus on Eco-Friendly Building Materials
Besides metal, there are several other building materials considered to be eco-friendly. These materials include those from recycled parts, bamboo, precast concrete slabs, cork, reclaimed wood, reclaimed steel, plant-based polyurethane, and rammed earth among others.
These materials are eco-friendly because their production does not cause significant adverse effects on the environment. Materials, such as rammed earth, use low-carbon techniques to create high-quality materials that will last for many years. These are the same materials that were used to create the Great Wall of China.
Save Energy During Production of Materials
Companies need to create policies that help them adopt eco-friendly practices. A company should educate its staff about the need for eco-friendly practices, such as reducing the water used and proper disposal of waste. Simple practices, such as turning off the lights when not in use can make major differences in a company’s eco-friendliness.
One of the ways companies can become safer for the environment is by adopting renewable sources of energy in their production process. They can, for instance, use solar or wind power to power their plants. This will help them cut down on their carbon footprint. After you adopt these renewable sources of energy, you can go for energy-efficient power equipment and tools for the production plant.
Adopt Sustainable Business Practices
According to the EPA, sustainability creates conditions where humans and nature are in harmony. Companies, irrespective of their industry, can adopt sustainable practices that help cut down on their carbon footprint. The first step is for companies to be intentional with the sustainability agenda. A company needs to create a plan of action and assign a dedicated team or a manager to follow up on the plan. The company needs to hold people accountable and ensure they track the progress of the action plan.
The next step should be to train employees. Some employees can even help with ideas on how to be more eco-friendly. Your customers may prefer to work with you if you are conscious of the environment. As such, develop a recycling program for the materials you produce and let the customers know. During production, only use sustainably sourced raw materials to ensure that the end products are also sustainable.
Adopting sustainability practices can be challenging at first for companies, but it gets easier with time. For instance, companies that decide to use solar power will have to bear the cost of the solar panels, but after that, they will save on energy costs. For companies to remain eco-friendly, all team members need to be on board.
Author: Sheryl Wright