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In the UK, the construction industry has a major role to play when it comes to clamping down on carbon emissions, saving energy, and saving the planet, too. According to government statistics, construction accounts for 10% of the country’s carbon emissions directly, and an astonishing 47% indirectly.

It is certain that further government regulation will be brought to bear on this problem, in order to meet the government’s purported ambition to achieve carbon net neutrality by 2050, which is shared across EU member states.

Anything that individual firms can do to bring this idea to fruition will place them ahead of the curve, cutting costs while ensuring that practices are fit for the ‘green’ economy of the future. So what are the easiest, and most effective, steps we might take?

Get the Most from your Equipment

Throwing away what might have been a perfectly serviceable piece of equipment will mean that the equipment in question will need to be replaced. The replacement, naturally, will have a carbon footprint. As such, wear-and-tear is not just a financial burden, but an environmental one, too. Make sure that your workforce understands how and why they should be looking after equipment.

For heavy plant equipment, it’s also vital that the appropriate machinery is selected for a given job. Generally speaking, the larger the machine, the more fuel it’ll guzzle – so don’t pick out anything that’s too big for the job in question. Making the switch to electronically-regulated equipment, like the MX fuel line-up, can also reap rewards.

Invest in Green Transport

Transport costs represent a significant chunk of your overall expenditure. Workers and equipment must be brought to the site, after all. Replacing ailing diesel vans with sparkling new electric ones might seem a sensible investment – but even simpler steps might also be taken. Encouraging workers to cycle or walk to work, and sourcing materials from local producers, might hugely decrease your overall fuel bill.

Collect Rainwater

Getting water onto a construction site can be a monumental pain. It’s especially irksome when the water in question doesn’t need to be drinkable. If you just want to mix concrete, flush toilets, or irrigate, then collected rainwater can be a boon. It’ll also prevent water from running off the site and destroying wild vegetation.

Go Paperless

Administration and paper documents can also contribute markedly to your environmental impact. Take the same step as many offices, and go entirely paperless. There are many practical advantages to this switch, and you’re going to have to make it at some point. Why not do so sooner rather than later?

Catherine Pearson

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