Reducing the carbon footprint of construction sites won’t happen overnight. It’s a process, but every little bit of change in the order of operations helps the ecosystem. Since a large portion of the world’s carbon emissions that contribute to climate change comes from construction sites, finding ways to make these spaces environmentally safe is vital.
Use Green Materials
Go green and stay that way! Use sustainable materials on the job and source these materials from reusable and recycled resources. These recycled materials conserve natural resources instead of generating more waste through the creation of new supplies.
Look for recycled materials like glass, metal, plastic, and lumber. Low-carbon concrete reduces air pollution because manufacturers make the concrete by reducing the cement or using alternative materials like fly ash or sag.
Reduce Carbon Emissions
Encourage employees to ride with a buddy on their way to work to reduce carbon emissions. If every member of the crew drives separately to the construction site, their separate cars put more CO2 pollution into the air. Get a carpool going and have members of the crew ride together.
You can also suggest alternative modes of transportation. If you live in a city where public transportation is common, encourage members to ride in on the train or bus. Cycling and walking are other options to explore, especially if the job site is not a far commute for employees.
Manage Water Usage
Fresh water is a limited resource and one the world shouldn’t take advantage of. Manage the water usage on your construction site by using portable sinks on the site and porta-potties with holding tanks.
Hand washing stations should use recycled water to further conserve this resource. These sinks aren’t hooked up to a plumbing system that constantly filters out fresh water. Holding tanks are environmentally friendly too. They manage the waste inside portable restrooms and prevent wastewater from spreading through drain fields and seeping out into the environment.
Limit Paper Usage
Cut back on paper usage and go digital. Pull up plans and blueprints on electronic devices for you and your crew to reference. Seeing the outlines and building designs on electronic devices is often more efficient because they provide a 3D rendering.
You might not be able to fully avoid printing, but you can limit it. Offer an electronic signing option for all contracts to avoid needing to print them out for clients. This is also more convenient for both parties and saves time—something a construction job can never have enough of.
Track Generated Waste
Even when you use reusable materials, most construction jobs will generate a lot of waste. Your job is to track that waste and ensure it gets disposed of in the proper location. Before choosing a provider for dumpster rentals, look into their standard operating procedures.
Have a recycling container along with a standard one. Place all recyclable items inside the designated container so that providers know where and how to dispose of those items. This helps reduce the waste collected at landfills.
Making construction sites environmentally safe is good karma for you and your business. Implement these best practices to do your part in helping the construction industry go green.