Three-quarters of UK construction firms operate a low-carbon strategy

New research has revealed that the UK construction industry recognises its long-term duty to the environment, with 75% of companies now operating a low-carbon or carbon reduction strategy.

The survey of 149 construction firms conducted by leading publishing and marketing services business TomTom Telematics also revealed that 58% regularly monitor their carbon footprint, while 51% of construction operators claim that their clients require them to record and act on carbon emissions as key performance indicators.

Fleet operation was identified as a key focus for CO2 reduction, with 52% of respondents citing road traffic congestion as the biggest cause of unnecessary fuel consumption, followed by vehicle idling and inefficient routing at 11% each.

TomTom Telematics Sales Director UK and Ireland Giles Margerison said: “68% of companies we spoke to have systems and processes in place to reduce fuel consumption across their vehicle fleet and, of these, only 23% use a telematics system to do so. Fleet operations are a major source of CO2 emissions but the data provided by technology such as telematics allows companies to pinpoint trends and tackle the root causes of fuel wastage.”

The survey also revealed the importance of the green agenda throughout the supply chain, with 74% of respondents claiming to favour suppliers that offer low-carbon products or demonstrate green credentials. Nevertheless, 95% still believe the industry as a whole could do more to reduce carbon emissions.

Constructive growth

This new survey reflects strong progress being made within the energy-intensive construction industry towards more sustainable business practices. 

Last month, UK construction material manufacturer Saint-Gobain announced it had made a total saving of £165,000 and experienced an 11% fall in energy demand across its 20 sites in the UK and Ireland, after powering down its factories at peak energy periods.

Property developer Berkeley Homes recently unveiled a new sustainable housing design concept, which outperforms traditional terraced housing by reducing up to 25% off utility bills. The company has also revealed a new two-year plan to deliver a 10% reduction in carbon emissions per person.

The UK has singled out the construction industry as a key economic sector for improving material resource efficiency, with the recently launched Built Environment Commitment encouraging the industry to contribute to a more low-carbon, resource efficient built environment.

George Ogleby

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