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Construction is big business. The construction industry contributes around £117 billion to the UK economy, equating to 6% of the total economic output.
With considerable economic, social and political focus currently being on the sustainability of our country and the wider planet, it is clear that the construction industry has a big part to play in contributing to our overarching sustainability targets.
In this article, we take a look at the construction industry, the sustainability challenges it has and how it may seek to fix them.
With construction playing such a large part in our economy, it stands to reason that it contributes a large amount to the waste and pollution produced by the UK. In fact, some studies suggest that the construction industry could be, in one way or another, contributing 50% of climatic change, 40% of drinking water pollution, 50% of landfill waste and 23% of all air pollution.
These figures are concerning, to say the least. It is clear that as an industry, construction has much to do to lower their impact on the environment.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Until recent years most businesses didn’t take their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) all that seriously. It was often seen as a ‘nice to have’ which came an afterthought to almost all other business processes.
However, over the past few years, the government has started to set a number of ambitious targets in the sustainability space. These targets have seen the introduction of rules and regulations that businesses must follow.
But CSR isn’t just about meeting the government enforced guidelines. As social movements pick up traction, there is increasing pressure for businesses to take sustainability seriously. So much so, that a solid business strategy that focuses on sustainability has become a competitive factor in winning customers and recruiting the best talent.
Due to increasing demand for construction, such as new homes and industrial buildings, a considerable amount of waste is being produced by the construction industry every year.
The volume of waste is one issue which must be tackled. One way to approach this is by using renewable and environmentally friendly materials when undertaking new builds. Where this isn’t possible, a focus should be placed on ensuring that any materials used have a considerable lifespan to limit any need for replacement, therefore reducing waste.
This may be done by using reinforcement materials. For example, using steel mesh in concrete can seriously increase its strength and resistance to torque and twisting. Ultimately, this will increase its lifespan and limit any need for replacement.
In cases where building materials must be scrapped, having a thorough understanding of what can be recycled and how that can be done is paramount to reducing the environmental impact of this process. Many materials including wood, concrete bricks and blocks, glass, metals and plasterboard can all be recycled or reused in some way after they have served their primary purpose.
Sustainability is going to play a much bigger part in the construction industry in the coming years. This is a result of both political targets, as well as social pressures for businesses to take more responsibility for their impact on the environment.
Construction businesses who take the opportunity to take sustainability seriously from an early stage will develop a competitive advantage in leading the industry. This is crucial for continued success as customers and employees place more importance on sustainable factors.
By using the points we have highlighted in this article, you can begin to get a better understanding of the environmental impacts of your business and how you may be able to mitigate many of these with the correct planning and procedures.
Before we go further, it’s useful to define what renewable energy actually is. Simply put, renewable energy is used to describe energy that has been generated from a natural source that will not deplete after each use. Some of the most popular forms include solar energy and wind power. You may also come across the term ‘green energy’, this is sometimes used interchangeability to refer to the same thing. One of the main reasons to consider renewable energy sources is because they can be replenished. Additionally, they are far less destructive to the planet compared to traditional fossil fuels.
By 2050, the UK endeavours to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 80%, benchmarked against base levels from 1990. This can only be achieved by being less reliant on fossil fuels such as coal and oil to generate electricity. In 2019, the UK generated 33% of its power from green energy sources alone. This substantial figure is set to rise in the coming years as we head towards a more sustainable future.
Consider renewable business electricity tariffs
By now, many business owners and managers will be considering a renewable energy tariff at the time of renewal. To find the best business electricity tariffs, use Utility Saving Expert’s free online comparison tool. It’s quick and easy to compare commercial energy suppliers and tariffs within minutes. Simply enter a few details about your company and how much energy you normally use, and you’ll be presented with a list of options to select from, these can be filtered by price and features.
Inevitably, climate change policies and the introduction of renewable energy generation will have a big impact on business electricity prices in the coming years. After spending decades burning coal and oil to power offices, factories and warehouses etc, it’s time for big change to take place. The logical way to achieve this is by investing in the development of sustainable energy initiatives. According to a number of leading experts in the field, this will help to reduce both domestic and commercial energy costs in the future.
As we head towards this sustainable future, many business energy suppliers have started offering customers green energy tariffs that source electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro and tidal etc. Being environmentally conscious is a key proposition for these energy firms. This has led to a number of new suppliers entering the industry and providing further competition which can only be positive news.
In the last five years, the UK has made a considerable investment into the research and development of renewable energy technologies. The nation remains committed to the Paris Agreement, bringing all nations into a common cause to combat climate change and accelerate actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future. This landmark agreement will chart a new course for humanity in the global climate effort.
By investing in wind power, the UK entered the world’s top ten most attractive national markets for renewable energy. For businesses, there are a number of ways they can take advantage of renewable energy. We have outlined some of these below.
Become less reliant on traditional energy sources
By using less fossil fuels such as coal and oil, or cutting them out completely, businesses will no longer have to continually face rising energy prices year over year. This is because green energy tariffs are becoming far more competitively priced, and as the technology becomes smarter and more efficient, hopefully commercial energy plans will become cheaper.
Environmental and social responsibility
Many customers are far more environmentally conscious than they were before. Businesses that take social responsibility seriously will be rewarded as consumers vote with their wallets. People are taking a keen interest into what level of effort each company is making to combat climate change. A number of firms have even made pledges to become carbon neutral by a certain date.
Solar panel technology
We’ve previously mentioned that there are different types of renewable energy sources. Solar panel technology can help your business generate its own electricity, helping you save on commercial electricity and being less reliant on the national grid. Although for many companies, the initial investment may be a barrier to entry. However, as research, development and manufacturing improve in the coming years, the price will be driven down.
In summary, business electricity customers will hope that renewable energy is the answer to reducing energy prices. Through Government initiatives and historic moments such as the Paris Agreement, investment and innovation will continue to gradually improve things. More choice through new green suppliers entering the energy market can only be a good thing, as this added competition will help reduce prices for companies across the country.
Saving money is always a plus, but saving the planet should always be at the forefront of any future legislation if we are to realise a brighter and cleaner future for generations to come.
The motoring industry is one that is controversial at the moment. The climate emergency campaigners would have us believe that motorists are doing a lot of damage to the environment, and while there is a point to be made that petrol and diesel emissions are not good, the economy in the shape it is today would not be able to survive if there were no cars, buses, trucks or vans on the road.
The motor trade has a lot of work to do if the industry is to go green. It’s fair to say that there are some companies in the motor trade that are already going green in small steps, but there is still a lot more work to be done to make the trade truly environmentally friendly. Motoring tech has improved a lot, but how much better could it be?
Green Innovations in the Motor Trade
There is a gradual trend towards old vehicles being retired and replaced with newer vehicles that are hybrid or all electrical, and companies like traders-insurance.com are moving with the times to better serve their trade customer base. This is one area where things could be hurried along, and where motoring tech could offer some promise. Big data and analytics tools for the motoring industry can be incredibly useful for monitoring usage patterns for fleet managers and for rental companies.
Armed with usage patterns, fleet managers can calculate which vehicles could change to biodiesel, and where to assign the newer hybrid or all-electric vehicles to achieve the best impact from their use. In addition, usage data and tracking could map out routes to support improvements in efficiency, and potentially save fuel and wear and tear even where gas-guzzling older models are the only option.
Data for Car Manufacturers
Even car manufacturers can benefit from big data and smart supply chains. Imagine how much less energy would be wasted if parts were ordered and supplied on a Just-in-Time basis, and supply chains knew exactly how many of each part was needed at any one time. Imagine if all bottlenecks and excess stock could be streamlined, to keep the manufacturing line ticking over at optimum efficiency. It’s a nice idea, and it’s something that many industries have already achieved.
Combine that with predictive analytics for customer service and even for maintenance of the cars that have already been released, and you have a clear idea of demand at every step of the product lifecycle, with predictive, pre-emptive maintenance, and an awareness of which spares are going to be in the greatest demand.
Improvements such as this will not just reduce wasted money on excess stock, shipping, and staff, they reduce the environmental footprint associated with that kind of waste. This makes it easy to reduce risk and waste, save money, minimise product recalls, and generally enjoy have a much smoother and more efficient business.
Predictive analytics may seem like the kind of tool that is best employed by the marketing department, but in the hands of engineers and office managers it can do good in many other ways, including reducing the damage the motoring trade does to the environment.
If you are a courier by trade, it is important to use a vehicle that has exceptional gas mileage. You will likely be responsible for paying for the gas you are going to use as you are making multiple deliveries every day, one of the best alternatives to a traditional car is an electric vehicle. These are powered by electricity that is stored in batteries at the base of the vehicle. These are more expensive than regular cars, but in the long run, the money that you will save on the cost of gas will more than outweigh the higher price for any of the green electric vehicles for couriers. If you would like to obtain one for a low cost, here are a few tips on how to find these exceptional vehicles.
The Benefits Of Green Electric Vehicles
There are several benefits to using an electric car by comparison to a standard motor vehicle. First of all, you will not have to pay for the high cost of fuel for your car which is consistently rising with each passing year. This will cut into your profits, and there is nothing you can do about this, unless you get an electric car. These green vehicles are designed to work solely upon electrical power, and this will eventually help you recover the cost of this initial investment. The other benefit associated with green electric vehicles is that they tend to last longer than a regular car because of the different motor. You are also going to help contribute to lowering fossil fuel emissions which are causing greenhouse related problems.
How To Find Good Deals On These Cars
In the last five years, more companies than ever before are pushing the production of green vehicles. Some of these are hybrids which will use electricity and combustible fuel. However, there is a very high focus on those that are totally electric. If you can find a low price on an electric car, this is likely the type of vehicle that you will want to drive. It will enable you to stop purchasing fuel for your vehicle that you use as a courier which means more money for you each and every month. The best deals are going to be advertised online, leading you to their website where you can read about each vehicle being sold. You will eventually find one that is affordable, a car that will help your courier business become more profitable.
Green Electric Vehicle Courier Insurance
As you might imagine, there is a different type of insurance policy for electric vehicles by comparison to those that have combustion engines. Although the prices will be somewhat similar, you may be able to find better deals on this type of insurance. After comparing the different quotes that you will receive, you will eventually find one that will provide you with good coverage, low premiums, and a fair deductible. This is insurance that you must have for your courier job that is about to become easier once you have your green electric car.
If you have not been able to find this type of insurance for your electric vehicle, you might want to compare courier insurance to find the best rates. This will allow you to get the latest quotes on this insurance that you will need to do your job every day. If you have finally decided to invest in a green electric vehicle for your courier service, you can now find the lowest rates available for these electric cars which will soon be the primary type of vehicle that all couriers will drive.
It is very much evident that in one way or the other we are indulging in something that is against the environment and nature. From the use of mobiles to polluting the environment at a large scale with heavy industries, we have done, and we are still doing things that are very much against nature.
The construction sector which is one of the biggest contributors to the emission of greenhouse gases is now concentrating on reducing the emission of Co2 by constructing eco houses and zero carbon emission houses. In this article, we will see how to design eco houses and zero carbon houses.
We all know for a fact that the human race is at its peak when it comes to exploiting the natural resources and polluting the environment. We personally think that mankind has totally lost its hope in preserving the earth and this is the very reason why we are planning to shift to another planet. So to make the best out the time that is left it is mandatory to be as eco-friendly as possible.
Even though there are a lot of things that need to be changed to be eco-friendly, when it comes to construction there are a few steps that need to be followed to construct eco houses and zero carbon houses.
Insulation is one of the first things that need to be considered while constructing an eco house. Insulation of the house has a great impact on various aspects. The principle behind this is that if we can reduce the heat gain during the summer and the loss of heat during the winter, we can save a considerable amount of energy.
Installing performing windows is one of the simple and effective techniques to build an eco house. Rather than using the conventional glass for the windows which has a high energy consumption on the glazed area, the solar glasses can be used which can make the optimum use of energy. The energy that is gained can be used for everyday activities.
Leakage of air increases the heat of the space considerably which renders a feeling of discomfort and ultimately lets us consume energy in one way or the other. It also affects the performance of the building in the long term by building unwanted moisture. A lot of importance must be given to the details to achieve perfect air tightness to the entire building. A simple error will leave the entire procedure ineffective.
The mechanical ventilation is very much needed to replace the unwanted air that is circulating in the house with the fresh air. If the building has less number of people, it is fine, because just opening the windows is enough. If there are more number of people the amount of heat released in high, hence it is mandatory that you need Mechanical ventilation and heat Recovery system which can ensure the perfect ventilation.
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