Managing the risks
The industry recognizes the need to address these urgent and often competing issues, especially within their supply chains. The construction industry is well placed to meet these challenges by pursuing sustainability goals and measuring progress through environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting.
In fact, the industry has long been a leader in the sustainability and environmental leadership space with associations such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), one of the most relevant building certification programs worldwide. LEED certification has seen tremendous growth with more than 96,000 LEED projects in 167 countries. According to Statista, there were only 296 certifications in the U.S. in 2006. This demonstrates that organizations can meet changing consumer, employee, and investor expectations.
Some key sustainability enabling activities include:
- Adopting sustainable construction strategies by planning and incorporating sustainability throughout the life of a construction project from start to finish.
- Implementing control mechanisms to ensure materials are ethically sourced and verifying that labour standards and fair humanitarian practices are in place with all subcontractors and suppliers.
- Implementing sustainable design, engineering, and construction practices powered by transparent and relevant data to measure, monitor, and reduce emissions and waste throughout the project lifecycle.
- Planning and deploying strategic optimization for logistics processes that optimize deliveries to reduce mileage, emissions, and the carbon footprint.
- Prioritizing energy efficiency in assets and equipment that is safe for both the environment and workforce.
With mounting pressure from consumers, regulators, and investors on organizations' environmental and societal impact, ESG has become a business imperative. Executive teams have incentives to implement processes and initiatives to demonstrate ESG performance metrics and how they are safeguarding their business success over the long term.
Today, business has a new playing field as companies and boards must now think about their stakeholders, not just shareholders. For the construction industry, the opportunities to carve out market share as a sustainable, socially conscious business are significant. Those that achieve brand recognition in this space will be well positioned to capitalize on the wave of demand in the future.