Small ways tradespeople can improve their carbon footprint
Here at Eurocell, sustainability is a key focus of everything we do – something we have proven through our ongoing investment into our recycling facilities. We’ve mentioned in the past how tradespeople can use recycled products to improve your sustainability, which you can read here, but what other ways can you go green?
It might initially seem a drop in the ocean, but going digital when invoicing clients can help improve the impact you’re having on the environment. There are 2.96 million people working in the construction industry at the moment. If even just half of these issue one invoice a day that’s 385million sheets of paper, equating to over 10,000 trees per year! Investing in a digital invoicing system can also make your life easier. For further benefits, choose a system that can automatically chase customers on late payments and process them automatically.
If you want to make the upgrade, here’s a list of digital invoicing systems that can benefit your business.
Inevitably, working in construction will mean that you need to have vast amounts of products ordered and delivered. Where possible, forward planning and ordering materials in bulk means delivery drivers will need to make less trips, further decreasing your carbon footprint. This may not be possible when ordering products made to spec, or large items, but with accessories in particular, buying in bulk can reduce the amount of trips delivery drivers have to make.
Choosing new, energy-efficient electric and hybrid vans means businesses can not only help to save the planet, but can also slash their fuel bills. If you make lots of short, local journeys, or have easy access to a charging point, an electric van might be best for you. If you do need to make longer journeys, a hybrid van is powered by electricity and fuel, which will safeguard you against running out of battery power mid journey. As well as saving the planet, energy friendly vans - whether they’re hybrid, electric or just more modern energy efficient models - can save you money in fuel costs. Over 100,000 miles, a van that does 40 mpg will use £320 less fuel than a van that does 39 mpg so even a small improvement can result in more money in your back pocket.
Rather than taking all your material waste to a landfill site, see what can be recycled. 32% of total waste in landfill comes from the construction industry, and of the 420 million tonnes of materials used by the construction industry each year, 120 million tonnes ends up as waste in landfill, which is a shocking figure. In addition to this, research has revealed that only 19% of those who work in trades recycle whilst at work, so there is definitely room for improvement.
It may help to follow the mantra ‘reduce, reuse, recycle, dispose’. In the first instance, don’t over purchase products and materials ‘just in case’. It may also help to be involved in a project at design stage to ensure as little waste as possible. You can also order products made to spec, to reduce off cut waste.
If you do have left over products or materials, see if they can be used on another project rather than sent to landfill. If you can’t use it, one of your colleagues might. If all else fails, return, sell or donate unused and salvaged materials.
The third step is recycling. Ask your local waste contractor how they can help you to recycle and sort different waste materials on site. If your site doesn’t have room to store recyclables, your waste contractor may be able to sort it at their facility so it is worth asking the question.
Once you’ve actioned the above, the amount of material being disposed of should be significantly reduced.
As a sector, right across the supply chain, we must become more environmentally minded as sustainability becomes more and more important. Whether that’s examining the manufacturing process, streamlining the logistics of distributing products to site, or simply making an effort to recycle more waste, we all have a role to play. We’ll be looking closely at the measures we can take to become a greener, more environmentally responsible company, and we’re encouraging our suppliers and customers to do the same.