Escalation of Environmental Issues - How Can the Industry Help?

May 31, 2018 Karli Langner

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. construction industry accounts for 160 million tons, or 25 percent, of non-industrial waste generation a year. Per the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the construction industry accounts for 40% of worldwide energy usage, with estimations that by 2030 emissions from commercial buildings will grow by 1.8%. According to new research by Bimhow, the construction sector contributes to 23% of air pollution, 50% of the climatic change, 40% of drinking water pollution, and 50% of landfill wastes. With the world's focus on climate change, sustainability, and green best practices, the construction industry needs to make a collaborative effort to reduce its environmental impact.

Every stage of construction projects – from mining for raw materials, transporting materials to a building site, through the construction process, and waste removal and disposal – all impact the environment. The concrete industry alone generates 9.8 million tons of CO2 annually from the production of 76 million tons of finished concrete in the U.S.

Heavy machinery used in mining and construction projects give off carbon dioxide. Fuels used to transport materials and electricity used at job sites contribute to the “greenhouse effect” that warms the environment from carbon dioxide trapped in our atmosphere.

Individual construction projects have a significant impact on local environments because certain chemicals and paints can leech into the ground and enter waterways. Improperly disposed waste can damage the environment, too. Although significant regulations exist for the disposal of waste, often unused materials such as broken bricks, wood and drywall are just covered over at the jobsite and left to decay. Many of these materials may be hazardous to the environment when broken down, cause foundation damage, or worse, over time, create a sinkhole that can damage the entire structure.

What can our industry do?

  • Use green material materials to reduce destructive and costly mining practices.
  • Recycle building materials or dispose of them properly.
  • Automate business processes to reduce paper usage - Command Alkon’s MOBILEticket automates the ticketing process by collecting signatures electronically then emails tickets directly to simplify billing and provide more accountability with tickets.
  • Adhere to regulations to build more “green.”
  • Decrease idling and waiting times at jobsites to decrease emissions – Command Alkon’s Dispatch & Delivery solutions eliminate wasted time and lost revenue by elevating the efficiency and flexibility of scheduling, dispatch and ticketing operations.
  • Eliminate rushed shipments for materials to jobsites by making more accurate equipment/material orders.

Contact us to learn how you can help reduce the impact that our industry places on the environment.

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