Sustainability In The Surveying Industry
Whatever industry you are in, from surveying through to HR, you should be taking sustainability seriously.
At the start of the month, it was World Wildlife Day, an event that celebrates the many beautiful and varied forms of species and environments that are found on our blue planet. This year, the focus of the day was placed on sustainability and conservation – highlighting the central roles our environments have in sustaining and enabling the livelihoods of millions of people globally.
Sustainability is something that is on everyone’s minds in 2021 – according to a new report by Garnier, 73% of UK consumers want to be more sustainable in 2021, with a staggering 86% of businesses expecting their sales to rise from a greater focus on sustainability.
Although 2021 has had a positive start – with the return of the USA to the Paris Climate Commitment and the COP26 event in Glasgow, there is still much to be done to ensure a healthy and sustainable future.
Sustainability and Surveying
Here at Target Surveys, we know that conservation isn’t a one-person job – it is something that we should all be doing throughout our lives on a daily basis – especially those in the construction and surveying industries.
The construction and surveying industries both heavily rely on natural resources to flourish, as a result, it is thought that nearly 40% of ALL carbon emissions are created by the two sectors mentioned above. Furthermore, our urban environments, such as cities, “consume 75% of the world’s natural resources and account for 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions” – something that is only going to increase if no action is taken and our cities continue to expand.
With the ongoing concerns surrounding climate change, paired with the scarcity of resources – much more emphasis is being put on construction firms to reduce their carbon footprint and adopt more sustainable construction methods. Although this may pose many challenges to businesses across the country, there are great benefits to be had by transitioning to a more sustainable and green way of developing!
As mentioned by RICS – “Acknowledging the climate crisis is no longer enough – we need to act.”
Sustainability In The Surveying And Construction Industry: Why It Is Important
Sustainable Construction, in short, is simply the process of reducing the impact on the environment by using more sustainable methods of construction. Some of these can include:
- Using renewable and recyclable resources when possible
- Reducing energy consumption and managing waste
- Protecting the natural environment on sites you visit
- Efficient design and use of water/power systems.
In the construction and surveying industries, there is always the danger of disturbing or building over wild habitats – from noise pollution to improper disposal of waste. However, aside from this obvious flaw, there are many other contributors that go on behind closed doors. For example,
- The creation and transportation of materials has a huge impact on carbon emissions
- Mining and extracting these natural resources in the first place also contributes greatly to the environment
- The manufacturing of concrete alone has resulted in 2.8bn tonnes of CO2 a year, a number which is only going to increase.
According to the Guardian, after water, concrete is the most widely used substance on the planet. Unfortunately, though, the benefits of concrete mask the enormous dangers it has to the planet, culture, environment and human health.
Promoting Sustainability When Surveying
Surveyors play a crucial role in the construction of new buildings, minimising building costs and ensuring every part of the development runs without any unforeseen hiccups. Whether you are working on a cutting edge, large scale construction project, or individual residential properties – every single surveyor has a role to play when it comes to sustainability.
Surveyors are responsible for detailing an extensive list of materials that will be used during construction – it is at this point that surveyors can discuss the options around using sustainable materials and have their own input into the development of the project.
Surveyors can/should also look at how they can reuse or recycle existing buildings or materials whenever possible – this not only reduces, cost and time but also minimises waste. It is also important that energy use is minimised or used responsibly on-site, and energy-intensive materials, like concrete (as mentioned above) is avoided whenever possible.
When working on a site, surveyors should look at how they can make the most of their natural environment – this means not polluting, properly disposing of waste and preserving and enhancing biodiversity.
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