How to get on track in transforming construction with global responsibility

Environmental good is always precious to preserve, but what does it mean in practice? As environmental impact assessment practitioners, market players still struggle with cost-effective, modernised, scientific approaches to achieving overall environmental, social, and governance (ESG) on the decarbonisation roadmap. We want to help the industry comprehend ESG implications and the latest digitalisation development reaching eco-goals.

Where do we start? Let’s begin with the market.

According to Future of Construction: A Global Forecast for Construction to 2030, global construction output is foreseen to rise by 6.6% in 2021. Government stimuli and residential demands will increase construction by 42% by 2030. What the sector growth implies is a greater risk of pollution and waste. The current 40% of the world’s global greenhouse gas emissions from the construction sector have covered a wider environment – the construction supply chain.

The roadmap is the decarbonisation journey requiring a lot of footsteps to achieve. Each footprint is associated with stakeholders’ enactment. Stakeholder groups in construction sector: The project sponsor, Contractors and subcontractors, Materials suppliers, Designers, Employees, The Authorities, Professional bodies, Communities, End users, etc.

Why is supply chain important in decarbonisation? In the construction sector, from raw materials to steelworks and concrete production, the suppliers may not be listed companies, but they are in the supply chain affecting ESG performance.

Each company has their carbon footprint. So have their suppliers. Let’s take building materials companies’ ESG risks as examples. S&P Global ratings unveil building materials companies consume substantial fuels for production, resulting in greenhouse emissions and other kinds of pollution.

What do we do to get on track in transforming businesses with global responsibility?

Law enforcement elevates the environmental consultancy industry – Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Ordinance. Environmental Licence Permit holder is liable for breaching, including all their suppliers’. There are emerging needs other than EIA, such as ESG reporting, roadmap, implementation plan.

Listed construction companies are now reporting on ESG matters. In 2016, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the HKEX”) raised a requirement for listed companies in Hong Kong to report their ESG performance. Supply chain management is one of the reporting areas.

Source: HKEX

Practitioners have a responsibility to advise their clients about ESG matters of their construction project. Because ESG ricks, including ESG supply chain risks have negative effects on 1) non-alignment with investor values, 2) operational risks, and 3) financial risks. (source: UNPRI.org)

It is also not a straight road towards the new direction. For construction sector, we observe numbers of challenges for them to reach comprehensive ESG targets. They are:

1) The project stakeholders have to handle a high volume of environmental data

2) It is time-consuming and labour-intensive for data collection and distribution

3) It is a pain point to identify the source

4) Data storage capacity is always a problem

5) It is difficult to communicate effectively to project sponsors and stakeholders

6) It is disputable to assign responsibility when handling the complaint

Can technology disruption help the challenges? Yes, technology can help a great deal. Technology advancement enables web-based, online, open system architecture. “Control Centre” Concept allows one-stop EM&A workflow management. Secured remote access, real-time data reporting & data analysis, and real-time event/action triggering & warning secure data integrity, which eventually leads to close-to-the-reality decision-making. Preventive maintenance echos with compliance management. Smart manufacturing streamlines sound facility management.

We believe in the power of digitalisation. Digitalisation powers communication, interaction, scalability, intelligence, and integration. Learn more about our key solutions for your eco, profitable goals.

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
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