The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) outlined a series of steps public officials and the construction industry should take to address the impacts of the built environment on climate change.
“The construction industry is the delivery vehicle for building a greener, more climate friendly future,” Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of AGC, said in a statement. “Finding a way to ensure that what our members build is more efficient will have a significant impact on climate change.”
Sandherr noted that construction activity accounts for less than 2% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Meanwhile, the built environment accounts for approximately one-third of greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, while the new initiative includes steps construction firms can take to operate more efficiently, the bulk of the effort is focused on pushing for public and private project owners to build more efficient projects.
Among the measures outlined in the new initiative include calling for a national strategy to invest in physical infrastructure that will make communities more resilient. The association is also calling for an increase in investments and funding opportunities for public and private infrastructure to build more efficient highways, water plants, and other facilities.
Association officials also identified steps contractors can take to operate more efficiently. This includes encouraging equipment manufacturers to improve the fuel efficiency of their equipment, helping firms learn how to reduce equipment idling and sharing information about industry innovations like solar powered jobsite trailers and energy efficient jobsite lighting.
The new initiative was crafted by a special climate change task force for the association created earlier this year. Representatives from 18 different member firms participated in the task force meetings and helped craft the recommendations outlined in the initiative.
SOURCE: Associated General Contractors of America