Report: Sustainability expertise fuels construction materials decarbonization
Sources: Trinity Consultants, Dallas; CMCM staff
A survey of 100 executives representing North American manufacturers or producers with annual revenues exceeding $250 million reveals major challenges for the construction materials sector to align (GHG Protocol-defined) Scope 1, 2, 3 emissions reduction strategies and widely subscribed decarbonization targets. Environmental services provider Trinity Consultants retained Verdantix, an independent research firm with New York and London offices, to gauge sustainability, emissions reduction and related policy measures from respondents in cement, concrete, metals, glass and wood products. A new report, “From Strategy to Solution: How the Construction Materials Industry Can Drive Decarbonization Outcomes with Sustainability Services,” charts and discusses researchers’ key findings:
• Sustainability reporting frameworks. Nearly 60 percent of organization cite a lack of reporting standards expertise as the “most” or a “very significant” compliance challenge. Without sufficient expertise, staying up to date and compliant with evolving framework requirements is difficult, as the standards require a deep sustainability metrics grasp and data management expertise.
• Scope 2 emissions reduction. Energy efficiency audits or conservation measures are critical to reducing indirect emissions—typically those of electricity providers—for 84 percent of sustainability leaders surveyed.
• Scope 3 metrics, supply chain signals. With indirect, complex, and far-reaching networks, organizations surveyed report Scope 3 emissions—those across the supply chain—as representing a significant portion of overall carbon footprint. Just over 75 percent of respondents are driving supply chain emissions improvements through vendor management, coupled with implementing a life-cycle analysis to evaluate materials or products’ potential impacts.
• Decarbonization deliverables. Nearly two-thirds of responding organizations find translating strategies into action as one of the their top three challenges in meeting decarbonization objectives. Still others face challenges in building a business case or obtaining funding (69 percent) and identifying viable carbon emissions mitigation strategies (36 percent).
• Industry-specific bandwidth. Among manufacturers and producers surveyed, 55 percent would seek a comprehensive environmental management services provider tuned to their industry. Six in 10 respondents would value a partner with deep technical expertise to guide them from inception to execution, and the majority turn to professional services for risk and impact analysis and lifestyle assessments. Top operators (> $5 billion, annual sales) cite air emissions and climate science technical expertise as the most important factor for a consulting firm.
DECARBONIZATION STRATEGY DRIVERS
“Companies now recognize that decarbonization isn’t just a corporate responsibility; it’s also a powerful competitive differentiator,” affirms Trinity Consultants Director of Sustainability Services Wendy Merz. “This report shines a light on the path forward so organizations can take the steps needed to ensure that they’re staffed with the right people—with the right technical and sector-specific expertise—to not only meet the demands of today but also pave the way for a more sustainable future.”
“The construction materials industry is at a pivotal moment in its decarbonization journey,” conclude “From Strategy to Solutions” authors. “While facing significant challenges, organizations are committed to achieving sustainability goals and increasingly leveraging sustainability services and expertise to drive meaningful change. Decarbonization is no longer a mere aspiration but a business imperative. The industry’s commitment to transparency, innovation, and environmental responsibility will shape its success in a rapidly changing global landscape.”