Whilst there are some who dispute the truth of climate change, over 90% of scientists agree that it is caused by us. Sadly, the shift to measures that tackle our impact cannot be done overnight. It takes a significant amount of time to address and, often, the effects of ‘green washing’ can prevent influential people from seeing the real environmental and economic benefits of improving their current ways of working. So, why is the business case for sustainability so important?
Firstly, let us be clear on one thing: ‘sustainability’ and ‘green washing’ are not the same thing, whatever you may have been led to believe. ‘Green washing’ is when a business promotes aspects of itself or its products as ‘green’ to appear sustainable when, in fact, they have taken few measures to reduce their impact on the environment. On the other hand, if you develop practices that aim to reduce the carbon footprint of your business, increase the use of renewable power sources, look to move to ethically sourced materials, and other such actions then you are well on track and you should be incredibly proud of that, at whatever stage you are on the journey.
For us at Kingspan Ltd, sustainability is at the very heart of the business. We also encourage sustainable innovations amongst our team. As a group, we have already exceeded the target to achieve 50% renewable energy in 2016 and now we are looking ahead to our aim of Net Zero Energy by 2020. This commitment to carbon saving targets has landed us on the RE100 list, which sees us amongst other businesses wanting to ‘aid the transition to a low carbon economy’.
By addressing our embodied carbon and life cycle impact of our products too, we are focusing on how these changes can benefit the world we live in now, as well as ensuring our legacy is a better, healthier world for future generations. Sustainability not only covers environmental benefits, but must ensure that a business is viable so it is essential that initiatives and products that are developed are what the construction industry wants and needs.
Kingspan Steel Building Solutions is proud to be sponsoring IStructE’s ‘Sustainability Conference 2017’ whose many excellent speakers will address the challenges to structural engineers and discuss potential solutions to help the industry meet climate and energy targets by 2020. We believe strongly that initiatives that are involved in educating on global issues such as this should be supported in any way we can.