eCommonSense Comment: Q3 2022

It’s estimated that global construction levels equate to a city the size of Paris being built every week, it’s therefore unsurprising that construction and the built environment accounts for 38% of worldwide carbon emission.

In May 2019, the UK Parliament declared an ‘environment and climate change emergency’, with the government committing to a 2050 net zero emissions target. And in October 2021, it became mandatory for bidders for government contracts worth more than £5m a year to commit to achieving new zero emissions by 2050, taking into account business travel, employee commuting, transportation, distribution and waste production.

Meanwhile, a combination of Brexit, COVID-19, conflict in Ukraine, plus the highest inflation rate in four decades in quick succession, has resulted in extensive material shortages, fractured supply chains and building materials price increases. Many businesses, especially SMEs, have struggled to fully recover from one challenge before the next setback occurs.

Business leaders have no choice but to deal with pressing issues like these first. As a result, bigger issues such as global warming and the climate crisis are frequently put to one side.

To maintain our focus, the first issue that needs to be addressed is the level of awareness within the industry about construction’s environmental impact. Shipping and air freight contributions are frequently excluded from industry data, deemed “international emissions” and therefore eradicated from the total equation, despite playing a key role in the supply chain. Once we begin delivering a true measure of emissions in the supply chain end to end, we can get a true image of our climate crisis impact and act accordingly.

For change to happen, the whole construction industry, from manufacturers to builders’ merchants should improve their resilience to reduce their carbon footprints. Specialist ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems, such as ECI Spruce, and sector specific eCommerce platforms like eCommonSense drive efficiency. Giving business managers total visibility over supply chains and sales, specialist software streamlines a builders’ merchant’s workflows, helping to reduce the effects of major delays and crises.

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