2020, a new decade or the end of a decade? Whatever the year 2020 is, it certainly feels like we are at a tipping point for the environmental agenda. In the last decade we saw, globally, some of the hottest temperatures ever recorded, an increasing number of “extreme” weather events, the launch of the Paris Agreement, millions of people taking to the streets across the world to protest for government to take action on climate change and globally we took action on single use plastics.
With a new year, comes hope and new beginnings, but will businesses and governments continue to build on the progress we have made? As we concluded in our last blog of the year, 2019 was certainly a year for changes on the environmental agenda and already 2020 holds some promise for the agenda. Could this be the decade of delivery for environmental issues? Already as we move into 2020 we have the long-awaited Environment Bill due to be ratified, bringing into place Environmental Protection Laws and legally binding targets on issues such as Air Quality. We also have COP 26, the United Nations Climate Change Summit, taking place in Glasgow later this year. But whilst these actions are being taken at a government level, what more can businesses be doing to take action? The Government actions alone cannot combat climate change.
Regardless of your businesses size now is the time to be taking action and make commitments and plans for how your business will manage and reduce its environmental impacts. This is now a business imperative whether it be to help you remain compliant, win more work, manage your reputation or as a way to engage with your employees. A recent RICS survey found that 34% of construction workers felt that their employer was not doing enough to help reduce its environmental impacts. The construction sector alone accounts for over 40% of national energy consumption and generates over 100 million tonnes of waste each year, a third of the UKs total waste.
But where to start? It can at times however feel overwhelming, knowing where to start in making these commitments. A great place is to understand your core impact areas across your projects, which can in turn lead to identifying some quick wins to reduction and some areas that may take a concerted effort to address, such as reducing plastic waste.
Subscribing to the Environmental Manual is a great place to start. The manual is produced by leading industry experts who produce leading sector guidance, and best practice as well as ensuring your business stays on top of the latest Environmental Legislation Policy. The manual will allow you to quickly identify your impact areas and provide you with practical guidance and best practice from across the sector to allow you to take action to manage your impacts. You can find out more about the manual and receive a free trial here.
2020 looks set to be another year for positive change for the Environmental agenda, make sure your business in not left behind, and stay tuned to our forthcoming Environmental Insights where we will keep you posted as the new Environmental Legislation emerges.