How Contractors Can Adopt ESG Without Affecting the Bottom Line

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ESG is environmental, social, and governance. It’s a framework that helps stakeholders understand how an organization manages risks and opportunities related to sustainability and the societal impact of an investment in a company. Contractors who fail to meet ESG criteria could find major obstacles in securing funding, landing projects, and maintaining a good reputation.

ESG unlocks funding, business and recruitment opportunities, demonstrates that you’re mitigating risk, and helps determine your future financial performance. Construction investors and stakeholders are increasingly considering ESG factors in their decision-making processes, looking for contractors who prioritize sustainable and ethical practices to invest in or partner with.

Is your company well-positioned with an ESG strategy, or falling behind with nothing in place? STACK guides you through the importance of ESG and how you can adopt a rock-solid plan without breaking the bank.

Environmental

How is your company performing as a steward of nature? According to the World Green Building Council, buildings are currently responsible for 39% of global energy-related carbon emissions: 28% from operational emissions and 11% from materials and construction. In addition, rising ESG expectations are causing contractors to consider alternatives when developing sustainable, long-term fuel strategies, especially with the volatility of crude oil and fuel prices. 
Transforming buildings and communities to advance environmental (and human) wellbeing should be at the front of every contractor’s mind. Consider the impact your business has on the planet. Are you focused on sustainability practices? What’s your carbon footprint in the field and how much energy are you using at your offices? What are your waste management and pollution control practices? Have you researched and invested in green building practices and more sustainable materials?

Social

What impact does your company have on your internal and external community? The way you manage relationships with employees, suppliers, clients, and the community you operate in reflects on your business. Construction industry news headlines are riddled with contractor violations in health and safety. They also highlight the large gender gap in construction, with women representing only 10.8% of the construction workforce (BLS).

It’s important to think about your social impact. What labor practices do you have in place to keep teams safe? Do you have diversity and inclusion policies? Are you an active member of your community and impacting local culture rather than just the local economy?

Governance

Governance refers to how an organization is run, focusing on business transparency, management accountability, ethical behavior, qualified and experienced leadership, and risk management. In construction, governance also encompasses how contractors interact with GCs or other subcontractors, suppliers, competitors, and other stakeholders. S&P Global Research shows that companies that rank well below average on good governance characteristics are prone to mismanagement and risk their ability to capitalize on business opportunities. Are you ready to risk business growth?

How is your business following high ethical standards and operating with integrity? Do you have a set business conduct and ethics code enforced throughout the company? Is diversity, inclusivity, and equity part of the framework? Are leaders promoting a culture of innovation?

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Incorporating ESG Will HELP Your Profitability

Committing to ESG will give your company greater operational efficiency, reduce risk, and you’ll gain a better competitive edge leading to long-term cost savings. And STACK can help you implement your ESG strategy!

Go Green, STACK Green!

STACK customer Wine Country Roofing used to spend thousands of dollars on printing fees. 
“In two or three projects, STACK paid for itself for the year,” said Angel Vera, CEO of Wine Country Roofing. No more printing means less waste, eliminating drive time to access documents, and ensuring you’re working off the most updated set of plans for project efficiency. More efficient building means less rework, saving you money and avoiding delays in project completion.

You can also improve your environmental impact by:

  1. Focusing on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Implementing energy-efficient technologies in your office and using renewable energy sources like installing LED lighting, energy-efficient HVAC systems, and using alternative power sources can reduce energy costs. 

  1. Using More Sustainable Materials
    Sustainable and locally sourced materials can reduce transportation costs and environmental impact. Materials like recycled steel, green cement, solar roofing, and reclaimed wood can be cost-effective and add to your sustainability practices.
  2. Green Building Certifications
    Pursuing certifications like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) can attract clients willing to pay a premium for sustainable construction. This will enhance not only your marketability but also your competitive edge.

Be a Social Butterfly

 
Investing in your workforce will have positive long-term effects on your ability to hire and retain top talent. Upskilling and people development should be at the forefront of your social strategy, and getting your team skilled as a STACK pro will help you get bids out the door faster, increase your accuracy, enhance collaboration between the office and the field, and improve profitability. Focusing on a diverse and inclusive workforce will also lead to more innovative and productive teams and address the labor shortage that seems to be constant in construction.

Your company should also engage with the local community to build strong relationships and enhance your reputation (leading to more jobs!). PCL Construction, a global billion-dollar GC and STACK customer, is a pioneer in community engagement and social impact. They are consistently named a Best Company to Work For and have admirable fundraising programs supporting their local communities. STACK customer Nexen Construction is taking a sabbatical year in 2024, dedicating leadership and team time to community projects and giving back.

Run Your Company Like an Industry Leader

Strengthening governance practices, like improving transparency, ethical behavior, and risk management, can improve your company’s reputation and reduce the risk of legal issues and fines. Enforce a set code of business conduct and ethics including confidentiality, promoting diversity and respect, employee compliance and data security training, and protection and proper use of company assets.

If you want your business to scale and achieve ambitious goals, you need to create a supportive environment that drives creative thinking. With great leadership, you’ll create a culture of innovation and help drive organizational change. Embracing change and digital transformation are keys to any innovation initiative. In addition to delivering best-in-class solutions to drive growth and efficiency, STACK has created a pretty killer resource to help you get started on your path to discovering how and why your tech needs to evolve, now.

By integrating ESG practices and utilizing STACK to help reach your goals, you’ll not only comply with regulations and meet stakeholder expectations but also improve your operational efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance your competitive advantage in the industry.

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