Canadian Rental Service

Major study examines sustainability attitudes in construction

By Trackunit   

Features Business Intelligence statistics

Global IoT player Trackunit has today published an in-depth report of construction that unveils exactly what industry professionals around the globe are thinking about the state of sustainability and how they see it dominating their agendas over the next five years.

The ‘Constructing a better future’ report is one of the most comprehensive surveys ever undertaken of the industry and demonstrates that construction is getting increasingly serious about sustainability ahead of the UN 2030 targets on emissions reporting.

Among the report’s many findings, the sharp differential in how North American construction professionals are viewing sustainability compared to their European counterparts is perhaps the most significant. More than a third (36%) of North Americans say sustainability is now ‘very important’ compared to 25% in Europe and that differential narrows only marginally when we include ‘important’ in that comparison for respective scores of 55% and 46%.

A shift in North American attitudes towards sustainability is one of the big findings of the report.

“We were aware that North American construction companies were definitely becoming more serious about sustainability and emissions reporting just because of the discussions we have with our customers on a regular basis,” said Trackunit CEO Soeren Brogaard. “But this is the first time we’ve really uncovered hard, statistical data that validates this and takes us from an anecdotal sense of what is going on to something that is evidence based and clear.


“North American companies are leading a revolution in the way we think about sustainability with some significant players in the industry implementing KPI-led goals that specifically put them in line to either match or even beat the UN’s 2030 targets on emissions reporting,” said the Trackunit CEO. “We‘ve’ termed this ‘competitive sustainability’ and if this really is a phenomenon that is going to tighten its grip on the construction sector, then this could be the single, biggest cultural shift we have ever seen in attitudes towards sustainability.”

Among the report’s other findings, it shows that globally, the Contractor and Equipment Rental segments currently prioritize sustainability more than the Equipment Owner and Dealer segments with 59% marking it out as ‘important’ compared to 43% and 51% respectively. But 58% of construction professionals as a whole expect sustainability to become ‘important’ over the next five years compared to just 26% who think it will diminish in importance.

How important is sustainability to your company?

There is a similar divide among those who have already implemented sustainability practices in their businesses with Contractors topping out at 73%, followed by dealers and equipment owners at 69% and equipment rentals at 64%. But over the next five years, 50% of construction businesses expect to implement more practices while a further 32% will give it consideration.

“What this clearly shows is that construction professionals are already very serious about sustainability and want to do what is right for their business and society as a whole,” said Brogaard. “It’s not really a surprise that Contractors lead the way here given that they are very much at the client-facing end of construction which exerts significant pressure too.”

Indeed, research shows that customers are increasingly demanding businesses demonstrate their sustainability practices in ways that are credible and transparent with 49% of global consumers in 10 major economies having paid a premium for products branded as sustainable or socially responsible, according to IBM.

“With regulatory pressures, societal demands for better, cleaner construction practices and the UN’s 2030 targets on emissions reporting increasingly dominating agendas of government and businesses, this is only going to move in one direction over the next five years,” Brogaard said.

Another important finding in the report was that 57% of construction professionals said their businesses were already spending more on software solutions than was the case in 2021 with 14% allocating more than €10,000/year and another 15% spending more than €1,000/year.

“Construction companies are becoming more and more interested in what technology can do for them across a whole variety of areas, including sustainability and emissions reporting,” said Brogaard. “As the IoT solution-providers get better at raising the benchmark on emissions reporting, I believe this will see take up of software solutions increase significantly both in terms of the number of companies that use them and how much they are prepared to spend as their delivery of hard, irrefutable numbers becomes compelling.

“That in time should put an end to the practice of ‘guestimating’ which is a severe limitation on our ability to meet Greenhouse Gas Protocols,.” he added. “If we can change that, then we are really impacting construction’s future in an incredibly progressive way.”

Download the full report.

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