Are You Ready for Net-Zero? 5 Ways Construction Businesses Can Demonstrate Their Carbon Reduction Plans

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5 ways construction businesses can demonstrate their carbon reduction plans as the world begins to reopen.

As the world opens up again, we are refocusing our attention on the state of the planet. Earlier this month, the government released a new Procurement Policy Note (PPN) – ‘Taking Account of Carbon Reduction Plans in the procurement of major government contracts’ which calls for companies to commit to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Businesses will now have to detail and publish their plans for carbon reduction when bidding for major government contracts of over £5 million. The new rules also require businesses to clearly publish their plans on their websites.

Businesses will have to report scope one, scope two and scope three emissions. Scope one includes direct emissions from company vehicles, scope two includes indirect emissions like those from the electricity that the firm uses and for the first time, companies will have to report scope three emissions which include the emissions generated by waste disposal and suppliers.

It is also worth mentioning that on 15 June 2021, Issue 1.0 of the Carbon Reduction Code for the Built Environment was published on the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC) website. This framework aligns with the UK Government’s PPN (06/21) for taking account of carbon reduction plans in public procurement. Change is coming!

Where to start with your carbon reduction plans?

How can you go about making a start on your plan? Luckily, there is a helpful template that you can follow within the policy. You could argue that the new PPN it’s not going to affect SME’s as many will not be bidding for over £5m contracts. However, the new policy is going to set the tone for the future of the construction industry significantly and being ahead of the game will get you noticed. It’s important to highlight that a plan is a plan, but a plan with impact is far different and will make you stand out from your competitors.

How can your business demonstrate its commitment to carbon reduction and communicate this in a creative, impactful way? Here are our top 5 tips:

1. Dedicate a section of your website to your carbon reduction plans

The PPN clearly states “The Carbon Reduction Plan should be updated regularly (at least annually) and published and clearly signposted on the supplier’s UK website”. Your website is your shop window to the world and therefore it’s the perfect place to showcase what you’re passionate about and what your plans are for the future.

Consider creating a page on your site that details your carbon reduction and sustainability plans. Try to include examples of where you have actively reduced your carbon footprint using professional photography and video. Be sure to regularly update your company’s blog every six to 12 months on your progress.

2. Create an impactful, engaging video.

Videos enable you to increase the time spent on your website which reassures Google and other search engines that your website has good, relevant content. According to Moovly, you’re 53 times more likely to show up first on Google if you have a video embedded on your website. So why not take advantage of this opportunity to outline your roadmap to becoming net-zero carbon?

There are many ways that you can communicate your message in the form of a video. One could be in the style of a short documentary. Interview your MD on their net-zero strategy and how they plan to implement this across the business. Use a professional camera and good lighting to give your video that creative edge. If possible, include case study footage of current or previous projects where sustainability was considered and its impact on the environment.

Another unique video option that will almost certainly cause you to stand out amongst your competitors would be to create an animated video outlining your roadmap to net-zero. Animation videos are a highly engaging approach to getting your message across quickly whilst also entertaining viewers.

3. Publish a corporate brochure.

To enhance your firm’s professionalism, you might think about publishing a corporate brochure that outlines an in-depth version of what the company’s plans are to reduce carbon emissions. Include charts, infographics, and professional photography to give your brochure legitimacy and make it more engaging. A slick, well put together brochure will put you in a position of authority within the industry.

Why not print physical copies to send out to your stakeholders? You could also have a digital PDF version that can be downloaded from the sustainability page on your website. That way, your brochure can be seen by a wider audience.

4. Educate the industry through a helpful webinar.

Now you have your plan ready what’s next? Launch your strategy in the form of a webinar. Be a leader within the industry and educate your internal and external stakeholders and potential new clients of your company’s passion for sustainability, and the targets you have set to achieve net-zero by 2050 or even sooner if you’re feeling ambitious!

If you record the webinar, you now have a fantastic piece of content to use across your digital marketing channels. Be sure to upload your video to your YouTube channel to be seen by a wider audience.

This will do wonders for your firm’s authority in the industry, and it can help inspire others. It will also be an extremely shareable way of communicating your plans in an informative yet engaging way to the public.

5. Shout about your carbon reduction efforts on social media.

Now you have created all this content surrounding your carbon reduction plans, what’s next? Social media remains a powerful tool for communication and with the world’s focus slowly shifting back to climate change and sustainability, it’s a great way of tying everything together and feeding it back to your website. Share your videos, webinars, website content and corporate brochure as bitesize pieces of content communicating what the future holds for your firm’s carbon emissions.

Connect with your local community and assure them that you’re committed to being kind to the local area and what you’re doing to join the global fight against carbon emissions.

Change is coming

There has never been a better time to focus your attention on the sustainability of the planet. By publishing your carbon reduction plans in the form of engaging content, your future clients and local community will see that you’re dedicated to the cause.

Many construction companies are stepping up and addressing the issues surrounding climate emergency. Will you? It’s important to highlight that putting the correct plan together will take time and you must be confident that the plan you have set out is achievable. Unless you have a properly developed communication strategy in place, there is a high chance it can fail and as a result, tarnish your brand.

“Change is coming, whether you like it or not”

– Greta Thunberg

No matter what size your company is, we highly recommend implementing as many of our suggestions as possible to ensure that you stand amongst the crowd and your message reaches far and wide. At Project Five Creative, we can help you communicate your carbon reduction plans effectively and with impact. We have heaps of knowledge and experience in supporting construction sector businesses around these topics and are extremely passionate about helping them deliver marketing solutions in the realms of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), so if you need our help today, start a conversation with us! 

Words by Sophia Avraam, Creative Director & Co-Founder at Project Five Creative Ltd

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