A FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY
Awareness, Diligence and Responsibility.
Sustainability can be defined in simple terms as the capacity for continuance. It is based upon three components: economic growth, social progress and environmental protection.
Construction and infrastructure works represent a significant proportion of global resource use and pollution from emissions. The built environment is responsible for 30 to 50% of global energy consumption and equates to approximately 40% of global carbon emissions. Building waste in industrialised countries accounts for 15 to 40% of all waste streams going to landfill, or around 40% in Australia.
P&C Fencing take the concept of Sustainability in Construction very seriously, and as such have spent countless hours training, and educating ourselves in the various aspects of Sustainability. This has led to the creation of new policies, procedures and forms within the company to document and monitor the performance of our staff, suppliers, and contractors, and enable us to report to our Clients and Stakeholders.
The first aspect tackled has been Energy usage, which led to a large solar system being installed to the head-office and production facility to negate the bulk of the company's power usage. This has already proven to be effective, and has reduced usage from the grid significantly by simply harnessing the energy of the sun. Next on the radar was carbon emissions and the company carbon footprint. A carbon footprint is historically defined as the total emissions caused by an individual, event, organisation, or product, expressed as a carbon dioxide equivalent. Carbon emissions have been deemed responsible for climate change, so reducing our carbon footprint is a priority at P&C Fencing.
Working together with Carbon Neutral, P&C Fencing conducted an in-depth carbon assessment of all work activities to provide an accurate overview of our contribution to carbon emissions. We then have invested funds into carbon offsetting by way of reforestation, wind farms, solar farms, methane capture and wave energy projects.
But why stop there? We then examined our concrete usage, as the creation of the cement that is used in our fence post holes also generates carbon to be created. Although this is purchased from our suppliers who may also be off-setting carbon, our aim is to reduce the Portland Cement content by 25% and be in line with new Government KPI's. To do this we calculated our annual concrete usage, and invest further funds to off-set an additional 25% of carbon emissions.
By doing the above, P&C Fencing are extremely proud to announce we are now certified to be a Carbon Neutral company. As far as we are aware we are the first fencing company in NSW, and possibly Australia to do so. Stay tuned for more developments in our contribution to sustainability in the NSW Construction industry.
After undergoing Sustainability training, Senior Management and key personnel revisited all of our Policies and Procedures to ensure full compliance with the Sustainability requirements of our Clients. Our tri-faceted management system is third-party audited to Australian Standards in Safety, Quality and Environmental aspects and we have built our Sustainability objectives and KPI's into these.
With the heavy drought conditions already affecting Australia it is not hard to see water becoming scarce. Global warming and climate change are real issues with serious repercussions in many industries, including Construction. To combat water scarity, Senior Management recently approved the installation of a large 10,000L rainwater tank which will collect water for use in place of traditional potable sources for uses such as mixing with concrete, and the washing down of trucks, plant and equipment.
Key P&C Fencing staff and senior management have undertaken extensive training in Sustainability to better understand the concept, impacts, and key areas of focus. This extends to the supply chain of our suppliers and contractors, to ensure that all of the supply chain are compliant and in alignment with the goals and KPI's of both P&C and our Clients. All suppliers and contractors are reviewed, rated and ranked, with only the compliant parties making the list of Approved Suppliers.
The revised company policies and procedures require sustainable sourcing from all suppliers and for chain of custodies to be maintained from suppliers through to end user whenever possible.
The waste policy at P&C Fencing is pretty simple in that anything that can be re-used is, any general waste is disposed of properly, any cardboard from packaging and the like are recylced into a dedicated cardboard bin, and off-cuts and leftover fencing is placed into a metal recycling bin. The office only uses 100% recycled paper and to keep it green prints only what is absolutely required. Spoils on site from digging post holes is reused whenever possible on site.