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75% of construction firms have low carbon strategies

New research has revealed that the majority of the UK construction sector recognises the importance of carbon reduction, with fleet management identified as a key factor.

New research has revealed that the majority of the UK construction sector recognises the importance of carbon reduction, with fleet management identified as a key factor.

A survey of 149 UK construction companies by TomTom Telematics, a fleet management specialist, found that 75 per cent now have a low carbon or carbon reduction strategy, with 58 per cent regularly monitoring their carbon footprint.

Client demand

Client demand was found to be a key driver, with over half of respondents claiming that their clients require them to measure and reduce carbon emissions as key performance indicators for projects.

This client demand then ripples through the construction supply chain, with 74 per cent of respondents reporting that they favour suppliers that offer low carbon products or can demonstrate green credentials.

Despite this, 95 per cent still believed the industry as a whole could do more to reduce carbon emissions.

Fuel efficiency

Fleet management is seen a key opportunity for construction firms to cost-effectively reduce their carbon footprint by improving fuel efficiency.

Over half of the companies surveyed by TomTom Telematics cited road traffic congestion as their biggest cause of unnecessary fuel consumption. Other cited vehicle idling, inefficient routing and vehicle speeding as key factors.

Giles Margerison, sales director UK and Ireland at TomTom Telematics, said telematics technology to track vehicle data was under-utilised by the sector.

Telematics

“68 per cent of companies we spoke to have systems and processes in place to reduce fuel consumption across their vehicle fleet and, of these, only 23 per cent use a telematics system to do so”, he said.

“Fleet operations are a major source of CO2 emissions but the data provided by technology such as telematics allows companies to pinpoint trends and tackle the root causes of fuel wastage.

“Modern telematics systems can now give drivers real time visual alerts when they are speeding, idling or braking too harshly, so they can respond instantly. They can even advise on the most efficient time to take your foot off the accelerator when approaching junctions and the greenest speed to drive at. It all adds up to a significant impact on fuel efficiency.”

Leading companies already use the technology to good effect. For example, drivers for plant hire firm, Garic, receive a weekly bonus if they hit agreed fuel consumption performance targets.