As entrepreneurs, we all have responsibility for our business (revenue, profit, strategy) including our employees e.g. by taking into account the (local) safety rules. But we are also responsible for our environmental impact.
We more-and-more realize that we have to leave a better world behind to our children. What ‘harm’ do we cause to the environment? How can we improve our CO2 footprint?
And, while this subject was never mentioned in the boardrooms 10 years ago, nowadays this item is on (nearly) every boardroom agenda. It is for example now increasingly required for businesses to have corporate social responsibility policies (CSR) in place when participating in calls for tenders for major infrastructure projects. This trend will further develop in the coming years, pushed by national governments, the European Union, and the United Nations.
An increasing number of rental companies do however not rely on the postulate that rental is sustainable by definition and goes beyond what the law or public procurement regulations require by subscribing to international standards such as ISO 14001 (environment management systems) or OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety) or by implementing their own CSR policies relating to all aspects of sustainability: economic, environmental, and social.
Although the ultimate objective ‘leaving a better world behind’ is a valid reason to come into action for environmental reasons, the impact on your business, and the corporate image in this world is substantial.
The ERA (European Rental Association) has published a very interesting and readable article about this. https://erarental.org/en/sustainability-of-rental
And also the construction equipment industry changes to make their equipment environmentally friendly so far:
- There are already electronic engines with more horsepower available in the heavy construction equipment industry.
- Fully automated systems reduce fuel consumption considerably, which again leads to less smoke emission and pollution.
- The machinery demands a lot less maintenance due to technological advancements. Additionally, it can warn when something is going to break down. This results in less need to replace parts.
- The rental and sharing economy in the construction equipment sector has also paved a green path because reusing equipment helps to utilize the machinery to its fullest extent.
So, a lot is going on, but there is still more to do.