Earth Day 2021
Earth Day is an annual event on April 22, which provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the risks to our planet and to demonstrate the opportunities for environmental protection.
Here at Galldris, we are firm believers that every day is Earth Day. Over the last 12 months we are proud to say that many of our sustainability initiatives are reaping rewards.
- Thanks to digital innovations, we are proud to report that the amount of paper we utilise as a company is down 21%.
- 90% of our machine plant is now compliant with the latest NRMM regulations and meets Stage 4 emission standards as a minimum, the remaining 10% of our fleet will be compliant over the coming months.
- We are on target to ensure that a minimum of 95% of waste generated from our projects is diverted from landfill.
Barry Edwards, our Consultant Environmental & Sustainability Manager had the following to say when speaking about the company’s strategy to ensure safeguarding of the environment:
“Something that is at the centre of everything we do is to: ‘turn complicated into simple’, without causing harm to the environment.
One of the ways that this is achieved is by using Site Environmental Management Plans (SEMPs) on each of our projects to maximise sustainability opportunities, whilst minimising the impact of the construction, by keeping things straightforward.
These pinpoint the environmental aspects identified as being particularly at risk and which subsequently need environmental protection. We, as a company, are then committed to removing, minimising or mitigating against these impacts and implementing eco-friendly ways of protecting these aspects.
Further to this, we ensure that everything we do is carefully controlled and that all activities fully conform to specifications. We are also committed to monitoring every aspect of our construction activities, including carefully vetting out supply chain to make sure everything we purchase is from sustainable sources and that nothing is wasted. We are also vigilant to ensure there is on-going community liaison across all our project and that site operations are conducted in accordance with obligations received from Local Authorities.
Some of our projects obviously have complex and complicated aspects, but our standard practise helps to address these, such that if we look after the small things and take care of these individual components by having very clear environmental objectives, we can meet the needs of today without compromising the needs of future generations.”
One thing that we always try to achieve is to educate our workforce to the importance of the environment and as part of Earth Week, Barry also delivered multiple sustainability workshops to our workforce this week, one of which was simply titled
“Have you ever wondered what happens to all those materials when a building is demolished?”
Speaking to Barry as to why he chose this as the topic of one of his workshops, he had the following to say:
“The majority of people are of the belief that once the large amounts of materials generated during the demolition of buildings, roads, and bridges are transported off-site to a recycling/sorting facility, that this is the most efficient and sustainable way of promoting the sustainable management of Construction and Demolition (C&D) Materials
However, what some people do not consider is that these C&D materials often contain bulky, heavy materials such as: Concrete, Timber, Metals, Bricks etc. and it is here that lies the problem, as much of the benefit of recycling itself is lost as a result of the production of increased CO2 emissions during this transportation of waste to the recycling/sorting facility.
We, as a company have set the highest possible reuse targets to promote Sustainable Materials Management (SMM), where the C&D materials can actually be reused on-site within the project itself. Thus, avoiding the need to source virgin materials, or use vehicles for transportation and therefore reducing the overall embodied carbon level of the project.
All of these materials are heavy, so heavy that they carry the highest embodied transportation costs. So, by focussing on deconstruction, carefully dismantling buildings to salvage components, such as concrete to be reused onsite, we are able to produce the following benefits:
- Maximising the recovery of materials.
- Conserving finite resources.
- Providing many employment and job training opportunities.
- Diverting demolition debris bound for disposal.
- Preserving resources through reuse.
- Reducing the overall embodied carbon of our project.
In generating the above benefits, we have not gone that extra mile, in fact, we have not gone any miles at all and therefore reduced the CO2 equivalent levels (CO2e) by actually innovating the methods of recycling and reusing of the C&D materials on-site!
As a result, it has not only reduced the embodied carbon by removing the transport to the sorting and recycling facilities, but also reduced the energy needed at the recycling facility to sort the C&D materials and completely avoided any of the material becoming waste and going to landfill.”