May 23, 2024

Building Green’s Commitment to Sustainable Practices

Green Badger's Kristin Brubaker headshot
Kristin Brubaker, Education Manager at Green Badger

Although general contractors are not responsible for deciding what and where to build, there is a significant impact that their construction projects have on the environment.

Until now, there has not been a way to standardize or measure sustainable practices on construction sites. Enter Building Green’s Contractor’s Commitment to Sustainable Building Practices. 

The Contractor’s Commitment was developed by the sustainability leaders at the top green general contractors to help improve sustainability, health, wellness, and safety on construction sites. Organizations can choose to sign on publicly (and 27 have done so since the launch in 2021!) or use as an internal benchmark for creating better jobsites. Categories in the Contractor’s Commitment include carbon, waste, water, materials, and wellness. Each category includes three tiers – good, better, best.


Construction activities produce thousands of pounds of carbon and greenhouse gas emissions every single day. The carbon category includes strategies and best practices for reducing emissions on construction sites. The good and better tiers focus on emissions from corporate operations and jobsites, respectively, while the best tier allows companies to be flexible in picking the types of emissions to track that are most applicable to their scope of services on projects.


Anyone who has been on a construction site can tell you that a decent size project can produce hundreds of tons of waste (plus even more if there is demolition involved). The waste category in the Contractor’s Commitment has been designed around reducing the amount of waste produced on the construction site in addition to increasing he percentage of materials that are diverted from the landfill through reuse and recycling. The tiers in this category build off one another by increasing the requirements for project sites and corporate requirements. 


Construction project teams have the unique opportunity to not only reduce the amount of potable water used and identify water recycling opportunities, but also have the responsibility to protect the waterways surrounding the project site. The good tier starts with creating project-specific water plans and ensuring regulatory control measures are followed. The  better and good tiers then get into water savings, reductions, and offsets. 


“Healthy and Sustainable Materials are those that minimize adverse impacts on human health and ecological systems while promoting social equity and transparency regarding their ingredients and impacts. Healthy Materials are, as much as possible, harmless during their manufacture, instalation, application, operation, maintenance, and end of life processes.” – Building Green’s Building Green’s Contractor’s Commitment to Sustainable Building Practices

The materials category shares best practices for how General Contractors can use their influence to advocate for the use of healthy and sustainable materials on projects. Some of the requirements across the three categories include requesting EPDs from trade partners, identifying healthy and sustainable materials, and evaluating the embodied carbon of materials.


The final category in the Contractor’s Commitment focuses on the health and wellness of the General Contractor’s employees. Wellness programs aren’t just for the office – they apply to the employees working on project sites as well (where teams can be spending several years at a time!). 

The good tier focusing on developing jobsite wellness plans that include how air, nourishment, hygiene, fitness, mental wellness, and severe weather exposure will be addressed. The better and best tiers allow companies to be flexible in picking the types of wellness strategies to implement and track that are most feasible on different types of project sites. 

Office wellness with Green Badger

Tracking Progress on the Contractor’s Commitment

Whether your company chooses to publicly commit or follow internally, there is a lot of tracking that needs to be done at both the project and corporate level. Trying to set up a spreadsheet will be extremely time consuming and doesn’t allow for collaboration with project teams and trade partners, which is required in the commitment. Using software that has been designed specifically to track dozens of projects and roll up the information into a corporate summary is key. 

Green Badger’s ESG platform, which allows you to do just that. The software has all of the features needed to track each category in the contractor’s commitment, and it easy to use. Check out this link to see an overview of how Green Badger supports  Building Green’s Contractor’s Commitment and book a demo. 

More on Building Green’s Contractor’s Commitment

For more detailed information about Building Green’s Contractor’s Commitment to Sustainable Building Practices, check out their website, get the guide, and access the full tool kit.

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