June 19, 2023

ESG Benchmarking – How to Get Started

Green Badger's Kristin Brubaker headshot

Kristin Brubaker, Education Manager at Green Badger

Benchmarking is a critical part of implementing ESG in your organization, because you need to know where you are before you can determine where you need to go. We’ve all heard the phrase, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” and that is absolutely the case when it comes to ESG.

Most ESG measures will require you to collect 12-18 months of data, but fear not! Taking a tiered approach to data collection can make it a more manageable process, and allows your ESG initiative to grow over time. 

Tier 1

First, focus on items that your company has control over, that you might already have the data for. There is no shame on focusing on the easiest, low hanging fruit first.  For example, many general contractors provide fuel cards to their employees, and gasoline contributes to an organization’s greenhouse gas emissions. Someone in your organization has data on the amount of fuel that has been purchased in the past month/quarter/year, so if you can get your hand on that total value, it’s a very simple calculation to determine the emissions (and Green Badger makes it even easier – you can do a one time annual entry for this!). 

You’d probably be surprised at the amount of valuable data your company already has that just needs to be put to use. 

ESG Implementation Guide

Tier 2

Next, focus on the items your company controls, that are going to require more effort, time, and potentially cost to collect data on. An example of this might be the percentage of subcontracts companywide that are awarded to minority or women owned businesses. If your company doesn’t already have a minimum threshold for each project, this is going to require getting in touch with every single project team and having them calculate the amount of contracts that have been awarded to these groups snd reporting back to the ESG team. 

Tier 3

Finally, after you’ve gather data for the metrics that your company has direct control over, you can start to focus on there areas where your company has a lot of influence. For a general contractor, this would be jobsites and subcontractors. Embodied carbon from the material manufacturing process is a very hot topic in the construction industry, when your company has the opportunity to help with material selection, you aim to select materials that have lower embodied carbon than the industry standard for the material. It’s not something that you can do on every project, but makes a significant difference when you can help influence projects.

Green Badger’s Jobsite Sustainability software has been specifically designed to help capture ESG data on construction sites. It allows users to easily collect data from the benchmarking process, and track project towards goals.  To learn more or schedule a demo visit our website!

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