June 17, 2024

Improving Sustainability on Construction Sites

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

General contractors often do not have any control over what they build, or where they built it. They can use their influence to encourage projects to pursue 3rd party sustainability certifications like LEED, Envision, SITES, and so on, but ultimately the final decision on this comes from the project owner. The one thing General Contractors do have control over (usually) is the practices that happen on the construction site. Green Badger has created an extensive group of resources to help general contractors with improving sustainability on construction sites.

Green Jobsite Guidelines

While back at the home office, employees benefit from LED light, air monitoring, healthy snacks and EV charging. It often is very different at the jobsite trailer – where teams may be spending the next 24-36 months of their lives!   That’s where this guide comes in – to laser focus efforts on creating greener, more sustainable, healthier, and safer construction sites where the majority of employees spend their day. The guide is split into two sections:

  1. Tactics for inside the office trailer/site workspace
  2. Tactics for improving sustainability on the construction site

Each section in the guide includes the categories of Energy & Carbon, Water, Waste, Air Quality, and Health & Wellness.

For each section of this guide, we have provided a list of ideas for improving the jobsite. Each list is divided into three tiers. Tier 1 includes strategies that are relatively to implement, and/or are no or low cost. Tiers 2 and 3 can be slightly more challenging and may require extra effort from the project team to successfully implement. The team should choose the strategies from the lists below that will work best for their project site, team composition, and project type. 

Check out the Green Jobsite Guidelines here!

Green Jobsite Signage

Signage can be a powerful tool to remind everyone on the site that their actions have an impact on the overall sustainability of the construction site. Sometimes, site employees may forget what the policies for sustainability on the construction site include. Hanging signs in different areas can help teams remember the sustainability practices. Our kit currently includes the following signs in English and Spanish:

  1. Anti-idling for personal vehicles/parking lots
  2. Anti-idling for trucks/loading unloading zones
  3. Recycling
  4. Water conservation
  5. Hydration reminders
  6. Sun protection reminders
  7. Break areas
  8. IAQ cheat sheet

Download the signs for your construction site here!

Sample Anti-Idling Policy

Idling vehicles contribute to air pollution and emit air toxins, which are pollutants known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects. Limiting a vehicle’s idling time can dramatically reduce the amount of pollutants and exposure to them. If your company does not already have an anti-idling policy in place, you can use our sample anti-idling policy and modify it as needed to reduce emissions on-site. The policy includes guidance, exceptions, and how it can be monitored and enforced. 

Get access to the sample anti-idling policy here!

Sample Jobsite Wellness Plan

A key component of improving sustainability on construction sites is including efforts to improve the health and wellness of everyone on site. Creating a jobsite wellness plan is the first step in this – it gives your project teams the space to think about the different things that affect health and wellness, and what opportunities are available for each project team to make improvements. This sample jobsite wellness plan includes an outline, as well as some examples of health and wellness tactics that can be implemented. The health and wellness categories featured in the sample jobsite wellness plan include:

  • Air Quality Management
  • Nourishment
  • Hygiene
  • Fitness and Physical Wellness
  • Mental Wellness Support
  • Severe Weather Exposure Preparedness

Click here to download the sample jobsite wellness plan!

Stay Up To Date on more Resources for Improving Sustainability on Construction Sites

Green Badger makes sustainability more accessible to construction teams. Later this year, we will be hosting a webinar on improving sustainability on construction sites and continue to develop additional resources for these efforts. To stay in the loop about these new resources, sign up for our newsletter. If you have ideas or suggestions for improving these resources, reach out to Kristin Brubaker, Education Manager (Kristin@getgreenbadger.com).

If you’d like all of our Green Jobsite resources, you can download the entire kit here!

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