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Call for action: Seizing the decarbonization opportunity in construction

As decarbonization initiatives gain momentum, construction players can benefit from this growing trend—but only if they view ESG as a strategic opportunity and collaborate with other stakeholders in the ecosystem.

As one of the world’s biggest economic ecosystems, the construction industry has a major part to play in achieving global sustainability goals. “Ecosystem” in this article refers to the full life cycle (design, materials manufacturing, construction, usage, and demolition) of all residential and commercial buildings and infrastructure. While the industry is generally not seen as a sustainability pioneer, the entire ecosystem looks set to evolve.

The COVID-19 crisis will likely prove to be a significant factor in this, not least because it will accelerate change. In this context, it is critical that we now begin to integrate the thinking and planning required to foster much greater economic and environmental resiliency to combat environmental risks.

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This is a view that is reflected by industry leaders. When we asked 100 senior construction executives what trends they expected to accelerate due to the COVID-19 crisis, 53 percent cited sustainability. Reasons could include increased corporate awareness and understanding, as well as growing pressure from investors and financiers. Additionally, 10 percent said they had already increased investments in sustainability measures since the start of the crisis. Moreover, sustainability has rapidly become one of the most frequent topics that clients ask us about. An additional factor to consider is that if the lower-interest-rate environment persists and significant stimulus packages material­ize, it could contribute to the deployment of new sustainable infrastructure, as well as adaptation and resilience infrastructure—investments that would support near-term job creation. Meanwhile, the need for global cooperation on this issue will likely become more apparent and more universally embraced.

Read on thanks to McKinsey & Company:

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