Ontario Construction News staff writer
Commercial builder Chandos Construction says the company will be net-zero by 2040, a pledge its president made on the sidelines at the United Nations’ COP meeting in Glasgow.
To kickstart the commitment, Chandos purchased UN-certified carbon credits to offset the carbon emissions generated by its 2020 operations.
“This is a massive, complex problem facing the construction industry,” said Chandos president, Tim Coldwell. “Achieving net-zero emissions across our entire portfolio of projects will not be possible without long-term partnerships and commitments.”
To meet the goal, Chandos has initiated a carbon-reduction plan that includes the planting of 6,900 trees next year and the use of electric equipment on jobsites and electric vehicles in its fleet.
The company also uses virtual design and construction to reduce carbon emissions during the construction process. The company has a goal of working with clients and design partners to significantly reduce operational carbon emissions from energy code baselines.
“As a contractor, the embodied carbon of the work we put in place each year is equal to our emissions footprint as an organization. To achieve net-zero, Chandos must work with our supply chain to get embodied carbon to zero over time. This requires leadership from contractors, owners, designers, trades, and material suppliers,” Coldwell said, adding that one of the greatest areas of impact the company can have is to reduce embodied carbon in the buildings it constructs.
According to Architecture 2030, embodied carbon will be responsible for almost half of total new construction emissions between now and 2050. To address this, the company is committed to reducing its embodied carbon intensity by 15 per cent each year to be net-zero by 2040.
Chandos says collaboration and innovation is key to meeting the net-zero target. His company is the Canadian leader in integrated project delivery and is undertaking several major projects with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL).
“Our work with CNL is contributing to Canada’s clean energy transition” Jen Hancock, vice president, collaborative construction, said in a news release.
Integrated teams worked with CNL to reduce embodied carbon by implementing mass timber structural solutions for the projects. “When contractors are engaged early in a project, we bring a different perspective on how to reduce carbon during construction. It’s this collaborative approach that can double or triple the positive outcomes for a given project,” says Hancock.
For over a decade Chandos has mandated a company-wide program to reduce waste from construction and in the last two years diverted 78 per cent of waste produced on its job sites away from landfills. Its goal is to divert a minimum of 80 per cent of waste from 100 per cent of its projects.
“Our commitment to net zero is a natural step in our sustainability journey and it aligns with our B Corp Certification,” Hancock concluded.
In addition to attending events at COP, Coldwell, Hancock and Nicole Monaco, director of marketing and communications for Chandos Construction attended Vision 2045, a global summit with business leaders discussing the UN sustainable development goals. “We are connecting with climate leaders in Scotland who are as committed as we are to solving the challenges faced by our industry,” said Coldwell. “The only way we can achieve net-zero emissions is to move forward together.”