Survey: 1 in 5 tradies have sustainability concerns

As the nation continues towards its net zero pledge, sustainability concerns will impact every person in the UK, both in their personal and professional lives. However, jargon can make it unclear what new pledges and changes mean, especially for those whose livelihoods will be directly affected.

Experts at job management software provider BigChange surveyed professionals across the trades to understand how many remain unsure of the impact of recent sustainability changes for their businesses while helping clarify some confusion on what businesses should be doing to prepare.

The state of sustainability in the trades 

Recent research revealed one in five tradespeople are concerned about what recent sustainability initiatives will mean for their role and how they implement those changes. Despite this, one in eight believe these initiatives will have a large impact on their business.

When asked which areas of the business they believe will be impacted the most, tools used came out on top (39%), while transport (23%) and materials (20%) closely followed.

In particular, building surveyors (68%), maintenance service providers (53%) and heating and gas engineers (40%) are the most concerned about the impact on the tools they use. For builders (39%), bricklayers (59%) and heating and gas engineers (60%), however, the concern lies in the potential changes to the products and materials used to complete their work.

Daniel Briggs, Director of Digital Marketing at BigChange, says, “Learning new skills so you and your team are up to date on how to install and maintain the latest green technologies is essential. Making the changes and investing in training now will ensure you are well-equipped when the time comes.

“The Further Homes and Building Standard initiative set out by the government, for example, means all homes built after 2025 will be required to comply with the new standard in order for new homes to be ‘zero carbon ready’.

“Following this, gas boilers will be phased out in the UK as of 2025 with an aim of gas boiler installations expected to be phased out completely by 2035, so gas engineers are needing to adapt to install alternatives such as heat pumps.”

Daniel advises, “Start making switches now for minimal impact when the time comes. For example, switching to a digital system will reduce the need for paperwork – which will also benefit your business with automated processes and workflow efficiency – allowing more time for upskilling.

“Make an effort to reduce your plastic and chemical usage by making simple but practical swaps on small items you use day to day. You could stop using single-use plastic sheets and opt for a reusable option, for example, or switch white spirit for cleaner alternatives.”

“Similarly, if you’re thinking about upgrading your fleet to electrical vehicles to reduce your business’s carbon footprint, why not consider the change now? Many tradespeople are eligible for grants to support this, such as the Green Homes Grant.”

He explains, “While it can seem overwhelming, it’s essential business owners stay up to date with the latest news regarding their industry and sustainability. Look to bookmark useful resources and set up handy reminders with tools such as Google Alerts, using industry-specific terms to help with this.

“The Glossary of Sustainability is a great tool for cutting through any sustainability jargon that may be difficult to understand.”

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