Industries across the globe are taking action against climate change as the UK experiences soaring temperatures. The construction industry has pledged to achieve Net Zero by the year 2050 and with that in mind, the scaffolding industry is also looking to implement eco-friendly strategies in place to help them operate in a green manner. With this in mind, lets take a look at how the scaffolding industry can adopt more sustainable practises?
The construction and scaffolding industry might not be the first industry that spring to mind when it comes to environmental impact. Especially as the scaffolding industry is dominated by the use of steel, which is used to make the steel poles for scaffolding. However, if you look closer, many steel manufacturers have pledged to contribute to Net Zero targets and are exploring carbon reduced practises.
The scaffolding industry can look to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing waste of materials, this can be done by simply planning ahead and ensuring that when completing a scaffolding project, you only use as much materials as needed and adjusting transport and workforce accordingly to transport equipment and team.
Due to the nature of a scaffolding structure, scaffolding poles are strong and durable. Meaning that they don’t need to be thrown away after every single use, but can be reused again, cutting down waste but also manufacturing costs and emissions. Steel will also ensure it maintains its strength, no matter how many times it has been reused.
Being made of metal, scaffolding is 100% recyclable. These recyclable materials can be melted down to make other products. With some heat treatment, steel scaffolding poles and equipment can be made into tools like hammers, chisels, or gardening equipment. Melted scaffolding poles can also be used to create custom homeware accessories such as such as metal door handles, hooks, or furniture supports, such as table legs or shelving brackets.
The wooden boards used in scaffolding structures can even be recycled and made into other products such as furniture. Tables, shelves, decking and even flower beds can be made out of the scaffolding reclaimed wood.
These materials can be recycled properly in scrap metal collections or recycling centres.
Steel isn’t the only material that can be used to make scaffolding. Scaffolding can be made out of a variety of materials. In order to stay aligned with eco-friendly practises it is advised to use lighter materials wherever possible. Lighter materials are not only easier to transport due to the weight being lighter, but also you will be able to transport more product on one vehicle, reducing carbon emissions when transporting equipment.
Some lightweight scaffolding materials that could be used as alternatives are:
· Recycled aggregates
· Recycled plastic
In ancient Greece and ancient Egypt, wooden scaffolding was made to build the pyramids. Steel scaffolding that is used today is already a step forward from wooden scaffolding due to the thousands of trees that would have been cut down and made into scaffolding for use in ancient Egypt and Greece.
Bamboo is a popular scaffolding material in South East Asia. This particular scaffolding method dates back to ancient China, where bamboo was tied together with rope to create a scaffolding type structure.
These are just a few ways in which the scaffolding industry can look at implementing more eco-friendly strategies that can pave the way to net zero. By considering small switches and planning ahead, scaffolding businesses can become more eco-friendly and do more to go green.