AGC Survey Finds Recycling Policies are Widespread

Findings will help educate policymakers on construction industry practices.

This spring, AGC conducted a brief survey on sustainability practices as part of our ongoing discussion with members and with policymakers on climate change policies. 

  • In response to the question of whether companies have in place policies to encourage certain sustainability practices:
    • 78 percent indicated policies to promote recycling;
    • 48 percent for materials reuse; and
    • 26 percent for environmentally friendly or sustainable purchasing.
  • Types of sustainability-related requests or requirements from project owners, regulatory agencies, and/or funding agencies, include:
    • Have an environmental management system (44%)
    • Provide your firm’s sustainability statement/plan/program (38%)
    • Gather and manage documentation related to environmental product declarations (28%)
  • Fourteen percent of respondents currently report greenhouse gas emissions on one or more of their projects.
  • Respondents that track emissions look at onsite fuel use such as diesel or gasoline (43%), onsite water use (36%), and onsite electricity use (32%).
  • Thirty-six percent of respondents currently implement an anti-idling program.
  • In response to a question on the use of electric/battery powered equipment or tools:
    • Sixty-six percent are using electric/battery powered tools and would do so again while 23 percent are considering using battery-powered generators.
    • Electric/battery powered equipment use is less widespread. In this category, respondents have not used: heavy-duty equipment (69%), light-duty equipment (55%) and vehicles (50%). However, respondents are considering use of electric/battery powered vehicles (33%), heavy-duty equipment (24%), and light duty equipment (22%).
  • Thirty-six percent of respondents have either a sustainability plan or statement.

AGC would like to take this opportunity to thank members for their participation. The survey results will help AGC understand industry practices related to sustainability and carbon emissions tracking and/or reporting, better advocate for workable measures in any future proposals, and educate policymakers about the impact of any proposed policies on the industry.

The respondents worked within the building (69%), highway and transportation (37%), federal and heavy (36%), and utility infrastructure (35%) markets. Company size also was diverse with total employees within the following ranges 1-49 (26%), 50-249 (35%), 250-499 (12%), and 500 or more (26%). However, the majority of respondents do not have an employee focused on sustainability issues full time (61%).

AGC’s climate change initiative seeks to ensure the industry plays a lead role in shaping climate change policies that impact construction and help build a greener future. Learn more about the initiative at

For more information, contact Melinda Tomaino at [email protected].

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