ERA tools for sustainability
On 31 March, the European Rental Association (ERA) held a high level sustainability webinar – ‘Building a sustainable future – Transitioning towards a circular and low-carbon construction sector’ – with experts from European policy-making and Europe’s construction sector. The event put circular and low carbon construction practices in the spotlight and looked at the policy and industry perspectives for transitioning to a sustainable construction sector.
The speakers at the event made clear that construction is the priority sector for reducing carbon emissions in the context of the European Green Deal, with the economic weight and technology to drive the ‘Green Recovery’, and that the industry itself has clear commitments to sustainability.
As an inherently circular business model that minimises financial commitments and risk for equipment users, the equipment rental industry is well placed to facilitate sustainability in the construction sector and address the twin challenges of decarbonisation and the ‘Green Recovery’ from the pandemic.
As a European association with members including national rental associations, rental companies, equipment manufacturers and other suppliers to the rental industry, ERA supports sustainability in the industry and across the construction sector more widely by developing tools for companies to adopt more sustainable practices.
ERA Equipment CO2 Calculator
First released on 13 January and updated on 16 March, the ERA Equipment CO2 Calculator is a free-to-use online tool to enable equipment stakeholders to make more sustainable choices when using construction equipment. It determines the carbon footprint of construction equipment over its entire lifecycle, presented per hour of use, and is applicable to all types of equipment, from mini excavators and wheel loaders to generators, boom lifts and access platforms.
The Calculator has six easy steps, requiring basic information about the characteristics and use of a piece of equipment – equipment production, transportation, lifetime and utilisation, energy consumption, maintenance and end-of-life – and the users are guided through the process step-by-step. Users can then directly compare different scenarios, making it easier to make the most sustainable choice when using equipment.
Access the Calculator here: https://equipmentcalculator.org/
ERA Sustainable Supplier Framework
The framework helps rental companies to define minimum sustainability requirements and aspirations for all suppliers to rental companies, in the areas of human rights and working conditions, health and safety, responsible sourcing of components and raw materials, environmental performance, business ethics and product sustainability performance.
The ERA Sustainable Supplier Framework aims to set the industry best practice guidelines and raise common practices across the industry in sustainability assessments of suppliers. The goals are to reduce the administrative burden from supplier assessments for rental companies and suppliers and provide rental company customers with a better understanding of how rental companies approach sustainable supply chains.
The Sustainable Supplier Framework is available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish: https://erarental.org/sustainable-suppliers/
CSR KPI Framework
Rental industry customers and other stakeholders (investors, staff, suppliers, regulators, Government agencies, NGOs, etc.) increasingly expect equipment rental companies to put in place Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure their CSR performance levels, set targets and report progress against these targets.
For this reason, ERA is developing a new CSR KPI Framework to enable equipment rental companies to implement different levels of KPIs, depending on their level of maturity. The minimum KPI set is the perfect “starter” framework. Once companies have experience implementing and using the minimum set, they can progress to implementing good practices and, finally, to developing best practices and becoming industry leaders.
This CSR KPI Framework will be published soon.
For more information about these tools, contact the ERA team at [email protected].
This article was first published in the International Rental News (April 2021).