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Breaking point – the impact of construction on the environment


Elliott surveyed 2,000 UK adults to find out their thoughts and feelings on construction and its impact on climate change. The results are in and it turns out Londoners are the least compassionate towards the safety of animals and their homes, instead choosing to adopt a ‘big city mentality’.

London is home to hundreds of construction sites at any one time. With each new project comes building on green space, carbon emissions, water, noise, and air pollution, all of which are harmful to the environment. Construction has a direct impact on wildlife, and it is therefore vital all projects are undertaken with care to help with wildlife and nature conservation.

Each year, thousands of acres of natural, green land are uprooted to make way for the construction of new buildings. In England, public parks, and garden – personal and public – count for the largest proportion of green space.

West Yorkshire has 45.8% natural land cover – shrubbery, fields etc. Greater Manchester has 37.7%, whereas London has only 34.2% natural land cover. 39 of the top 100 construction projects in 2021 are set to take place in London, whereas only 5 are planned in Yorkshire and The Humber.

However, the South exc. London, do care about conserving wildlife and nature

The survey revealed 27.2% of Northerners and 28.67% of Southerners, excluding London, say the destruction of animal habitats is their biggest concern regarding construction. 40.76% are worried about the loss of green space. Compared to London, only 19% of the respondents said they’re worried about animal habitat destruction and 38% are worried about the loss of greenspace.

The results suggest people living in London take on a ‘big city mindset’ whereby they rarely see green space and wildlife, and therefore become desensitised due to a lack of it. So, they don’t prioritise the environment as it doesn’t impact their daily lives.

What can we take from this?

London’s priority is to remain a business and culture capital, and that means continuously constructing and evolving the skyline. The London mindset is completely different to rest of the country who are more conscious about conserving nature and wildlife.

Climate change remains a vital conversation, especially within the construction sector as globally, they’re one of the largest contributors. In 2019, buildings and building construction work emissions totalled 2.4 million metric tons, representing 17% of total construction industry emissions. Elliott is taking the necessary steps and is committed to becoming carbon net-zero by 2050.”

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