On-Site Magazine

Sustainable construction a high priority around the world, including in Canada

By Adam Freill   

Construction Construction Materials Green Construction

International Saint-Gobain study reveals that most Canadians are familiar with the concept of sustainable construction.

(Image courtesy of Saint-Gobain)

Sustainable construction is a global priority, reports Saint-Gobain in its 2024 Sustainable Construction Barometer. According to the company’s polling of professionals, students, elected representatives, and association members in 22 countries, including Canada, 95 per cent of respondents agree that the implementation of more sustainable construction is a priority issue.

Initiated last year, the Sustainable Construction Barometer report provides a detailed understanding of local and global issues, measures progress, and helps to identify areas of action to advance sustainable construction as a response to such issues as climate change, resources constraints and rapid urbanization.

“The Sustainable Construction Barometer is intended to be a decision-making tool for all stakeholders in the sector, so that we can gain a better understanding of local sustainable construction issues and move from reflection to concrete action, in order to build a sustainable future for generations to come,” explained Benoit Bazin, chief executive officer of Saint-Gobain.

Among the key findings from the 2024 edition are that perceptions of sustainable construction remain stable, and while there is a shared sense of urgency among respondents, there is also a need for better awareness and cooperation.


“The 2024 Sustainable Construction Barometer is an important guide for every member of the building industry to better understand the perceptions and ideas key stakeholders hold toward sustainable construction,” stated Mark Rayfield, president and chief executive officer of Saint-Gobain North America. “With 94 per cent of North American respondents believing the implementation of more sustainable construction is a high priority, we must all work together to continue moving the industry forward, and the data presented in the barometer will help us do that.”

In Canada, the report says that sustainable construction is primarily aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of buildings and increasing the reuse of materials.

Eighty per cent of Canadian surveyed were familiar with the concept of sustainable construction, with just over half stating they have a firm understanding. Carbon footprint reduction was cited by 87 per cent of Canadian respondents, while 86 per cent cited the reuse of materials. World-wide, these figures were 71 per cent and 72 per cent, respectively.

According to the data, North American construction professionals are motivated to move sustainable construction forward, with 79 per cent prepared to take jobs that take sustainable construction into account, regardless of time, material supply or margins. For Canadians, the most important way to accelerate the advancement of sustainability is through further education, with 40 per cent stating that raising public awareness of the challenges of sustainable construction must be a top priority. This is closely followed by making sustainable materials, products, and solutions more competitive.

“As we work to be the leader in light and sustainable construction in Canada, it is important to Saint-Gobain to provide our stakeholders with the critical findings of our 2024 Sustainable Construction Barometer,” stated Julie Bonamy, chief executive officer of Saint-Gobain Canada. “With 87 per cent of Canadian respondents believing we need to do more to accelerate sustainable construction, this data will help us all to work more collaboratively to meet our goals in the Canadian building sector.”




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