The benefits of specifying sustainable products in landscape projects

Why sustainable products are needed

The Australian construction industry is among the country’s biggest contributor to waste and emissions. Between 2016-17, 6.7 megatonnes (MT) of construction and demolition waste went into landfills which is almost a third of the total waste deposited in landfills during this period across ALL industries. (i)

This ‘take-make-waste’ approach has implications for the future of our planet. Earth is a finite resource – the more natural resources we extract and the more waste we generate, the closer we get to an environmental disaster. To avoid such event there is a need for a far-reaching transformation in how we approach the built environment to create a more sustainable future.

Landfill

Councils, Landscape Architects and Designers are well placed to make a considerable positive impact on the Australian construction industry. Afterall, they are responsible for the parks, green spaces and community areas which are the very thing at risk if we continue extracting, consuming and discarding resources at our current pace. By adopting a new approach to landscape design and sourcing products from suppliers whose values align will be key to ensuring truly sustainable development is achieved.

Top 4 benefits of specifying sustainable products

  1. Reduces your impact on the environment
    • This really goes without saying but looking after our finite resources and keeping already made products in use for longer will significantly reduce the negative impact of urban development
  2. Improves the livelihoods of individuals and communities
    • If COVID-19 has taught us anything it’s that we need to prioritise local businesses if we want to build a strong and resilient Australian economy
  3. Enhances business reputation and demand
    • The shift to partnering with businesses that prioritise sustainability is already happening. By putting into practice what your company talks about will ensure your organisation won’t be left behind as preferences change
  4. Reduces costs over the life of the product or service
    • It is all too common for companies to base their purchasing decisions purely on price with disregard for product quality and longevity. The cost to maintain, fix and dispose of poorly built products needs to be factored into the equation to determine true value for money. By investing in quality products or services which provide you with more added value across the life-cycle of the product you will save money whilst also helping to create more sustainable economic activity

Find out more about the benefits of specifying sustainable products in our new whitepaper – Designing out Waste – Using the Circular Economy to Build Sustainability in Landscape Architecture.

(i) Australian Government. “National Waste Policy 2018.” Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/d523f4e9-d958-466b-9fd1-3b7d6283f006/files/national-waste-policy-2018.pdf (accessed 28 February 2021).

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