Welfare Hire Leadership: The Key to Positive ESG Is Measurement

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ratings are increasingly essential for businesses. Not only do they help evaluate and quantify efforts to become more sustainable, they are also an important signal for investors – and a strong predictor of operational performance.

However, measuring ESG can be challenging. Because businesses need data on the environmental impact of their entire value chain – including everything from the materials they use to the welfare equipment they procure. 

In this article, we explore the challenge of measuring ESG for construction firms – and how Welfare Hire’s eco-calculator is designed to help.

Three reasons to measure environmental impact


1. To validate your sustainability strategy

As Antony Brophy, Director of Business Development, Cobuilder, recently told ConstructionNews, a lack of data makes it near-impossible to be confident that our efforts to reduce carbon emissions are working¹. Consistent measurement is therefore vital to assess the impact any sustainability initiative you launch has. 

You may believe a new mobile welfare unit or lighting tower is helping curb emissions, but without real data – it’s all just guess work.

2. To enable targeted solutions

Once you have data on the emissions and environmental impact of your equipment and materials, you can make better informed decisions about how to improve things. You can target the most harmful – or easiest to improve – areas of your business first, and see exactly how much these changes impact your overall ESG rating.

This is particularly important as construction firms are often plagued by hidden emissions (often known as “embodied carbon”)², meaning decision makers often overlook big sustainability wins.

3. To track your business’s progress

Net-zero carbon and other sustainability goals are not short-term challenges – they are long-term projects that will require ongoing maintenance and monitoring. Data is crucial in this regard, as it enables your business to track and adjust its efforts over time.

When, for example, you switch suppliers and introduce a new model of mobile welfare unit, you would always assess the financial implications of the decision. And exactly the same protocols should be in place to assess the effect a decision will have on your business’s ESG rating.

Why are ESG ratings difficult to measure?

ESG is difficult to measure in part because there is no single accepted way of doing it. There are a range of ESG frameworks³, and each will produce a different rating depending on the particulars of your company’s activities. 

Without a set of standardised criteria, many fear that ESG scores are unreliable indicators of a business’s true environmental impact. But for construction businesses, this is not the biggest concern.

The biggest concern is that the average construction firm’s supply chain is large and complex, meaning assessing the overall impact of your activities is challenging – especially when suppliers are unable to provide you with their own ESG data.

Suppliers must provide accurate data

Many construction suppliers are not forthcoming with information about their products’ ESG credentials – meaning contractors will struggle to gain full visibility of their environmental impact. They will give you the full spec on their mobile welfare units, but cannot help you when it comes to determining how their products will impact your sustainability efforts.

This is exactly why Welfare Hire created our Eco Calculator – a simple tool to provide full transparency to our partners and help them understand how each of our market-leading products will change their site’s overall emissions. 

It is based on rigorous research where we took over 500,000 hire days’ worth of live site data on our products and compared it with the market standard. This enabled us to quantify the relative savings and environmental impact our product suite offers. 

You can try it for yourself today


How Leasing Access Vehicles Can Improve Street Lighting Projects

The future looks bright for street lighting contractors. 

From 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) to ongoing government funding to tackle street crime¹ and the climate crisis², there are a number of exciting projects on the horizon. The UK government’s latest National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline promised £650bn for infrastructure schemes over the next decade³.

But with public finances under pressure, many contractors are being forced to find ways to increase efficiency and deliver greater value on projects.

One way of doing this is by rethinking the way they procure key strategic equipment and Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms. And in this article, we explore how embracing a leasing model can empower contractors in the street lighting sector.

The budget problem

Research from the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) shows there is a persistent gap between cost estimates and output from infrastructure projects, suggesting that contractors and firms struggle to plan their budgets effectively.

There are a number of reasons why. For example, street lighting projects are very prone to disruption, with weather often slowing work down or making it too dangerous. This can create a cascading effect, leading to delays and excess spending.

However, one of the most challenging parts of the budgeting process is procurement.

The procurement problem

The majority of street lighting projects require assets like Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms, to enable them to work at heights safely. But because few contractors can afford to buy their own fleet outright, they are forced to hire it from a third-party provider. 

This tends to lead to rigid contracts that aren’t adaptable to their projects’ workflow, and limits their ability to afford top quality equipment. It makes managing their budget more challenging, as payments are fixed and often don’t fit well within the contractor’s income stream. 

But the reality is, this need not be a problem at all. Because there is a third option for street lighting contractors – the vehicle leasing model.

Kelling Group Access Hire Leasing

The leasing solution

Leasing Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms enables a level of flexibility that most contractors assume is not available to them. 

The model allows them to procure the highest quality vehicles without the prohibitive cost of buying, and update the model when a project is done – without ballooning payments. But it also helps them spread their payments more effectively, helping manage and adapt their budget to their income. 

There are also clear tax benefits. Many street lighting contractors even find they can deduct the full lease rental cost from their taxable income – or claim capital allowances on the asset cost. Across an entire fleet and multiple projects, this creates a huge improvement in financial efficiency – one that can either be passed onto the client or kept to increase the contractor’s bottom line.

Vehicle Mounted Access Platform Budget

Working with Access Hire

Access Hire has pioneered this leasing model with our market-leading Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms. We provide 24/7 support, ongoing maintenance and expert product knowledge to every one of our clients. And our vast list of long-term relationships is proof that the model works.

To discover how leasing our vehicles could help you, reach out to us today.


Tea Break with the Team

Meet the Kelling Team

For the next in our ‘Tea Break with The Team’ series, we catch up with our dynamic Regional Sales Manager Tom. At the forefront of managing our growing client base in the North, Tom is passionate about showcasing our products and championing the benefits of ECO welfare hire…

Tell us a little bit about your role Tom

I started with the company just over 2 two years ago as Sales & Marketing Manager. This role gave me the opportunity to really get under the skin of the whole organisation and immerse myself fully in the product range. I was exposed to a wide range of responsibilities from marketing and events to business development and bid writing.

Earlier this year, I hit a new career milestone when I was appointed Regional Sales Manager for the North. I am embracing this challenge fully and look forward to meeting clients old and new over the coming months.

What did you do before you joined the Welfare Hire team?

My background is super-varied in terms of sectors, but all centred around sales, marketing and client development.

After gaining a 1st Class Degree in Business Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, I was lucky enough to embark on a sandwich placement working across retail, pharmaceutical and hospitality, as both a Commercial Analyst and Marketing Assistant.

How would you describe working here?

It’s a fast paced, highly innovative and super-supportive culture. I have learned so much about the industry and feel extremely proud to work for such an inspirational brand.

What do you like about what we do?

Welfare Hire is at the forefront of driving innovation within the sector and invest heavily in product development and our fleet in general. It’s a privilege to work for such a forward-thinking company and I enjoy getting out into the field, meeting customers face-to-face and helping them achieve their welfare, sustainability and wellbeing goals.

What’s the best part of working here?

100% the team! We’ve got an amazing team; from service to sales and everything in between, everyone supports each other and are all focussed on the same goal. 

How do you like to spend your spare time?

I am sport mad, so anything with a ball or a bat! I’m a huge Leeds United fan, play tennis for my local club and have just taken up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu which is every bit as painful as it sounds!

Why Eco Welfare Units Are Essential To Help Construction Hit Net Zero

As scientists warn that the climate crisis is accelerating, businesses are under ever greater pressure to ensure they hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. And few industries face as big a challenge as construction.

The industry produces roughly 11% of global carbon emissions¹, ranking as the sixth highest carbon emitting industry in the UK². But most businesses’ value-chain involves a complex range of carbon-emitting processes. 

From the manufacturer and transport of construction materials to the specialist equipment used onsite, decarbonising construction requires careful attention at every level of the supply chain.

Yet too many firms overlook the role equipment like welfare units and lighting towers should play in their decarbonising strategy.

The risk of overlooking vehicles

The construction industry’s decarbonising efforts have received ample funding and support from the UK government. But the government’s initial carbon budget didn’t feature considerations for construction equipment until 2035³

This is a problem for three clear reasons:

1. Primary emissions

The daily use of construction vehicles and specialist equipment involves emitting a great deal of carbon. For example: running a standard static unit for 40 hours per week can produce around 215kg of CO2.

Across even a relatively small fleet this adds up very quickly. Factor in lighting towers, vehicle mounted access platforms and other specialist equipment – and you start to see really significant emissions.

2. Secondary emissions

Not only do these vehicles and equipment produce carbon themselves – they also require maintenance and servicing. And that means further carbon is emitted getting to and from the site to refill water tanks or service faulty machinery.

While some emissions of this kind may be inevitable, much is not. For example: most mobile welfare units used today feature outdated water tanks which necessitate more frequent refills. Simply reducing the frequency of these refills would slash transport emissions onsite.

3. Strategic oversight

Finally, overlooking factors such as onsite vehicles and specialist equipment may lead to a lack of commitment. A focus on larger factors like building materials and innovative methodologies is justified. But it is also important to take smaller factors into account. 

As most experts agree, a truly effective net-zero strategy must encompass every aspect of the entire value-chain and building lifecycle. Actively neglecting mobile welfare units is symptomatic of a failure to do this.

Eco welfare units are an easy win

Reaching net-zero is a serious challenge for all businesses in the construction industry. It will require enormous innovation and strategic ingenuity. But eco-friendly welfare units and other specialist equipment already exist – and are relatively easy to introduce to your project.

This makes the transition an easy win for companies struggling to formulate an effective strategy – and a great way to ensure you are doing something impactful today.  

For more opportunities to partner together, check out our other company, Access Hire Nationwide, the UK’s leading hirer of vehicle mounted access platforms. Kelling Group is a leading provider of specialist access, welfare and lighting equipment hire and services to key infrastructure and construction sectors.