Three Ways Eco-Friendly Mobile Welfare Units Benefit Utilities Projects

With over £1.8 billion pledged by the government for utilities projects since March¹ and 1,300 clean power projects awaiting construction², the UK’s utilities sector appears in very good health.

But projects still face a number of challenges, many of which innovative equipment like eco-friendly mobile welfare units could help to address. 

Here are three key problems the utilities sector faces – and how eco-friendly mobile welfare units can help solve them:

1. Improving Employee Experience

The problem

Almost 2% of UK workers are employed in the utilities sector. But energy and water firms still face severe staffing shortages, with an ageing workforce and a lack of skilled labour ready to replace it. This is exacerbated by poor employee experience; a recent poll found that utilities workers are the UK’s most unhappy workforce.

The solution

While fixing recruitment and retention issues is complex, one quick win is to improve the experience of workers on-site. That is why better mobile welfare units are so important: providing more space with greater comfort ensures employees can take regular breaks and socialise in a more hospitable environment.

The result

Employers see a marked improvement to mood, morale and productivity – all of which makes recruitment and retention much easier.

2. The Race to Net Zero

The problem

With plans to decarbonise the UK’s power system by 2035 and reach net zero in water systems by 2030, reducing carbon emissions may be the most pressing challenge for the utilities sector. But given that Tier 3 emissions are difficult to account for and measuring the total impact of supply chains is notoriously challenging, many struggle to gain clarity on their true carbon footprint – which is an essential part of reducing it.

The solution

Eco-friendly mobile welfare units are a quick win for utilities projects looking to improve their environmental credentials. Not only do Welfare Hire’s units run on solar power and use recycled rainwater – their impact is also easily quantifiable. Using our Eco Calculator, leaders can see exactly how much carbon they will save – making ESG reporting that much easier.

The result

Leaders are able to reduce their carbon emissions and provide detailed data for ESG reporting.

3. Rising Supply Chain Costs

The problem

We’ve all noticed our utility bills rising, but the reality is providers themselves are also being hit hard. The drive to improve ageing infrastructure and switch to renewable sources of energy is often undermined by the expense of materials, the complexity of supply chains and the difficulties of realising new technological possibilities.

Survival for utilities depends on their ability to develop new capabilities, different business models and a mindset centred around agility and collaboration.

Ernst & Young

The solution

Using eco-friendly mobile welfare units will not solve utilities firms’ financial challenges, but it will certainly reduce the burden. With reduced operating costs as well as less frequent servicing intervals, each mobile welfare unit produces a big saving.

The result

Budget otherwise taken up by welfare units can be reallocated to cover increased costs elsewhere in the supply chain.


Eco-friendly mobile welfare units provide an ‘easy win’, reducing costs, improving on-site welfare and increasing your ESG score. If you’d like to learn more about Welfare Hire’s product range, contact our team today.


Four Key Challenges For Construction In 2023 and Beyond

Supply chain problems, staffing shortages, net-zero – the sheer number of challenges facing construction can be overwhelming. 

What should leaders focus on? And how can they future-proof their firm? 

In this article, we explore four key trends that bring together various challenges for industry leaders, providing clarity and helping leaders see the industry’s bigger picture for 2023 and beyond.

1. AdDressing the digital skills gap

Construction has faced severe staffing shortages in recent years, with warnings that 250,000 new skilled workers will be needed by 2026.¹ But with the rising power of automation, more recent projections argue the industry could actually lose half a million jobs by 2030.²

The reality is likely to be somewhere in between: fresh talent will be needed, but the skills required will be very different. Instead of traditional manual skills, digital competence will be far more valued within the sector, enabling projects to make use of cutting-edge technology. But 20% of construction workers already feel they aren’t prepared for technological change.³

This presents construction firms with two challenges:

The first is providing adequate training and upskilling initiatives – to ensure the workforce adapts to new technologies and makes the most of exciting new technological possibilities.

The second is fostering a forward-thinking culture. Caroline Evans of Arden University notes that the psychology of adoption is just as vital as the access to digital training – and only with both can construction companies truly thrive in the future.

2. changing funding requirements

Budgeting is always difficult in the construction sector, but accessing funding – and making sure it covers your costs – is getting increasingly complex. From sky-high inflation to productivity problems, the economics of construction are being squeezed tightly – with little sign of letting up.

This manifests in two distinct ways:

First, construction firms will increasingly have to demonstrate their environmental credentials to win tenders. This will put greater emphasis on ESG scores, meaning access to eco-friendly mobile welfare units and other green equipment will create an active competitive advantage.

Second, economic uncertainty will make staying on budget harder. With inflation, rising material costs, supply chain constraints and labour shortages interacting in complex ways, the cost of any given project will be increasingly difficult to predict and budgeting will become trickier.  

This latter point leads us neatly onto the third challenge construction firms face…

3. growing importance of supplier relationships

In our recent article on technology in the construction industry, we noted the vital importance of supplier partnerships to foster innovation. But such partnerships are also essential to manage budgets and keep projects running. 

According to McKinsey and co. research, “companies that regularly collaborated with suppliers demonstrated higher growth, lower operating costs, and greater profitability than their industry peers.” 

But what does that mean for the construction industry?

Primarily, it means suppliers must have a deep understanding of their customers’ needs. Strategic equipment is no longer just about fulfilling basic practice needs – it’s about driving efficiency, building positive on-site culture and supporting larger goals like reaching net-zero.  

4. Adapting to new eco-friendly practices

Greater environmental awareness and carbon reduction are essential. But incorporating technological and operational changes into projects requires a little new thinking and training too. Workers have to remember to charge electric vehicles; users need to learn how hybrid-powered welfare units operate – but a small amount of effort can deliver significant benefits to projects.

A simple example is getting vehicles and equipment into Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ). Many traditional welfare units and tower lights would require delivery via HIAB, which produces extra carbon and makes reaching certain areas tough. But mobile welfare units and lighting towers, which are towed into position, make this much easier, enabling projects to work faster and more easily within regulatory restrictions.