United Rentals Report Outlines Pathways to Low, Zero Emissions Jobsites

Machinery being used at a construction site

(Credit: Unsplash)

by | Jan 17, 2024

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United Rentals has released a white paper outlining strategies for sustainable construction and industrial jobsites, containing practical steps for reducing equipment-caused emissions and implementing renewable energy and storage.

The white paper, Roadmap to Low-Emission and Zero-Emission Jobsites, first emphasizes the importance of using digital tools to gather data, identifying where fleet and green equipment options may be implemented. From there, it recommends embracing alternative power generation, like renewable diesel or hydrogen, and incorporating electric or hybrid equipment, and leveraging battery storage to support such machines.

Using renewable energy sources to power electric equipment can also lower emissions associated with jobsite operations further. Many electric construction equipment users have cited that lower operating costs and reduced maintenance needs offset upfront costs of such equipment and allow for savings in the long run.

“For companies with budgets large or small, reducing jobsite emissions is possible now,” said Grant Zoldowski, director of environmental management for United Rentals. “A smart jobsite sustainability strategy starts with data. Targeting the predominant sources of emissions on projects and jobsites allows companies to focus their efforts and dollars on changes that will yield the biggest results. This approach provides the foundation for more sustainable power generation, battery storage, and electric equipment options.”

New, Low-Emissions Options Help Construction, Industrial Sector Decarbonize

Industrial operations and construction are often considered hard-to-abate sectors as heavy machinery has long relied on diesel power and other fossil fuels. However, a number of low-to zero-emissions offerings are now available and can help companies save money on their way to meeting their decarbonization goals.

For example, DHL Supply Chain has developed electric heavy-duty trucks through a partnership with Orange EV, and these vehicles are currently in operation. Caterpillar also offers electric mining trucks and is to deploy additional off-highway trucks and charging systems in the near future.

For companies that are interested in using low- or zero-emissions alternatives for jobsites but are not yet ready to purchase new equipment, the white paper suggests renting new electric options to test out the technologies.

“Renting provides an opportunity for companies to experiment with more sustainable solutions such as electric machines, portable power options, and battery energy storage systems without investing in new equipment,” said Zoldowski. “All of these technologies can work together to reduce the reliance on petroleum-based diesel and help companies shift to lower-emission and even zero-emission fleets.”

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