As builders and as people, we know that everything we do has an impact. The essence of operating and building sustainably means we are accountable for these impacts. Our Sustainability Strategic Plan guides us in reducing carbon and waste, conserving water and making our facilities green. This phased, multi-year strategy will improve operational efficiency in our offices and on our job sites, which helps us and our partners lessen our environmental impact.

PCL is also driving change in the construction industry. From early planning through construction to building operations, there are many cost-effective ways to build resilience into a structure and reduce its impact on the environment.

The last decade has included some of the warmest and driest years on record in the U.S. and Canada, and large parts of both countries have experienced prolonged and severe droughts. 

To address these challenges, communities are upgrading their water and wastewater treatment plants to conserve and reuse as much water as possible. They are using water reuse facilities to repurpose wastewater for non-potable – and potable – uses. These facilities help alleviate pressure on municipal water supplies and build resilience. 

PCL has experience across the U.S. and Canada delivering innovative water reuse and drought resiliency projects.

PCL’s sustainability strategy focuses on providing clients and partners with leading-edge expertise in renewable energy, building revitalization, mass timber, water/wastewater and sustainable construction services. We help clients achieve their sustainability objectives by providing practical solutions that respect their budgetary requirements. We’re continually expanding our roster of sustainable construction services, focusing on renewable energy, low-carbon strategies and net-zero energy solutions. 

We continue to be a leader in sustainability through the dedication of more than 300 LEED-credentialed staff and other employees using environmentally responsible construction practices. To date, PCL has built more than 260 LEED-certified projects with a value of almost $21 billion.

Harnessing solar energy to produce electricity is one key to addressing climate change and reaching net-zero targets, but delivering utility-scale solar projects is no easy task. Those neatly aligned rows of solar panels stretching to the horizon may look simple and elegant, but underneath is a foundation of planning, innovation, technology, safe and efficient construction and data. 

As the world transitions from carbon-producing energy generation, PCL Solar meets client needs for high-performing solar facilities. PCL has built more than six gigawatts of utility-scale solar facilities, valued at $5.7 billion. We have also built eight battery energy storage systems with 800 MWh of storage. PCL also has expertise in geothermal, biomass, hydrogen and nuclear energy, all of which will be part of the energy transition.

The operation of buildings accounts for roughly 26% of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. If countries and companies are to meet climate change commitments, the revitalization and retrofiting of existing buildings will be key. 

PCL has developed services that focus on the retrofitting and decarbonization of existing buildings. Our in-house sustainability, decarbonization, building envelope and building systems experts assist clients with portfolio assessments, building performance audits, strategic decarbonization planning, budgeting and scheduling and – ultimately – the delivery of complex retrofit projects. 

Mass timber refers to structural building components made from wood, including large panels, posts and beams. As a renewable resource, mass timber has a smaller environmental footprint than concrete or steel. It often costs less, provides excellent thermal performance and offers construction efficiencies including schedule acceleration, waste reduction and enhanced design aesthetics. 

PCL has built with mass timber for more than 20 years, including having constructed the Burwell Center for Career Achievement in Denver, Colorado and Limberlost Place in Toronto, Ontario, both of which have earned environmental certifications. 

As a leading constructor of LEED certified buildings, PCL procures green products, services and materials that include those with recycled content, regional materials, rapidly renewable materials, Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood products and low VOC materials. 

PCL’s strong relationships with suppliers across North America allow us to source the best products and materials for our clients. Our sustainable practices include using LEDs for temporary construction lighting, including tower cranes, to improve efficiency, durability and reliability and timers for temporary lighting to ensure only necessary lighting during off-hours.   

PCL has dedicated Sustainable Construction Advisors (SCAs) within each of our 30 operating offices throughout North America, Hawaii and Australia. They support our corporate sustainability department with local leadership. They help our operations and project teams execute our Sustainability Strategic Plan, green our offices and operations, provide expertise on sustainable construction and help our project teams deliver high-performing projects that meet our clients’ needs.

The advisors also lead each office’s Sustainability Committee and help those committees develop and execute local sustainability strategies to support their individual districts and communities.