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Turner Construction Company is long recognized as a leader in the delivery of green building projects that achieve environmental sustainability goals across multiple rating systems. In addition, the company is committed to provide an active caring environment for the more than 100,000 people who enter its workplace each day.
As the construction industry is evolving, Turner is implementing a broader sustainability strategy that is informed by environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria. In support of the company’s strategy to achieve goals far beyond its job sites, Turner hosted an ESG Sustainability Summit that brought together a diverse range of industry participants to exchange ideas to advance the sustainability of its operations and its supply chain.
At the one-day Summit facilitated by Deloitte, approximately 45 industry leaders representing 18 companies came together to drive positive change and share sustainability visions and journeys of their organizations. Design for Freedom shared an important, and often overlooked, element of sustainability which is at the heart of their mission to implement ethical, forced-labor free building material sourcing strategies in our industry.
“This Summit is an integral part of a broad strategy to expand the definition of sustainability in our company that is informed by environmental, social, and governance criteria. This strategy is directly connected to our culture of active caring for people and the planet,” said Tom Reilly, Executive Vice President of Turner. Tom continued, “Our people are committed to work with others in the industry to meet the needs of today without compromising the needs of future generations.”
Turner seeks to extend human rights, dignity, respect, environmental protection, and ethics to the entire supply chain – from procurement of primary materials to the installation of materials and equipment. “Turner has long worked to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within our supply chain. In addition, we seek to conduct business with partners that commit to being socially responsible with respect to all their business activities,” said Mike Buskin, Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer.
“It is great to collaborate with members of our supply chain to meet the challenges we face and who prioritize environmental, social, and governance goals in their organization and in their building programs," said Julia Gisewite, Turner's Chief Sustainability Officer.
“As we drive development of our ESG program, our employees see how the work they do is so meaningful, aligned to the company’s strategy, and is contributing to something extraordinary,” said Jennifer Downey, Director of Environmental, Social, and Governance Strategy at Turner.
“We recognize that we are at the beginning of a long process. We are committed to learn more and set goals that will help us make improvements within our company and the industry. We also acknowledge that the changes we seek to make cannot be achieved alone,” said Peter Hamill, Senior Vice President of Turner. Hamill continued, “A cross section of the industry was engaged throughout the Summit and are committed to continue the discussion and do the work that is necessary to advance our industry for the next generation and the generations to come.”
Participants collectively agreed that this Summit was an important and early step in what needs to be a cooperative and continuous journey. The group reflected that open collaboration between clients, design partners, contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, non-profits, and consulting organizations will enable and set pathways for companies to meet the sustainability goals of projects, communities, and the planet.
Participants in the Summit included Al Young, vice president of Operations and Customer Delivery, North America, Johnson Controls who said, “Integrating building construction and digital systems are the key in rapidly reaching decarbonization goals, and our success relies on partnership, idea generation and summits like this where the industry can work together to discuss new innovations.”
Rush Nathan, Sustainability Marketing Manager at Hilti, Inc., said, “A collaborative effort is key to better addressing the negative externalities from the built environment. This summit brought together many thought leaders across the value chain to apply robust and inclusive frameworks to tackle the pressing challenges.”
Sharon Prince, Grace Farms CEO and Founder, Design for Freedom said, “Turner’s commitment to Design for Freedom is vertically galvanizing the AEC industry globally which is what it takes to first expand awareness and then eliminate forced labor from the building materials supply chain.”
Other participating organizations included Nucor which is the largest and most sustainable steelmaker in North America, and as an electric arc steel producer, is also the largest recycler of scrap in North America; NBBJ a global architecture, planning and design firm; Otis, the world's leading elevator and escalator manufacturing, installation, and service company; and, Schneider Electric a multinational company with 128,000 employees who specialize in digital automation and energy management solutions. Deloitte, which facilitated the event, has an active Sustainability, Climate & Equity practice with professionals that help clients achieve emission reduction goals and make better decisions to mitigate climate risk across the construction value chain.
Following is the full list of companies who joined the Summit.
Advanced Performance Glass
Apogee Enterprises, Inc.
B&G Electrical Contractors
Grace Farms Foundation/Design for Freedom
Turner Construction Company
The summit concluded with clear and unanimous agreement on the need to continue this important discussion and took initial steps to organize a structure to collectively address some of the sustainability challenges and opportunities that face the design and construction industry.