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Reducing Emissions in Equipment Procurement

Reducing Emissions in Equipment Procurement

Companies are working to become more sustainable, and you may be wondering how to reduce carbon emissions on construction sites and jobsites. Your company can become a preferred contractor or service provider by complying with your clients’ criteria and meeting sustainability goals. How you work, travel, and procure equipment will affect your sustainability score. 

When procuring equipment, the three most common options are to rent, purchase, or lease long-term. Each of these options has benefits and drawbacks based on use, price, and other factors. Now that carbon emissions are affecting the procurement process, knowing what goes into procuring equipment may affect your company’s bottom line. Learn about each option to figure out what works best for your company. 

Purchasing Equipment

Purchasing new or used equipment is best for companies who will use their machines often and won’t have to transport them regularly. If your company has ever sent back a piece of rental equipment only to find you needed it again within the week, you may be able to save both money and emissions by purchasing or leasing the equipment. 

When you have your equipment on a regular preventative maintenance schedule, your machines can run for years and actually provide value to your company. Maintaining machinery and keeping it on-site is one of the best ways to reduce emissions, as long as your company is using the machine frequently and keeping it maintained. 

Leasing Long-term

Your company may want to lease equipment if your project will take several months or longer. Leasing equipment may give you a better rate than renting, and keeping the equipment on-site lowers transportation emissions. The leasing company may perform regular preventative maintenance on the equipment, which also lowers emissions long-term. 

Leasing is also great if you want to always have the newest equipment on the market. Once your contract is up, you can sign back up for a new piece of machinery. The leasing company will continue to lease the older equipment to another customer. Less equipment production reduces carbon emissions. 


Renting equipment is a great option for a short-term project. Your company might need a boom lift the whole time you’re working, but you probably don’t need a concrete saw for more than a few days or weeks. Not only does a machine sitting idle cost you money unnecessarily, it can also decrease the machine’s lifespan. A shorter lifespan means a new piece of equipment will need to be produced to replace it. 

Rental equipment also travels shorter distances than purchased equipment because of the number of rental facilities in the US. Rental facilities also load multiple machines per trip, meaning fewer trips overall. 

In Conclusion

Your clients’ views may be shifting on carbon emissions, so it’s likely your procurement process will change too. Purchasing, leasing, and renting equipment all have unique benefits and allow you to factor in modern sourcing standards. 

If you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint even further, consider making the switch to electric equipment or fuel-efficient gas-powered machines. 

Next time you purchase, lease, or rent equipment, ask your salesperson how they can assist in lowering your rate of carbon emissions.

This post was originally published in August 2020. We updated it for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness in April 2023. 

Tag: how to reduce carbon emissions in construction

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