In the EU, the construction sector is responsible for around 40% of CO2 emissions and, according to figures of the European Commission, for over 35% of the EU’s total waste generation. Greenhouse gas emissions from material extraction, manufacturing of construction products, construction and renovation of buildings are estimated at 5-12% of total national GHG emissions. The Commission estimates that greater material efficiency could save 80% of those emissions.
The European Commission published a new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) in March 2020. It is one of the main building blocks of the European Green Deal. The CEAP introduces legislative and non-legislative measures that focus on the sectors that use most resources and where the potential for circularity is high, such as construction and buildings.
These measures include, inter alia:
- addressing the sustainability performance of construction products in the context of the revision of the Construction Product Regulation;
- promoting measures to improve the durability and adaptability of built assets in line with the circular economy principles for buildings design and developing digital logbooks for buildings;
- using the EU’s sustainability reporting framework Level(s) to integrate life cycle assessments in public procurement and the EU’s sustainable finance framework;
- considering a revision of material recovery targets set in EU legislation for construction and demolition waste and its material-specific fractions;
- promoting initiatives to reduce soil sealing, rehabilitate abandoned or contaminated brownfields and increase the safe, sustainable and circular use of excavated soils.
Furthermore, the “Renovation Wave Strategy” is currently being implemented in line with circular economy principles, notably optimised life cycle performance.
Our position on the Circular Economy Action Plan can be found here.