Top Tips for embedding circular economy principles in construction

Created: June 22, 2017. Updated: February 2, 2018.

The UK’s Green Construction Board has published a new guide “Top Tips for Embedding Circular Economy Principles in the Construction”. This resource is intended to help the construction industry start its journey towards the circular economy.

The Green Construction Board is the sustainability work stream of the UK Government’s Construction Leadership Council, and has developed a series of practical tips – for Clients, the Design team, Contractors, Material and Product Manufacturers, and Demolition Contractors.

It is widely acknowledged that the circular economy will bring economic, environmental and social benefits, and the Green Construction Board has prepared these Top Tips to assist the construction industry in moving towards this new model.

The chair of the Green Construction Board (GCB), Mike Putnam has challenged the construction sector to embrace the circular economy and set itself targets to accelerate towards a lower carbon future.

Launching the GCB’s new “Top Tips for Embedding Circular Economy Principles in the Construction Industry” guide, he said industry had to show greater leadership with a new approach to the use of materials and performance on waste and carbon.

“My challenge to you is to ask what are your personal and company targets for embracing the circular economy and your commitments for the year ahead?” said Putnam.

“It is important that we all embrace the challenge and show some leadership,” he said. “Let’s make it a bright low carbon future.”

While the UK construction industry has been improving its performance over the last few years, 60% of all waste material in the UK is generated from this sector – and the waste that is recycled is often of a very low value.

Circular economy Route Map

In parallel the London Waste And Recycling Board (LWARB) has published a Circular Economy Route Map for London.

“Cities are the engine room of the circular economy. London could receive a net benefit of up to £7bn a year by 2036 if we accelerate our transition, £2.8bn of which can be achieved by delivering the actions in this document.

LWARB wants London to be the global leader of the circular economy, claiming that it would make a substantial contribution to Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plan to create a zero-carbon city by 2050.

LWARB is also calling for the creation of a circular economy hub in London to facilitate collaboration. Bother LWARB and the Greater London Authority (GLA) are members of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE 100 – a global platform to accelerate understanding and implementation of the circular economy. LWARB has called on London-based organisations to join the initiative.

The London Waste and Recycling Board’s (LWARB) circular economy programme is targeting a £50m investment by 2020 to make London a city where businesses utilising closed-loop systems can “flourish”.

The new route map outlines more than 100 practical actions that can kickstart this transition.

The route map notes that local authorities have a “key role” to play. Nine London boroughs have already partnered with LWARB on a behaviour change campaign to raise awareness on the value of food and the issues surrounding food waste.

To view the guidance:

Further information