Putting circular thinking at the heart of the construction sector and enabling it to play a much more central role in the circular economy requires a comprehensive strategy taking into account opportunities, challenges as well as developing goals with regard to circularity and building upon greater coherence of existing policy objectives and initiatives.
This is the view of CECE and a group of major European construction actors together with environmental and standardisation stakeholders who have jointly called on the EU authorities to develop a comprehensive strategy on circular economy in construction.
Such a strategy should take into account opportunities and challenges, develops goals with regard to circularity, and builds upon greater coherence of existing policy objectives and initiatives.
Made up of more than 3 million enterprises, the construction sector generates about 9 % of EU gross domestic product and provides 18 million direct jobs.
At the same time, the sector produces Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW) accounting for 25-30 % of all waste created in the EU, making it one of the most important waste streams.
The industry partners have drawn up a joint declaration “Construction in the circular economy: Towards circular materials, products and buildings“.
By jointing force they want to promote the objectives of the European Commission’s Economy Action Plan which aims to make the EU economy circular.
Through a number of legislative acts, voluntary initiatives, EU-funded research projects, and the Construction 2020‘s thematic group on “Sustainable use of natural resources” the European Union and relevant stakeholders have joined forces to better promote the sustainability of buildings and raise awareness on recycled/reused construction materials and products in recent years.
However, in order to make circular economy a lasting reality in the construction sector, a comprehensive strategy is required that should be developed at an expert platform within future construction policy.
The declaration sets outs guiding principles for a coherent and engaging multi-stakeholder approach on circular construction and sustainable buildings.
Riccardo Viaggi, CECE Secretary General stated: “By signing this declaration, construction value chain shows once again the strong collaboration between all actors of the construction industry at the EU level in order to engage in strategic steering of a circular construction economy that benefits circularity.”