EU develops protocol to manage construction & demolition waste

On 10 November 2016, the European Commission (DG GROW) issued a protocol which provides guidance on managing construction and demolition waste (C&DW).  Developed by Ecofys, the protocol aims to increase industry's confidence in the waste management process and the quality of recycled C&DW materials.

Circular economy: developing the knowledge base

On 18 January 2016, the European Environment Agency (EEA) published a report entitled “Circular economy in Europe - Developing the knowledge base”.   According to the authors, fundamental changes throughout the value chain (from product design and production processes to new business models and consumption patterns) are required in order to create a circular economy. In this respect, recycling will turn waste into a resource and extending product lifetimes will help preserve natural resources.

Commission consults on building sector resource efficiency

In mid August, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the first draft proposals for indicators relating to resourece efficiency in the building sector.  Interested stakeholders have until 7 October 2016 to respond.

Commission consults on impacts of legislation on construction

Is European legislation having a negative impact on the competitiveness of the construction sector?  This is the question behind the recently launched European Commission consultation, which aims to gather feedback on the impact of EU legislation on the construction sector. It covers 15 pieces of EU legislation in the following policy fields: Internal Market, Energy Efficiency, Environment and Health & Safety.

Commission publishes report on macro-objectives for resource efficient buildings

In early January, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission published a Working Paper entitled ‘Identifying macro-objectives for the life cycle environmental performance and resource efficiency of EU buildings’.  This Working Paper is linked to the Commissions Communication on Resource Efficiency opportunities in the Building Sector, adopted in 2014.  This communication identified the need for a common EU framework of indicators for the assessment of the environmental performance of buildings. 

Driving sustainable building practices

With the aim of supporting sustainable property development,  the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Europe Regional Network of the World Green Building Council (WGBC) have joined forces to work on improving energy and resource efficiency, whilst at the same time reducing CO2 emissions.


In a world where resources are becoming more and more scarce, the European Union needs to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by becoming a resource efficient economy.
Buildings use a significant share of our resources in materials, energy, water and land, and at the end of their lives they make up a third of all waste; therefore they play an important part in this transition. If we want the European building sector to become more competitive and more viable in the future, we need to attain higher resource efficiency levels. The potential to make savings in both costs and materials and to reduce the impact on the environment in the buildings sector is an important one.

Parliament debates circular economy INI

On 14 April 2015, the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health & Food Safety (ENVI) debated the recently published Draft Own Initiative Report (INI) on the Circular Economy (Resource efficiency: moving towards a circular economy), produced by rapporteur Sirpa Pietikäinen (Finland, Group of the European People’s Party – Christian Democrats). 

Reports identify resource-efficient city

On 10 November 2015, the European Environmental Agency (EEA) published 3 reports  which look at what can be considered as a resource-efficient city is and what cities can do to enhance urban sustainability.

Resource efficient or sustainable buildings?

In mid 2014, the European Commission published a Communication which focused on resource efficiency opportunities in the building sector (COM 2014/0445). Initially, this communications was due to focus on “sustainable buildings”.  Unfortunately, this was not the case as not only was the title of the final modified, but also the focus of the content which stood squarely in the environmental segment of sustainability. Society and economy appeared, regrettably, to have fallen by the wayside.

Roadmap to a circular economy

The European Commission has recently published an indicative roadmap of its upcoming circular economy strategy, which follows on from the withdrawal of the 2014 waste review proposal earlier this year. As indicated in the roadmap, the Commission plans to present a new, more ambitious legislative proposal on waste by the end of 2015, which explores synergies with other policies (such as product policies and well-functioning markets for raw materials). In addition, the new proposal is likely to be much more country specific and will aim at decreasing residual waste and increasing the use of secondary raw materials.

The Concrete Initiative @ the European Circular Economy Conference

On 5 March 2015, The Concrete Initiative had the opportunity of participating in a panel debate on the hot topic of the Circular Economy.  As readers are aware, a Circular Economy package was launched in the summer of 2014.  However, with a new Commission comes a new perspective, resulting in the scrapping of the existing package infavour of a new, much broader initiative due by the end of this year.  

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