European Union boosts circular economy in construction products

19 December 2023 15:55

Politics

Brussels - The European Council and the European Parliament have reached a provisional agreement to boost the circular economy in construction products. Under the agreement, companies would deploy technological solutions to increase reuse and recycling while policymakers would promote the free movement of these materials.

The European Council and the European Parliament have reached a provisional agreement to create a circular economy in construction products, a vital part of an important industry that is a major generator of greenhouse gas emissions.

Slated to take effect over the next 15 years, the agreement would fix problems between different national systems that inhibit the circular economy, create digital passports for construction products to track and verify the status of reused and recycled materials, and green public procurement of environmentally sustainable products and services.

“The political agreement reached today will equip constructors to be key actors of the green and digital transitions,” said Spanish Minister for Industry and Tourism Jordi Hereu i Boher in a press release published on December 13. “Construction products of the future will require the extraction of fewer resources and generate less pollution and less waste, so buildings will not only shelter us from extreme climate conditions but also help fight climate change.”

Both European institutions must formally enact the agreement.

The construction industry represents 5.5 percent of the EU's gross domestic product, employing 25 million people in an estimated 5 million firms. Around 430,000 businesses worth €800 billion are in the construction products industry.

Buildings, meanwhile, account for half of the EU’s resource extraction and consumption and more than 30 percent of the bloc’s waste. Buildings also consume 40 percent of the EU's total energy and produce 36 percent of energy-related carbon emissions. ce/jd

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