The buildings and construction sector contributes significantly to global CO2 emissions and carbon footprints from material use, accounting for around 40% each. Building-related operational emissions also account for most of the sector's emissions, particularly for heating and cooling. As the carbon emissions resulting from building materials constitute 28% of the total emissions of the construction industry sector.
Improving the performance of the construction sector is imperative to reduce the emissions caused by this sector and the carbon footprint of building materials. This is an international challenge and an urgent need, especially in areas that are witnessing rapid population growth and migration to cities, and the resulting high demand for the construction of new buildings.
The pressure on the big companies in the sector is not only from regulators and customers; But also from new companies seeking to establish themselves in the sector of alternative materials, new services and business models, the leaders of these companies must monitor these disruptive factors very carefully, while companies implement the following five tactical strategies to improve their circular economy:
- Renovation and long-term use: Upgrading existing residential and commercial buildings with the aim of extending their life and making them more sustainable will greatly enhance the circularity of the sector.
- Lightweight: Innovations in design and materials can reduce building weight by 20%, and therefore its carbon emissions by up to 15% by 2040, and thoughtful design can also reduce weight by optimizing the type and quantity of materials used.
- Renewable inputs: Despite the small size of the building materials market made using renewable inputs; however, it is growing rapidly.
- Recyclable inputs: in construction and other sectors: Increasing the number of recycled materials, while improving consistency in collection and recycling processes, will help in doubling the share of recycled materials (to 28%) by 2040.
- Waste treatment services and technologies: Better management of waste during construction and demolition, including more advanced material separation technologies, helps increase the amount of materials to be reused or recycled.