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Green Building Council urges team approach to sustainable construction

By 1st June 2016 News No Comments

It is becoming more and more important for businesses within the construction industry to team up when it comes to material waste and sustainable construction, according to the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC).

Property developer Argent hosted a panel discussion in its London office last week, which included several big industry players.

At the meeting, the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) discussed how the construction industry could serve itself better by communicating the need for materials and resources, and could offset the waste left behind from individual projects by doing so.

UKGBC’s sustainability officer, Mark Edwards, is pushing for the construction industry to move from a linear economy towards a more circular one, where businesses don’t just throw away materials no longer needed, but actively seek other projects that can use them.

UKGBC is calling for this to become an industry-wide development, claiming that this approach to sustainable construction can only be achieved if there is collaboration across the whole supply chain.

It is thought that the built environment is responsible for 40% of the world’s extracted materials, and that demolition waste is the biggest offender in many countries when it comes to construction waste, however industry wide collaboration is not the end of the story.

“There’s also collaboration outside of the industry, it isn’t just the construction industry that’s generating waste,” says Edwards.

Also present at the panel meeting was David Cheshire, the sustainability officer for AECOM, who believes that a circular economy in this industry would also benefit cost, efficiency and the environment.

Cheshire told the panel that this new method of business is already working well overseas, in places like the Netherlands, and that the industry people he witnessed there “seemed very inclined to collaborate.”

The EU is also backing a new innovation that could see Europe’s cement and lime industries cut their carbon footprint through carbon capture and storage.

These sustainability-driven and business-focused movements are already taking place, and are beginning to prove themselves beneficial, paving the way for more industries to find ways of making their practices more sustainable.

Cited as an example of how sustainability and circular economy thinking can work for businesses was support service business, Carillion, which has recently experienced an overall profit increase of £33.8m.

It puts this extra profit down an increased focus on the adoption of sustainable business practices, and plans to reinvest the money to further support its own long term sustainability goals.

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