CO2 and Sustainability
Global warming and climate change are now key sustainable development issues. Companies must be able to understand and manage their GHG risks if they are to ensure long-term success in a competitive business environment. A well-designed and maintained corporate GHG inventory, which aligns with business specific issues is an essential business tool and is increasingly seen as a marker for good management practice. Those that perform well are demonstrating their ability to manage risk, drive efficiencies, and offer the best value to clients. Globally, buildings account for a significant proportion of our Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions and increasing attention is being paid to the part that the construction industry can play in helping to reduce these. There are now a range of drivers impacting on the construction industry:
- Construction companies must seek to offer the best value to clients. Construction is an industry with a high turnover, but with relatively low margins. Energy costs, which make up a significant proportion of construction costs, have increased over the years. By measuring and managing CO2 emissions, organisations can reduce energy consumption and therefore reduce costs, directly benefiting the bottom line.
- Many governments are taking steps to reduce GHG emissions through national policies that include the introduction of emissions trading programs, carbon or energy taxes, and regulations and standards on energy efficiency and emissions.
- For large listed companies, CO2 reporting and management is becoming part of their investors’ decision making process. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) collects carbon reporting data from large companies on behalf of investors who have already started to target the construction and property sector.
- Voluntary sustainability standards, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), are now becoming part of contractor selection processes. CO2 emissions are a major part of such standards and as such, business could be lost in cases where a company is seen to be ignoring its climate change impacts. The GRI are currently developing a sector supplement for construction and property, which means they intend the sector to follow specific guidelines.
The construction industry is complex, with different types of company operating at different points in the value chain, spanning across finance, design, materials manufacture, construction and life cycle maintenance. It is important that companies are reporting against the same guidelines so that a clear picture is presented to the outside world. Given the diverse range of businesses within the construction sector it is also important that the methodology employed is able to draw distinct lines of responsibility for CO2 emissions within the construction / building value chain. There is a danger that standards developed outside of the construction sector will miss these key issues and therefore have an adverse impact.
The ENCORD construction companies and partners are taking the initiative to develop common metrics and a common approach to the topic.
A CO2-measurement protocol has been developed along with partners from other like minded worldwide construction organisations, to detail the method to be used when measuring the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of an organisation within the construction sector. Click here to read more about the initiative and to download a copy of the document.
Also a guideline for measuring waste in the construction sector has also been developed. The draft of the document can be found here.
Below are brief summaries of the meetings of the group:
The European Commission published on 1 February its 2nd State of the Energy Union Communication, including a progress report on the achievement of the 2020 Energy Efficiency targets since the publication of the first State of the Energy Union in November 2015.
The Communication points out that action on the renovation of buildings should be the priority, and identifies access to finance as one of the most pressing challenges.
The Commission states that “if Member States’ efforts continue, the EU is on track to reach its 2020 energy efficiency targets” and that implementation has to start now.
At the same time, the Commission is launching a second Energy Union tour, with the aim to push for the swift implementation of the Energy Union at national level. Member States shall present their draft national energy and climate plans by the end of 2017.
The 2017 Sustainable Places international conference at Teesside University will be the 5th iteration of the smart city and smart building stakeholder collaboration platform proven to further commercial, scientific, and technological advancements across interdisciplinary fields. The SP event series at inception was facilitated to support the 7 technology-clusters defined by the EU according to the construction-related research and innovation value chain from the EeB PPP Roadmap (Design, Technology Building Blocks, Advanced materials and nanotechnology, Construction process, Energy performance monitoring & management, ICT and BIM), which illustrate the diverse innovation approaches and the importance of embracing all aspects of the building and construction sectors.
The SP2017 Call for Proposals is now open for public submissions until 1st April 2017. Contribution types being accepted are: 90′ or 180′ workshops, presentations, and posters.
More information about the event and registration here.
Innovative stakeholders from across Europe along the whole value chain of energy-efficient buildings and building technologies will get together at the EeB-CA2 matchmaking event on 18 November. From the planning office and research partners of EU projects over manufacturers to municipalities and investors – the EeB-CA2 matchmaking event is your occasion to quickly get in contact and exchange about new ideas for research and innovation projects and business relations.
How is this matchmaking event organised? Register yourself via the event’s website, upload a meaningful profile of your organization, including a cooperation and technology offer or request. Between 1 -14 November you can book in advance bilateral meetings with other registered participants. At the registration desk of the event location you will then receive your individual meeting schedule.
Further information, registration and an overview of the profiles of all registered participants can be found here: https://www.b2match.eu/eebca2
Deadline for registration: 14 November 2016
Bilateral meetings can be booked in advance between November 1-14 2016.
The event is free of charge. It will be held in parallel to the ECTP Conference – if you would like to participate in this event as well, please register separately via the ECTP Conference website (https://fr.xing-events.com/ECTPConference2016.html).
The package of measures presented by the Commission helps Europe to prepare for the future and to stay competitive. It translates the commitments taken by Member States in October 2014 and is primarily addressed to Member States, since they will be in the forefront of deciding how to implement measures to meet the agreed greenhouse gas emission target for 2030.
All Member States will have national emission targets for 2030 expressed as a percentage reduction from 2005 emission levels as well as access to new flexibilities to achieve those targets cost effectively. Collectively, these national targets give an overall EU reduction of 30% in the sectors covered by the proposal.
Source: EC DG CLIMA © European Union, 2016
Under the REFIT Programme (Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme), the European Commission has launched a Fitness Check of the construction sector aiming at assessing the impacts, both positive and negative, of EU legislation on the sector.
The Fitness Check involves a comprehensive, evidence-based assessment of whether the current regulatory framework is proportionate and fit for purpose, and delivering as expected.
Specifically, it assesses the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and EU added value of the legislative framework.
The Fitness Check focuses on 15 EU legislative texts in the policy fields of Internal Market, Energy Efficiency, Environment and Health & Safety. It analyses those provisions within these EU texts that may impact the construction sector.
In this context, an open public consultation has been launched to gather experience, views and opinions of interested stakeholders and the public on the impact of current EU legislation for the construction sector.
The consultation is open to all interested stakeholders and the public. Deadline is 20 June 2016.
You are invited to reply to the Open public consultation, please access it here.