Construction materials have an important carbon footprint. In the EU alone, they are responsible for 250 million tons of CO2 annually. While the EU is already home to many of the sustainable frontrunners developing the next generation of low-carbon materials, the sector as a whole has failed to sufficiently decarbonize to date and is bound to miss the EU’s 2030 goals.
As global demand for shelter and infrastructure continues to rise, making building materials more sustainable should be a priority. Can technology play a role in driving down resource and energy consumption in the sector?
European innovation in building materials is growing: from zero-carbon concrete to alternative building materials, from prefabricated modular buildings to 3D-printed ones. The buildings of tomorrow should require fewer resources – and consume less energy. For this vision to emerge, a forward-thinking policy framework needs to be put in place, supporting the deployment of these innovations with clear targets and incentives.
During the joint GLOBE EU/Cleantech for Europe event on September 6, experts from the European Commission, Bee Group member Tarkett, Ecocem, Stora Enso, Aeditive, and Neolithe (see program below) considered how sustainable construction materials can enhance the EU’s industrial competitiveness, determine targets for the industry that are ambitious yet feasible; explored current roadblocks to their scale-up, and discussed how EU policies can create the conditions for this new industry to prosper.
A paper with recommendations as well as speakers’ presentations are available for viewing/downloading below.