Home / Built Environment / New circular economy toolkit for built environment stakeholders is launched

New circular economy toolkit for built environment stakeholders is launched

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has published a new toolkit to enable the construction industry to accelerate the shift from a linear to a regenerative, circular economy.

Titled ‘System Enablers for a Circular Economy’ the toolkit highlights systemic barriers and the policy and market-based solutions to enable the built environment industry to make the shift. It identifies eight enablers that will encourage the shift from the current linear economic system; building a foundation upon which a circular economy across the built environment can become the default way of operating as we transition to net zero.

The eight enablers are as follows:

  1. Greater collaboration and early engagement between industry stakeholders.
  2.  Establishing a marketplace for secondary construction materials.
  3.  Architecture practices characterised by circular economy design principles.
  4.  Expanding the use of green contracts and leases.
  5.  Tax, legislation, and policy systems that direct industry and markets towards circularity.
  6.  Scaling up green finance to stimulate business support for a circular economy.
  7.  Enabling the industry to measure progress by having a set of consistent metrics, benchmarks and indicators.
  8.  Educating practitioners and decision-makers with the necessary knowledge to be able to implement circular economy more widely.

The toolkit highlights how the transition to a circular economy will require a fundamental change in our economy. All levels of government, industry, and civil society will need to rally behind the common goal to shift from our current extractive and wasteful linear economy towards a regenerative, circular one. It also reveals that many of the solutions needed to deliver a circular economy available exist in today’s market and can be implemented immediately. For example, the greater use of circular economy design principles ensures a deconstructable and reusable approach to architecture that keeps construction materials in use.

The key enablers identified by UKGBC illustrates the vital role for national government in securing the transition. For example, the Government can utilise its control over the UK’s tax, legislation, and policy systems to direct industry and markets towards circularity by addressing the true cost and value of materials and helping circular approaches and businesses to grow. In addition to national and local governments, the guidance also sets out a multitude of actions for the industry to adopt. From architects and contractors to the insurance and finance sectors, it provides practical guidance for how different sub-sectors can play their role.

Yetunde Abdul, Head of Climate Action at UKGBC commented: “Our built environment currently relies on a linear economy, where a take-make-dispose approach to construction is common practice. This approach is accelerating the climate and biodiversity crises and actively contributing to higher emissions, unsustainable levels of resource use and unnecessary levels of waste.

“Industry can either keep trying to tweak business-as-usual and make minor improvements to a failing system, or we can make fundamental, systems level changes and create a resilient, collaborative, and thriving construction sector fit for the future. UKGBC’s new guidance aims to catalyse this change through confronting some of the key barriers that exist in today’s market and signpost industry and government to the practical steps they can take to support a circular economy.”

Nicoletta Michaletos, Senior Consultant at Buro Happold added: “This report outlines the very important step-change in how we need to think about sustainability and cities. Systemic thinking puts things into perspective: it focuses on a better understanding of the problem rather than providing quick fixes or solutions which, if you’re aiming at the wrong thing, might cause more harm than good in the long term. Understanding how specific industries like architecture and the built environment work almost indistinguishably within other sectors, all in line with bigger societal goals and priorities, opens our eyes to the ways in which we might need to change not only our industry tools, but reasons for building in the first place, and the lifestyles these buildings and cities support.

The guidance has been designed to be relevant for a wide range of stakeholders in the built environment including national and local authorities, clients and developers, asset owners, designers, product manufacturers, builders, insurers/underwriters, demolition contractors, and recyclers.

2023 FMJ and Grundon Recycling and Waste Management Survey

FMJ in conjunction with Grundon Waste Management is pleased to launch the 2023 waste management and recycling survey which examines the ways in which FMs approach their waste management responsibilities.

In this, the sixth year for the annual appraisal, we know there is a greater opportunity than ever for FMs to reappraise their waste and recycling operations and help their organisations meet the growing pressure to achieve ESG goals.

We want to learn how FMs have adapted to the legislative, economic and societal changes of the past year and how they plan to meet the latest waste and recycling targets.

In this survey we’ve posed a series of questions which include insights into FMs’ waste management strategy and targets, how they’re moving towards zero waste targets, and the importance of not just meeting compliance targets but also ESG goals.

The results of the 2023 survey will be published in FMJ magazine and form the basis of a white paper co-written by FMJ and the experts at Grundon on how to approach waste and recycling strategies.

To take part click here.


About Sarah OBeirne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *