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Construction, bâtiment et infrastructures

Building Carbon Neutrality in Europe



CEMBUREAU - the European Cement Association
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Nikos Nikolakakos

Europe has an ambitious vision of a carbon-neutral future, a vision that integrates energy-intensive industries as well as the construction sector and its entire value chain.

Cement, which binds concrete together, is at the heart of solutions to turn this vision into reality. These solutions span over the entire cement and concrete value chain: from raw materials to production, use, re-use, and recycling.

CEMBUREAU, the European Cement Association, as part of its effort to move towards a carbon-neutral construction sector, has taken stock of progress done since the publication of its 2050 Low Carbon Roadmap in 2013 and mapped routes to a resource-efficient and carbon-neutral built environment.

Polish Circular Hotspot

polish circular hotspot logo

The Polish Circular Hotspot is a public-private platform bringing together national and local government bodies with businesses, entrepreneurs, the scientific community and civil society to jointly develop and apply the concept of a circular economy in Poland.

The hotspot has begun the following activities to develop and implement circular innovations:

  • organising events (sectoral, regional, national) to analyse specific problems and legislative issues such as workshops on circular procurement for public agencies

  • assisting with drafting strategies and roadmaps while supporting the establishment of sectoral partnerships for practical circular solutions

  • networking businesses to exchange knowledge, showcase innovations and connecting Polish entrepreneurs with partners abroad, e.g. through study visits and B2B monitoring sessions with the support of the Dutch, Swedish, German, French and Danish Embassies.

  • educating those interested in the circular economy concept, for example by organising the national educational campaign ‘Polish Circular Week’

Becoming a member of the Polish Circular Hotspot enables you to work with Polish and foreign partners in building innovative solutions and exchanging best practice across sectors. The hotspot also provides its members with opportunities to shape the debate on emerging circular economy legislation and collaborate in funding projects through partnerships.

Circular cement: processing waste to create cement in a circular economy

Cement production plant (illustration)

Every year, 2.5 billion tonnes of waste is produced in Europe. Thanks to its production process, the cement industry is able to use waste both as a fuel source and for secondary mineral materials.

18 Dec 2018
Level(s) building sustainability performance logo

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On December 18, the European Commission will host a conference on Level(s), its new sustainable building reporting framework which aims to provide the insights that will shape future building sector policy.

Samen circulair ontwerpen: circulaire architectuur en bouw

Samen circulair ontwerpen: circulaire architectuur en bouw

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One Future Play
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When 68 Dutch architectural firms signed a manifesto for circular construction in 2018, it became apparent that this field is committed and eager to apply circular economy principles in designing and building for sustainable development. Nonetheless there are few available resources on commencing such a process, which is why the BNA (Dutch Association of Architects) commissioned a study on 'Designing Circularity Jointly: Circular Architecture and Construction' in 2018.

The transition to a circular economy is a quest where nobody has the correct and precise information on what inputs are required to reduce carbon emissions, ensure raw materials are processed in a circular loop and the built environment is repurposed at end of life. Designing truly circular buildings requires frameworks and insights. These are summarised in the report's eight key messages:

  • circular economy is a shared quest full of complexity, obstacles and uncertainty, which is why openness, trust and courage are crucial;
  • architects need more circular assignments to be able to benchmark and share experiences with each other;
  • architects should play a greater role in designing buildings that can actually be built, maintained and recycled;
  • collaboration across the entire value chain is necessary to map out resource flows and design in a truly circular fashion;
  • regulation stimulates either renovation or newbuilds, becoming an obstacle when architects attempt to fuse old structures with new materials, linear raw materials with circular processes, and outdated standards with pioneering ones;
  • despite a lot of information being available, architects find it difficult to access sustainable materials that have passed the necessary quality checks;
  • the lack of clear guidelines about what is circular in the construction sector limits the adoption of corresponding principles;
  • there are no easily accessible and understandable tools to guide practitioners in designing a circular structure.
05 Feb 2019 to 07 Feb 2019
circular economy event

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The three-day event Buildings As Material Banks – a pathway for a circular future (BAMB-CIRCPATH), to be held in Brussels on 5-7 February 2019, will focus on circular economy in the building/construction sector.

ReStart® Programme at Tarkett

ReStart logo

Tarkett, a world-wide leader of innovative flooring and sports surface solutions, has introduced a take-back Restart® programme in Europe and North America to collect flooring, which then is sorted and selected as a source of quality raw materials to be used in Tarkett's own production process.

Luxembourg Wood Cluster

Luxembourg Wood Cluster

The Luxembourg Wood Cluster was set up in 2016 as a platform for exchange between all players in the wood sector, spanning from wood production to the end consumers of wood products. Its structure is managed by Luxinnovation, the National Agency for Innovation and Research.

As a meeting point for innovative, public and private organisations in the region – companies as well as research centres – the Wood Cluster brings together know-how and facilitates the sharing of experience in Luxembourg and beyond. Optimising the market release and the use of wood resources in order to lengthen their life cycles, and creating and enhancing regional wood product chains are among its objectives.

Its underlying logic is that of improving the recovery of this sustainable material par excellence at local and regional level. To this end, the Cluster:

  • promotes the wood sector as a whole,
  • organises networking events for its members ("Meet a member"),
  • organises conferences and thematic visits, 
  • manages technical working groups around the themes of wood production, processing and use,
  • looks for innovative projects and new technologies at national and international level, 
  • identifies and manages strategic flagship projects, and
  • supports sectoral SMEs and start-ups.

16 Oct 2018
BAMB reversible construction diagram

The Circular Supplier Community Workshops give suppliers and interested actors along the building supply chain the opportunity to gain information about best practices and the advantages of Materials Passports, Circular Buildings & Building Information Modelling.

20 Sep 2018

The Buildings as Material Banks project and One Planet Network invite you to join them in learning from exemplary initiatives in construction and debating how innovative tools are supporting a systemic shift towards circularity in the built environment through digitalisation, assessment and procurement.

The Saint-Gobain Gypsum Activity at the head of Circular Economy

Taking advantage of the eternal recyclability of Gypsum, Saint-Gobain's gypsum subsidiary already launched a voluntary and ambitious policy in 2000 to encourage the recycling of pre- and post-consumer gypsum waste.

Saint-Gobain's ISOVER is a pioneer in recycling glass wool

Glass wool is infinitely and completely recyclable. Regardless of the glass wool’s quality, age, density or other properties, the material is entirely recyclable and can be re-melted as many times as necessary, before entering into the composition of new insulating products, without having its final quality impacted.

Cleanteach-Cluster Upper Austria

Logo Cleantech-Cluster

The Upper Autrian Cleantech-Cluster networks all actors from the resource supplier, to the manufacturer, industrial researcher, to mechanical engineers, recyclers, and disposers in order to find joint solutions and develop new technologies. We cooperate with our 10 cluster initiatives in the Upper Austrian business support agency and 2000 partner companies, whose activities range from plastics, to automotive, furniture and wood construction, food, medical technology, mechatronics, IT, logistics, and HR, In order to support projects for SMEs in particular, the cluster also supports EU funding applications, thus offering its partners an internationally mature circular economy toolbox.

THEMES and EXPERTISE in the network:

  • Material efficiency in production
  • Recycling
  • Recovery
  • Disposal
  • Circular design
  • Business Models
  • Initial and continuing education
  • Research


  • Cross-sector networking with researchers, companies, associations (regional, national, international)
  • Project development
  • Project Management
  • Process support through conception, moderation of workshops, work meetings, events
  • Funding advice
05 Sep 2018
Circular Impacts Final Conference

For the past 2 years, the CIRCULAR IMPACTS project has been collecting evindence on the impacts of moving towards a Circular Economy in Europe. On September 5th the project team will present its final report at an afternoon conference in Brussels with live feedback from the European Commission, whom these assessments aim to help in discussions with member states and civil society on progress in this field.

Utrecht used recycled asphalt for the Cremerstraat cycle lane to reduce resource input

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Utrecht, one of the four biggest cities in the Netherlands, aims to be climate neutral in 2030 and to reach a fully circular economy by 2050. In a shorter term, Utrecht is committed to increasing its share of circular procurement from 4% of the annual spend in 2016 to 10% by 2020. Utrecht’s sustainable vision is also reflected in its aspiration to become the most bike-friendly city in the world.

Waste prevention in Europe - policies, status and trends in reuse in 2017

Waste prevention in Europe - policies, status and trends in reuse in 2017

Cover EEA report 4 2018


Henning Wilts, Bettina Bahn-Walkowiak, Ybele Hoogeveen
Publication Date: 
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, EU, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

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Ybele Hoogeveen

This is the fourth EEA report in a series of annual reviews of waste prevention programmes in Europe as stipulated in the European Union (EU) Waste Framework Directive.

This review focuses on reuse and covers 33 national and regional waste prevention programmes that had been adopted by the end of 2017.

Article 11 of the Waste Framework Directive states that Member States should take appropriate measures to promote reuse and preparing for reuse such as encouraging the establishment and support of reuse and repair networks. The report describes how reuse is addressed in the waste prevention programmes and provides data on the status of and trends in reuse systems in Europe. Chapter 1 introduces the concept of waste prevention in a circular economy and describes the policy background. It explains the review's approach and defines key terms used. Chapter 2 investigates the existing waste prevention programmes, looking at their scope and reuse objectives, measures and indicators, as well as the sectors and stakeholders addressed. Chapter 3 examines the status of and potential for reuse for key product groups (i.e. textiles, electrical and electronic equipment, furniture, vehicles, and buildings and building components). Chapter 4 concludes with key findings and prospects for reuse in the context of the circular economy agenda.

26 Sep 2018
Circular Cities

Cities can be key players in rolling out circular models, reducing the use of resources and raw materials. 

Amsterdam is going Circular smartly with 'learning by doing'

In 2015, Amsterdam commissioned an in-depth study on the potential of a circular economy. The project was the first large-scale research study in the world that uses the ‘city circle scan’ methodology. The scan identifies the areas in which the most significant, tangible progress in realising a circular economy can be achieved.

The circular economy – a powerful force for climate mitigation

The circular economy – a powerful force for climate mitigation

This report investigates how a more circular economy can contribute to cutting CO2 emissions. It explores a broad range of opportunities for the four largest materials in terms of emissions (steel, plastics, aluminium, and cement) and two large use segments for these materials (passenger cars and buildings). The key conclusion is that a more circular economy can make deep cuts to emissions from heavy industry: in an ambitious scenario, as much as 296 million tons CO2 per year in the EU by 2050, out of 530 Mt in total – and some 3.6 billion tonnes per year globally. Making better use of the materials that already exist in the economy thus can take EU industry halfway towards net-zero emissions. Moreover, doing so often is economically attractive. Initiatives for a more circular economy therefore deserve a central place in EU climate and industrial policy.

11 Jun 2018 to 14 Jun 2018
Holland Circular Economy Week 2018

The Holland Circular Economy week brings together a delegation of approximately 150 foreign knowledge institutions, business and government representatives with a special interest in CE.

06 Jun 2018 to 08 Jun 2018
Wascon 2018

WASCON is the reference international conference on the use of alternative materials in construction.