12th European Forum on Eco-Innovation

The construction sector is the largest consumer of raw materials in the EU and construction and demolition activities account for about 33% of waste generate annually. This has led to important policies and initiatives at EU and Member State levels with a range of programmes, funding schemes and regulatory measures to support innovation in the sector. Although efforts towards sustainable construction have increased, these have largely covered fragmented segments of the construction industry - i.e. focusing only on energy issues or carbon emissions—thereby omitting the environmental and economic impact construction value chain. Much remains to be done for the construction sector to become more sustainable while increasing its competitiveness – particularly in terms of true life cycle costs in economic and environmental terms, improving construction management and skills, and involvement of both public and private organisations.

At EU level, the Eco-Innovation Action Plan (EcoAP) launched in December 2011 complements the Resource Efficient Europe Flagship Initiative and its roadmap that include specific points regarding construction. The Covenant of Mayors is a successful EU initiative which clearly shows the need and the potential for transformative change by focusing on the key actors in the construction value chain. Further policy initiatives on sustainable production and consumption, sustainable building and sustainable competitiveness of the construction sector are expected to be published in 2012.

But who should be the main stakeholders to push forward and implement existing solutions? There are so many players but who should address the sustainable construction issue in a coherent and systemic manner? Who can take the lead? Moreover, how can the construction industry face up to the current crisis which may prevent the implementation of new technologies or construction, certifications and standards? This forum will examine what kind of added value eco-innovation can bring in the construction sector, how eco-innovation can transform the supply chain of the industry, how to communicate this to public authorities, construction professionals and building owners, and review the opportunities and challenges as part of a sustainable construction value chain.

Info: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecoinnovation2012/1st_forum/