Last week, the Construction 2050 Alliance gathered more than 150 stakeholders from the built environment and beyond to exchange views on Sustainable Finance and the expected impact of the EU taxonomy on the construction sector during its hybrid event held on 18 October 2022.
Considering the increasing concerns along the whole construction value chain, and to better understand the potential pragmatic implications from applying the taxonomy in the sector, the Alliance gathered experts from the financial, environmental and construction fields to discuss.
The event started with a presentation of the European Platform on Sustainable finance and its works by one of its members, Ms. Lara Muller (read the presentation). Then, Mr Hugo Gallagher, Senior Policy Advisor at the European partnership of Sustainable Investment For a EUROSIF, gave an overview on the potential consequences in the construction market from the financial perspective. The debate was lively also thanks to the participation of the World Green Building Council Director for Europe Mr Stephen Richardson, who shared their vision on sustainability and circularity in relation to financing as an environmental NGO (read the presentation).
A panel discussion also took place examining and illustrating current and potential challenging implications of the Taxonomy for construction companies. Mr. Philip van Nieuwenhuizen, President of the European Builders Confederation EBC, Mr. Bernard Gilmont of European Aluminium, Mr. José Luis Blasco of the Spanish large contractor Acciona (read the presentation) and Mr. Frank Hovorka of the French Real Estate Developers debated the inconsistency of certain criteria when applied to construction in different geographies, concerns about access to loans and credits, difficulties with reporting, under-representation of construction actors in the platform’s debates, among others.
In the closing remarks, FIEC Vice President Yiannis Markides presented the main messages of the Alliance:
- The Taxonomy underlines again the construction sector’s huge potential for achieving the EU Green Deal goals.
- The Taxonomy may offer a European approach of “sustainable construction” based on existing EU Regulations and European sustainability assessment standards, but some criteria should be improved, and reporting methodologies clarified.
- The Taxonomy can set a new benchmark for competitiveness of the construction sector.
- The Taxonomy must create the conditions of mobilising capital to support the transition to sustainable construction.
- Sustainability reporting obligations under the Taxonomy must be simple and proportionate.
- Non-alignment with the Taxonomy must not cut off companies from financing and funding.
The members of the Construction 2050 Alliance look forward to further exploring and clarifying strategic topics for our industry, stay tune to be informed of our next activities.
To read the full Construction 2050 Alliance messages on Sustainable Finance, click here.