Last week, the Construction 2050 Alliance gathered experts and the European Commission to discuss views of the sector about the current and foreseeable challenges regarding raw materials supply, and to present suggestions on what is needed to contribute towards a digital and green recovery leading to climate neutrality by 2050.
Indeed, construction has made significant progress regarding the use of secondary raw materials, and this will continue to be a priority over the years to come. Equally, we will continue to depend on primary resources, to ensure a safe and steady supply of raw materials for the desired output. The updated EU Industrial Strategy has echoed this dependency on (domestic) raw materials while EU policies such as adaptation to climate change and the Renovation wave, as well as geopolitical considerations, triggered an increased demand for additional construction raw materials and products.
The main messages shared by the members of the Alliance during the event were:
The raw materials and construction products sectors supplying the construction industry are an integral part of the EU construction ecosystem.
A reliable and sustainable supply of raw materials and products for construction is required to achieve the objectives set in the European Green Deal, including the Renovation Wave, climate change adaptation and a green and resilient infrastructure.
While the construction sector has proven to be particularly resilient during previous crises, including the Covid-19 pandemic, the supply of raw materials should not be taken for granted and would require particular attention.
In the current geopolitical situation, it is particularly important to boost and give precedence to the supply of domestic raw materials, wherever possible and without affecting housing affordability. More so, we need to diversify external sources of supply, avoid overreliance on one supplier. This should reduce the risk of shortages in the case of future trade restrictions or global pandemics.
Delivering a meaningful and supportive framework for the further uptake of circularity in construction must become a priority. Indeed, circular economy provides further potential for the use of secondary materials and circular practices, however a stable access to primary raw materials will remain crucial in the long-term.
The EU should secure access to affordable, low-carbon energy sources as these are indispensable to guarantee a stable supply and processing of raw materials, that in turn will feed into the construction ecosystem itself.
This event included a representative panel, with the recording of each intervention being available below, as well as their presentations:
Sustainable access to primary and secondary raw materials
Circularity is at the core of this ecosystem: Construction has made significant progress regarding the use of secondary raw materials, and this will continue to be a priority over the years to come. Equally, we will continue to depend on primary resources, to ensure a safe and steady supply of raw materials for the desired output. The updated EU Industrial Strategy has echoed this dependency on (domestic) raw materials while EU policies such as adaptation to climate change and the renovation wave will trigger an increased demand for additional construction raw materials and products.
A significant number of C2050 Alliance partners represent both primary and secondary raw material extracting and processing sectors, being involved at the beginning, during the lifetime of products and at the end of the built environment’s life cycle. This event includes a representative panel to share views of sectors about current and foreseeable challenges with raw material supply, and present their suggestions on what is needed to contribute towards a digital and green recovery leading to climate neutrality by 2050.
Let’s discuss how to secure sustainable access to primary and secondary raw materials in the European construction sector!#EUConstruction2050
Date & Time : March 24, 10.00-12.00
To register: click the button below to send an email to Construction Products Europe
The EU Industrial Strategy recognized construction as a priority ecosystem to achieve EU goals, for which the best transition pathways should be identified through a co-creation process including all relevant actors, amongst which industry stakeholders, EU institutions and Member States.
The European Commission has initiated this co-creation process with a renewed High Level Construction Forum (HLCF) driving the development of this transition pathway. Based on the experiences and feedback on the Construction 2020 initiative, the stakeholders’ needs and interests, and the political priorities of the EU, a new structure has been set up for the HLCF, split into the following cluster groups for more targeted debates:
Digital Cluster Group: To enable a digital and innovative construction ecosystem
Green Cluster Group: To enable a resource and energy efficient, decarbonised construction ecosystem
Resilient Cluster Group: To enable a resilient construction ecosystem (e.g., developing skills, better regulation of the internal market and ensuring international competitiveness)
The proposed mission of the HLCF is to provide a forum for the construction ecosystem to co-create and implement a roadmap for the transition pathways towards a green, digital, and resilient construction ecosystem that contributes to the wider EU goals. The roadmap is expected to provide concrete actions and targets for 2030 and 2050 and identify potential opportunities and barriers to overcome.
The Construction 2050 Alliance is cooperating with the other construction stakeholders to provide initial feedback on the governance of the new HLCF and its cluster groups and initiate the discussions on the future policy roadmap. The Construction 2050 Alliance and its members are all participating as a collective and an individual basis and look forward to further collaborating with the European institutions.
To join the High-Level Construction Forum initiative, click here
Sustainability, robot dogs, new technologies for training and education are rapidly changing the image of the construction sector, which is sometimes still perceived as physically challenging, dirty, or dangerous.
The second public event organised by the Construction 2050 Alliance, which gathered 200 participants, showed that construction is a sector that can offer many opportunities to new talent. The discussions proved that in light of the EU Green Deal and of the Recovery and Resilience plans, construction can contribute positively to restore and create better and safer jobs for European citizens.
Significant efforts are already being deployed by the actors of the sector for investing in lifelong learning, in better working conditions and social protection, in a healthier and safer working environment and in better promotion of career opportunities.
However, in order to strengthen and accelerate the process, the Construction 2050 Alliance asks the policymakers to :
Ensure that the “Reskill and upskill” flagship is respected in the national recovery Plans that Member States will need to implement.
Ensure that public money that will be made available in the context of the Renovation Wave and the Recovery packages should go towards the creation of quality jobs.
Provide tailored financial and technical support to boost green and digital skills and deliver the objectives of the EU Green Deal and Renovation Wave (e.g. use of Digital Innovation Hubs also for skills).
Carry out outreach targeted initiatives for the construction ecosystem to promote its attractiveness among youngsters, women, migrants and professionals coming from other sectors with relevant skills for new construction activities.
The construction ecosystem will play a key role in the achievement of the ambitious goals of the EU Green Deal and of the National Recovery and Resilience plans. Let’s make it happen.
Construction is still perceived as physically difficult, dirty, dangerous, often related to illegal situations (corruption, undeclared work, etc.). Young people usually don’t consider construction as their main priority for a professional career, but rather the last alternative.
Parents often don’t propose such a perspective to their children and also advise centres don’t have it as first choice. This has led to a situation in which construction companies have difficulties in finding the right workers with the right skills and construction training centres are in most cases far beyond their capacities.
Within this framework, the EU Green Deal and the digital transition provide us with an unprecedented opportunity to change this and to improve the image of our sector and to make it more attractive to young people.
This second public event will therefore target on the one hand the wide public, as well as the EU Institutions, with the aim on the one hand of presenting positive practical examples dispelling the false myths about construction and, on the other hand, of discussing with representatives of the EU Institutions about the framework and the resources that are needed to enhance the positive potential of our sector, so to crucially contribute to the achievement of the main EU priorities and goals.
Let’s discuss the opportunities for new talent in the European construction sector!#EUConstruction2050