Contractors are taking first baby steps towards a circular construction economy
The construction world is facing a challenging period of transition towards a fully circular construction economy in order to counter its negative impact on natural and economic resources. In the last years several initiatives, such as UN’s EU Circular Economy Action Plan, have been taken to encourage the construction industry to support the agenda of circular economy. It is clear that all stakeholders in the construction cycle have to be involved in the transition to achieve a fully circular construction economy, but where do European contractors stand in the whole process? The European Contractor Monitor H1 2020 shows that the levels of involvement and implementation in projects vary across Europe due to differences in perceptions and attitudes.
As a relatively new concept in the construction world, the level of understanding and integration of circularity is still in its infancy and varies across countries. On average, 31% of European contractors are actively involved in circularity in their business. More than half of the Polish contractors are not even aware of the circularity concept, making them the least knowledgeable and active market in the European construction sector, whereas Dutch contractors are the most actively involved in the concept.
European Contractor Monitor H1 2020 - USP Marketing Consultancy
The level of involvement is also reflected by the perception of circular construction economy. Countries that are more actively involved in circularity think of reusage of materials/products and building parts more than just usage of recycled materials.
However, even in the countries that are more actively involved in this concept, the share of projects in which circularity is taken into account as well as willingness to invest in it are still low. On average, circularity is taken into account in 13% of the residential and 12% of the non-residential projects of all European contractors.
These results show that there is still a long way to go to achieve a fully circular construction economy. In addition to education and shift of mindset towards more advanced and modern building methods, cooperation of all parties involved in the construction cycle is at the top of the list of actions to be taken. As the supplier of building materials and solutions, the role of manufacturers in this path is of great importance. Understanding the attitude towards circularity in each market is key for them to design materials, products and solutions that are targeting the right stakeholders in the right markets.
For more detailed information we refer you to the Contractor Monitor H1 2020 report.
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