WorldGBC launches Circularity Accelerator to advance circular built environments

Construction site

World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) and its network of over 70 Green Building Councils have launched Circularity Accelerator – a global programme to accelerate the adoption of circular economy and resource efficiency principles in the building and construction sector.

Circularity Accelerator is a WorldGBC global programme to catalyse the adoption of circular economy and resource efficiency in the building and construction sector.

WorldGBC says the built environment is accelerating the climate and biodiversity crisis. The organisation contends that our planet thrives through circular, natural and regenerative systems, which are being damaged by the impacts of the built environment.

To tackle the climate and resource impact of the built environment and to support the ambitions of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, WorldGBC’s Circularity Accelerator convenes the WorldGBC network of 70+ Green Building Councils and their 36,000 members to work towards WorldGBC’s circularity and resource efficiency goals.

The impact of this resource use-associated GHG emissions and pollution and plunging biodiversity accelerates climate change and the decline of life-sustaining ecosystem services such as the maintenance of clean water and productive soils, WorldGBC says.

Our work has shown there is a direct correlation between GHG emissions and material use.

The efficiency goals include targets for both 2030 and 2050:

  • 2030 goal: The sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources within the built environment, achieving zero waste to landfill targets and working towards a built environment with net-zero whole life resource depletion.
  • 2050 goal: A built environment with net-zero whole life resource depletion, working towards the restoration of resources and natural systems within a thriving circular economy.

Partner and Head of Sustainability, Foster + Partners, Chris Trott, said: “Our work has shown there is a direct correlation between GHG emissions and material use. 

“Therefore if we are to succeed in reducing our emissions in line with the global commitment to fulfil the Paris Agreement, and to avoid the adverse impacts of resource extraction on health, wellbeing, biodiversity and natural ecology, we must reduce the resource consumption associated with the built environment. 

“We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with WorldGBC on this important initiative, which will help generate a better understanding of the issues and how to engage with them in a consistent and impactful way.”

WorldGBC says the programme works with leading businesses and policymakers including the three Circularity Accelerator’s Global Partners Brightworks, Foster + Partners, and Ramboll. 

The organisation says this is why the programme will serve as a platform for raising and aligning ambition across the building and construction industry and create a heightened demand for resource efficiency solutions to be implemented before the end of the decade. 

The Circularity Accelerator is developing two projects for 2022 to “create awareness and educate the industry on the opportunities in a more resource-efficient built environment”.

This includes a ‘state of the market’ report identifying the key challenges and opportunities for circular built environments and a global awareness campaign to increase the adoption of circularity and resource efficiency principles including training events, publications and campaign tool kits for Green Building Councils and partners.

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