The concept of sustainable development was described by the 1987 Bruntland Commission Report as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
There are four dimensions to sustainable development – society, environment, culture and economy – which are intertwined, not separate. Sustainability is a paradigm for thinking about the future in which environmental, societal and economic considerations are balanced in the pursuit of an improved quality of life.
In this post we will take a closer look at the environmental sustainability – our interaction with the planet. Climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, and deforestation are some of the biggest challenges of our times.
Every year the world adds 51B tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Today, the construction sector in the EU is responsible for over 33% of total waste generation. Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe) resulting from material extraction, manufacturing of construction products, construction and renovation of buildings amount to around 5-12% of total national GHGe. The construction industry will need to adapt to new regulations and is playing a major role in the European Green Deal – of which the main objective is for the EU to become a carbon-neutral and circular economy by 2050.
In March 2020, the European Commission committed itself to come forward with a sustainable built environment strategy. The built environment, which corresponds to everything people live in and around, such as housing, transport infrastructure, services networks or public spaces, requires vast amounts of resources. The stated aim of the strategy will be to increase material efficiency and to reduce climate impacts of the built environment, particularly promoting circularity principles throughout the life cycle of buildings. This strategy will have a major impact on how the AECO industry is operating.
The use of recycled materials as well as digitalisation and access to actionable data will influence this transformation significantly. Furthermore, Building Information Modelling (BIM) will play a key role in the design, construction and operation of green buildings and infrastructure.
Thinkproject’s ambition is to assess and report on our own footprint in 2021 but also work with customers and stakeholders towards the delivery of actionable insights to support high quality buildings and infrastructure with nearly zero environmental impacts that mitigate climate, legislative and energy price escalation risks.
Sustainability across the asset lifecycle is a core part of our strategy and you will be able to get regular updates and insights on this topic on our blog.