Developing circularity in technical building products and solutions
Vasakronan, KONE and Combient Pure have come together to accelerate decarbonisation and the shift to a circular economy in the construction sector. Our joint project will focus on finding strategies to increase the use of reused and recycled materials in buildings, especially in buildings’ technical equipment.
Circularity has a large emission reduction potential in the construction industry
The construction sector is resource and waste intensive and its emissions account for almost 40 % of global GHG emissions today, playing a deciding role in limiting global warming to 1,5 °C.Studies show that the use of recycled and reused materials pose the biggest potential for reducing emissions at scale in the construction value chain - 60% of all construction material related emissions can be reduced by improving construction material recycling and the usage of recycled and reused materials (Hobley et al. 2021).
Of all the elements that make up the building, technical equipment present the third largest emission source after energy and materials, when considering the whole lifecycle of the building. Buildings’ technical equipment ensure a comfortable living space by providing e.g. heating, air conditioning, electricity and the movement of people within the building. Besides production related emissions, the use stage emissions of buildings’ technical equipment are considerable (Ramboll 2020). Finding circular solutions for buildings’ technical equipment will have a significant impact on advancing decarbonization in the building industry.
Both KONE and Vasakronan share the ambition for the decarbonization and sustainable resource use of the construction industry. Circular economy will play a central role in reaching these targets. Vasakronan aims towards a climate neutral value chain by 2030 and by then the company will only use renewable, recycled or reused materials in their construction projects. By 2030 KONE targets a 40% reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions related to its materials and lifetime energy use of products as well as carbon-neutral operations.
Decarbonizing the construction sector requires value chain wide cooperation
New regulations are pushing for the use of low carbon building material and solutions in the Nordics, but legislation and industry standards are still underdeveloped for reused materials. There are few actors on the market processing, offering and taking back materials for reuse and processes are generally not scalable. To allow for a circular economy in the construction sector, there is a need for value chain wide cooperation.
The collaboration between Vasakronan and KONE will promote mutual learning and explore new opportunities to drive and inspire product providers and other value chain actors forward in the circular economy. Especially we want to discover potential strategies and operational models that would allow for circular approaches and would incentivize and support actors to change their operating model towards utilizing recycled and reused materials.
Hobley et al. (2021). Net Zero Challenge: The supply chain opportunity. World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting Group. [online] https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Net_Zero_Challenge_The_Supply_Chain_Opportunity_2021.pdf
Näsänen (2022) Ramboll [online] https://fi.ramboll.com/media/artikkelit/rakentaminen-ja-kiinteistot/talotekniikan-tuotesidonnaiset-paastot