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:
- Opening Address
– Emmanuel NORMANT, President Eurogypsum
- Keynote Speech
– Fulvia RAFFAELLI, Head of construction and machinery, DG GROW
- Responsible Sourcing of Raw Materials / PPT Presentation
– Holger LANZ, Vice-President, Industrial Mineral Association (IMA-Europe)
- Performance of Construction Products / PPT Presentation
– Nicholas AVERY, Senior Advisor, Metals for Buildings
- End of Cycle or yet Another Round? / PPT Presentation
– Kristin AERTS, Sustainability Expert, European Tiles & Brick Federation (TBE)
- Smart Machinery for a Sustainable Transition / PPT Presentation
– Alexandre MARCHETTA, President, Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE)
- Reaction & Debate
– Robert KONRAD, Advisor DG ENVIRONMENT, European Commission
- Concluding Remarks
– Antonis ANTONIOU LATOUROS, Head of construction and machinery, DG GROW
The members of the Construction 2050 Alliance look forward to further exploring and clarifying strategic topics for our industry, stay tune to be informed of our next activities.