Held on 1 and 2 February this week in San Sebastian (Spain), the 5th International Circular Economy Meeting organised by the locality of Gipuzkoa in the Basque country has for ambition to keep the debate going on how to accelerate the change for a sustainable future.
In this edition, international, European, national, and local experts discussed the current situation in the field of circular economy uptake in the society, with a strong sectorial perspective. Several roundtables were indeed organised in order to examine in depth some of the main strategies that are being followed at national, European and international level in important sectors such as construction, textile, tourism, consumer goods and food, among others.
EBC Secretary General was invited to the thematic panel dedicated to circular economy and construction titled “The role of the construction sector in the development of sustainable cities”, next to the Gipuzkoa Association of entrepreneurs, the Green Building Council Spain or the private research centre Tecnalia, among others.
At this occasion, EBC reminded the audience that although not wasting material, reusing and repairing, integrating sustainable products, improving energy efficiency, and training young people are already daily activities of construction SMEs and crafts, they are committed to look for improvements, considering their awareness of the impact of the whole construction sector on the environment.
He explained the difficult balancing exercise between the regulatory stability, clarity of rules and low administrative burden needed by SMEs to thrive and contribute to the decarbonisation efforts, and a greening process that is fuelled by performance indicators, data collection and sustainability reporting, among other activities that consume a lot of human and financial resources, which by nature are very limited in SMEs.
EBC will keep monitoring the different legislative processes and initiatives aiming at improving the sustainability records in the sector and looks forward to engaging with stakeholders at all levels on the topic.