Initiative launched by sector to examine key issues affecting sustainable construction.
A high level debate on sustainable construction featuring key stakeholders at EU level was held as the European concrete sector came together at the end of May to launch The Concrete Initiative. According to the initiative, construction is the largest single economic activity and the greatest industrial employer in Europe with some 20 million jobs.
The concrete industry as a whole employs some 550,000 people in the EU, generating approximately €65,0oo added value per employed capita per annum. Bearing this in mind, the launch event for the Concrete Initiative focused on a debate with EU stakeholders on key issues including the regulatory framework which is required to achieve Europe’s goals, as well as the need for local resources, local manufacturing and a local market.
The initiative also called for EU legislation to remain material neutral. This followed the publication of a new European Commission Communication entitled A New EU Forest Strategy for Forests and the Forest-based Sector.
The concrete lnitiative called the communication misleading in the way it promotes the use of wood as a sustainable construction material. According to the initiative, the EU study shows a general call to favour wood over other building materials, without underpinning such a call by robust analysis that compares different building solutions over the whole life cycle of a building.
The Concrete lnitiative hopes to continue to engage with EU authorities on how to stimulate construction through policy measures and standards that generate growth and innovation in a more sustainable way. The concrete Initiative gathers together the cement and concrete sectors. It is composed of CEMBUREAU (the European Cement Association) BiBM (the European rederation of Precast Concrete) and ERMCO (the European Ready-Mixed Concrete Organization).