With the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), we set out the business case for pursuing circularity in the built environment. 

Consuming over half the world’s virgin resources and accounting for nearly 40% of global carbon emissions and solid waste streams, the construction sector needs urgently to implement low-carbon solutions.

In 2021, we authored a report with the WBCSD to underscore the business value of a circular economy in the construction sector. 

Circular building solutions drive real economic value. For instance, through reductions in energy costs and increased asset values, circular buildings can have positive indirect effects on local communities and economies in addition to reducing carbon emissions. 

“We are witnessing the early signs of an exciting new phase for the global construction industry – by including the value of circular solutions into the financial business cases of building projects, we can start to quantify the economic benefits and drive decision-making to embrace the true value of the circular economy”, says Roland Hunziker, Director, Sustainable Buildings & Cities at WBCSD. 

The report sets out economic, environmental and social benefits of the business case for adopting circular principles, through a literature review, global survey, and several case studies. It cautions that more quantitative data is needed to bring circular economy practices firmly into the mainstream of the construction sector. 

“The construction industry is struggling to define, generate, and capture the associated value from circular approaches, and a clear learning curve is required from the industry,” says Phil Kelly, Director for Sustainable Solutions at Ramboll.

Delivering value to clients

Highlighted projects with key clients in 2021