WorldGBC launches a programme to advance circular built environments

Circularity Accelerator is a global programme to accelerate the adoption of circular economy and resource efficiency principles in building and construction.

World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) and its network of over 70 Green Building Councils are launching Circularity Accelerator — a global programme to accelerate the adoption of circular economy and resource efficiency principles in the building and construction sector.

According to a report released by the United Nations (UN), there’s a 50% chance of exceeding 1.5°C of global heating in the next five years. Between the UN Climate Summit of COP21 in Paris and COP26 in Glasgow, the global economy consumed 70% more raw materials than the Earth can safely replenish.

“The impact of this resource use — associated GHG emissions and pollution and plunging biodiversity — accelerates climate change and the decline of life-sustaining ecosystem services such as the maintenance of clean water and productive soils. These impacts unequally affect the most vulnerable communities and economies around the world. But that can and must change,” says Cristina Gamboa, CEO, WorldGBC.

To tackle the climate and resource impact of the built environment and to support the ambitions of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, WorldGBC’s Circularity Accelerator convenes members to work towards the circularity and resource efficiency goals:

– 2030 goal: The sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources within the built environment, achieving zero waste to landfill targets and working towards a built environment with net zero whole life resource depletion

– 2050 goal: A built environment with net zero whole life resource depletion, working towards the restoration of resources and natural systems within a thriving circular economy.

Working with leading businesses and policymakers including the three Circularity Accelerator’s Global Partners — Brightworks, Foster + Partners and Ramboll — this programme will serve as a platform for raising and aligning ambition across the building and construction industry, says the organization.

The Circularity Accelerator is developing the following projects for 2022 to create awareness and educate the industry on the opportunities in a more resource-efficient built environment:

  • A ‘state of the market’ report identifying the key challenges and opportunities for circular built environments. The report is also supported by WSP as a Technical Partner
  • A global awareness campaign to increase the adoption of circularity and resource efficiency principles including training events, publications and campaign tool kits for Green Building Councils and partners

“Moving the built environment from a supply chain to a supply circle will take systemic change and an unprecedented amount of collaboration. It is time to take immediate action in executing circular strategies and scale localized models for circularity into regional and global circular economies, one project and relationship at a time. Brightworks Sustainability is proud to join the WorldGBC’s Circularity Accelerator to showcase the work of our visionary clients and collaborators as part of this effort,” says Jack Dinning, Materials Specialist Project Manager, Brightworks Sustainability.