Clean and Healthy Construction

Insights from the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen: Master Class and Market Dialogue for Clean and Healthy Construction.

Why clean construction?

Kevin Austin, Executive Director at C40 opened the event by presenting the hard facts on why clean construction needs to be on everyone’s agenda: “Roughly 60% of buildings that will exist in 2050 are yet to be built. This means constructing a city the size of Copenhagen (1.5 million people) per week until 2050”, he stated. Some of the most effective ways to lower the embodied carbon of buildings and the emissions on construction sites have been explored in the recent C40 report: Buildings and Infrastructure Consumption Emissions In Focus. 

What have we learned so far?

Cities have purchasing power, which can be used strategically to drive targets for Clean Construction. More cites are realizing the potential in green public procurement (GPP), but not fully utilizing this potential due to budget restrictions, questions around market readiness and lack of supporting policies and standards. The following key insights emerged from the master class:

  • Oslo has launched a new procurement policy and strategy to help get all construction work to zero-emission by 2030. The city has initiated the first zero-emission construction site, a pilot right outside the Oslo Climate Agency. Heidi Sørensen, Director of Oslo Climate Agency, explained that the early engagement with the industry and innovative procurement initiatives are key to success and that the project proved “not to be too difficult” once the city found the industry’s perception of risk and addressed it.
  • The city of Copenhagen, Host of the C40 Mayors Summit, has also laid out plans to further reduce carbon emissions. Jørgen Abildgaard, Executive Climate Program Director City of Copenhagen, explained how the City of Copenhagen’s ambition is to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital by 2025, where construction has one of the highest potentials for carbon savings. Moreover, Copenhagen is joining forces with Oslo and Stockholm on procuring for low-emission construction to uncover the benefits of scaling demand and sending a clear signal to the market. The three Nordic cities have initiated a joint statement, and have also collaborated on a cross-national tender for non-road mobile machinery.
  • The global competition for innovative carbon-free and resilient urban projects “Reinventing Cities”, where projects do not go to the highest bidder, but instead to the highest quality projects. 14 cities joined the competition and committed to this evaluation process, which is “opening the pathway for other projects, emphasising the need for more larger scale experiments and pilots”,  explained Helene Chartier, Head of Zero Carbon Development at C40.
  • More use of timber in construction as a key solution to reduce carbon in construction. For example, timber is lighter, which means fewer deliveries at construction sites and by utilising prefabrication the buildings go to market quicker.

Are visions, learnings and targets for Clean Construction translating into market opportunities?

The discussions at the master class were opened by the Deputy Mayor of Copenhagen, Ninna Hedeager Olsen, who emphasized the importance of collaboration with the private sector on driving development in the sector. The following insights emerged:

  • Throughout the last three years, the city of Oslo has been in regular dialogue with the market in order to shape their procurement strategy and criteria. As a result, Espen Nicolaysen, Head of the sustainability for the procurement department in the City of Oslo, announced that Oslo city council has 9 October 2019 agreed to change the award criteria, applying 30% weighing in environmental criteria, 50% of which is zero-emission non-road mobile machines (NRMM).
  • Amsterdam is taking a more strategic and collaborative approach to procurement in their strategy and have extended projects to 8 years in order to build long term relationships. This allows buyers to set minimum criteria for contractors on carbon reductions and then increase targets throughout the contract length. Amsterdam is joining forces with Copenhagen, Oslo, and 4 other cities through the programmes Big Buyers Initiative and Clean Construction to drive zero-emission construction sites through joint GPP and the next step is for the city of Amsterdam is to agree who will pay initial investments to initiate pilots.
  • The solutions exist and are being developed. The barriers seem to continue to lie in the scaling of solutions. Issues like infrastructure, energy supply, cost of ownership were mentioned and continue to pose challenges, and the views were very divided when it came to the role of regulation, and whether this really should pose a barrier for scaling. But one conclusion is clear to everyone – a joint approach is necessary.
  • When it comes to construction and supply and demand, it is not a simple buyers and supplier relationship – multiple parties are involved and need to be aligned in order to deliver emission reduction targets on the construction sites as well as the building.

Relevant reports mentioned during the two events:

 
Location
Denmark
Related Goal
Goal 2: Create green, resilient cities
Articles you may be interested in
In our community
Strengthening community ties and supporting each other through the COVID-19 ...
Strengthening community ties and supporting each other through the COVID-19 crisis
Opinion
The Corona canvas: How to deal with the crisis as a founder
Marc Mogalle & Anje Kluth Business Buddies & EIT Climate-KIC
The Corona canvas: How to deal with the crisis as a founder
In The News
Lilium completes funding round worth over €224 million

EIT Climate-KIC supported Lilium, a Munich-based aviation company developing...

Lilium completes funding round worth over €224 million
In The News
TWAICE raises €11 million series A to power internationalisation efforts and...

EIT Climate-KIC supported TWAICE, a Munich-based battery specialist, has...

TWAICE raises €11 million series A to power internationalisation efforts and scaling
In our community
Madrid: A city turning eco-fictions into eco-futures through systems innovat...
Madrid: A city turning eco-fictions into eco-futures through systems innovation
In The News
EIT Community shines on Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list

Eight EIT Climate-KIC innovators are featured in the prestigious...

EIT Community shines on Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list
Opinion
Trees as infrastructure: Part two
Dark Matter
Trees as infrastructure: Part two
Opinion
Trees as infrastructure: Part one
Dark Matter
Trees as infrastructure: Part one
Opinion
Could COVID-19 usher in massive systemic change?
EIT Climate-KIC Italy
Could COVID-19 usher in massive systemic change?
Opinion
Working during corona lockdown: EIT Climate-KIC Italy sets an example
EIT Climate-KIC Italy
Working during corona lockdown: EIT Climate-KIC Italy sets an example
Innovation Spotlight
How to improve building energy performance without up-front capital

Air-conditioning equipment, office furniture, lighting systems and even floor coverings are being leased, so why can’t a...

How to improve building energy performance without up-front capital
In The News
EU Taxonomy shows the way to net zero by 2050

The Technical Expert Group (TEG) on Sustainable Finance has...

EU Taxonomy shows the way to net zero by 2050
In The News
Regine Kreitz new EIT Climate-KIC Director of Marketing and Communications

Regine Kreitz will join EIT Climate-KIC, the European Union’s...

Regine Kreitz new EIT Climate-KIC Director of Marketing and Communications
In The News
KICs tackling water scarcity in Southern Europe

How EIT and KICs are working to address one...

KICs tackling water scarcity in Southern Europe
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC and partners launch Massive Open Online Course on e-waste

EIT Climate-KIC, together with its partners the UN, the...

EIT Climate-KIC and partners launch Massive Open Online Course on e-waste
In The News
Five EIT Climate-KIC innovators featured in Global Cleantech 100

Five EIT Climate-KIC supported innovative ventures included in the...

Five EIT Climate-KIC innovators featured in Global Cleantech 100
In The News
The journey to zero-emissions transport – part three

The transport sector already accounts for a quarter of...

The journey to zero-emissions transport – part three
In The News
The journey to zero-emissions transport – part two

The transport sector already accounts for a quarter of...

The journey to zero-emissions transport – part two
In The News
The journey to zero-emissions transport – part one

The transport sector already accounts for a quarter of...

The journey to zero-emissions transport – part one
In The News
Malaysia and Estonia win Climathon Global Awards at ChangeNOW summit

The city of Penang, Malaysia, and a team of...

Malaysia and Estonia win Climathon Global Awards at ChangeNOW summit
Opinion
Redesigning venture capital (part III): A hypothesis
Dominic Hofstetter Transformation Capital, EIT Climate-KIC
Redesigning venture capital (part III): A hypothesis
Opinion
The Long Time
Beatrice Pembroke & Ella Saltmarshe Co-founders, The Long Time Project
The Long Time
In our community
Mariana Mazzucato on big-picture, high-ambition innovation missions
Mariana Mazzucato on big-picture, high-ambition innovation missions
In The News
Circular Cars Initiative launched at WEF Davos

The Circular Cars Initiative (CCI), supported by EIT Climate-KIC,...

Circular Cars Initiative launched at WEF Davos
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC CEO selected as a top expert to advise the European Commission

Yesterday, the European Commission announced EIT Climate-KIC CEO Kirsten...

EIT Climate-KIC CEO selected as a top expert to advise the European Commission
In our community
Net zero requires just, inclusive and radical transformations
Net zero requires just, inclusive and radical transformations
In Detail
New report: Is Germany ready for the future?

E3G´s new report “Is Germany ready for the future? The case for action in a climate-changed world.”, supported by EIT Climate-KIC, finds that Germany...

New report: Is Germany ready for the future?
Opinion
Redesigning venture capital (part II): A blueprint
Dominic Hofstetter Transformation Capital, EIT Climate-KIC
Redesigning venture capital (part II): A blueprint
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC’s work in Slovenia

Last November, the Slovenian parliament passed a motion to...

EIT Climate-KIC’s work in Slovenia
In The News
Slovenia adopts EIT Climate-KIC Circular, Regenerative Economies Deep Demonstr...

The Slovenian parliament passed a motion to adopt an...

Slovenia adopts EIT Climate-KIC Circular, Regenerative Economies Deep Demonstration