WorldGBC launches Circular Built Environment Playbook

The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) and its network of over 75 Green Building Councils are launching the Circular Built Environment Playbook.The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) and its network of over 75 Green Building Councils are launching the Circular Built Environment Playbook. The organisation claims this is ‘a critical guide for the building and construction sector around the world to accelerate the adoption of circular economy and resource efficiency principles’.

The WorldGBC believes that the principles of the circular economy can help us to achieve global climate targets: from minimising the extraction of materials and using more efficient designs, to optimising nature-based solutions and closing material loops at the end of a building’s lifecycle. This report presents strategies for the built environment to reduce its resource consumption and features market leadership and solutions from across WorldGBC’s global network.

The report claims that the use and waste of materials and products is trending in a dangerously unsustainable direction, with latest estimates showing that the world is only 7.2 percent circular, meaning over 90 percent of everything we make is discarded after use. Furthermore, in 2022, a year’s worth of biological resources were used in just seven months — that means currently we consume 75 percent more than the earth is able to replenish each year. With our cities producing an estimated 70 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions, and consuming almost half the resources extracted globally, our sector holds a significant portion of the responsibility.

In ‘The Circular Built Environment Playbook’ WorldGBC acknowledges the essential role of the circular economy in tackling the global environmental crisis; whilst providing an unparalleled opportunity to regenerate resources and accelerate socio-economic development.

Circularity is fundamental for humanity to thrive alongside the natural environment, and within planetary boundaries. Through this playbook we hope to make the complex principles of the circular economy easy to understand for every actor in the built environment. We have mapped out more than 20 strategies of implementing circular design, construction and operation for the built environment, illustrated with best practice case studies from all over the world.

All stakeholders must be ‘circular ready’ and lead the sector towards circularity becoming the new business-as-usual. Every actor in the building and construction supply chain must take action and help the transition — cross-sector collaboration will be key to overcome barriers towards a circular future. WorldGBC’s network aspires to see leadership from all governments and businesses. A circular economy is an essential part of the sustainability solution providing a foundation for future.