Resource Use

ZWS looks into circular economy construction opportunities

Zero Waste Scotland has commissioned a project to identify circular economy opportunities for the Scottish construction sector.

ZWS looks into circular economy construction opportunities
Together, environmental consultancy firm Eunomia Research & Consulting and Sustainable Global Futures, one of Zero Waste Scotland’s international partners, will work to identify and promote circular economy ideas that can be integrated into the construction sector, while also looking at those construction sub-sectors where integration of these ideas would have the biggest advantages.

This research has been commissioned as part of Zero Waste Scotland’s push to reduce Scottish construction waste, which currently accounts for around 44 per cent of all of Scotland’s waste, equating to four million tonnes of waste produced by nearly 50,000 construction enterprises in 2014.

As part of the research, Eunomia will undertake a comprehensive evaluation of planned construction, demolition and refurbishment projects in Scotland between now and 2020 in order to identify areas of priority. These evaluations will include involving a range of stakeholders from public and private-sector building and infrastructure developments.

Project will deliver ‘comprehensive picture’ of circular opportunities

Speaking about the new partnership, Charlie Devine, Head of Resource Management at Zero Waste Scotland said: “This is an ambitious project, which could really help shape the future of construction in Scotland. Construction has a key part to play in making circular economy approaches the norm within industry sectors, and this research will help us focus our efforts on areas that would most benefit from a circular approach.

“It’s the first time we will have had a really comprehensive picture of where circular economy opportunities exist in construction, which will help us work better with construction businesses to maximise profits and minimise environmental impact at the same time.”

Eunomia’s Senior Consultant and Waste Construction Expert Dan Whittaker added: “Zero Waste Scotland, together with our support, is looking for high impact opportunities that are relevant to the Scottish market, and that look to be commercially promising. This will inform the future work of the Zero Waste Scotland’s construction programme in order to ensure that its activities are prioritised in a manner likely to have the most powerful effect in making the sector more circular.”

The project follows the creation of a free waste prevention support programme by Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Scotland programme for Scottish construction businesses to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) identify ways to reduce their waste and save money. The support will be delivered by environmental consultancy, Resource Futures.

Funds of up to £100,000 have also been made available to support the physical implementation of waste prevention measures in the construction and commercial and industrial sectors. This funding can be used for purposes including purchasing bins, balers and shredders, improved signage, staff training or monitoring equipment.

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