ERA event spotlights low-carbon and circular construction

By Belinda Smart07 April 2021

On 31 March, the European Rental Association (ERA) held a high-level sustainability webinar – ‘Building a sustainable future – Transitioning towards a circular and low-carbon construction sector’ – with experts from European policy-making and Europe’s construction sector.

The first panel, moderated by ERA Manager Carole Bachmann, looked at the policy aspects of construction as a priority sector for promoting circular principles and reducing emissions.

Iskra Mihaylova MEP said that the construction sector is the priority sector for reducing carbon emissions in the context of the European Green Deal, adding that is has the economic weight and technology to drive the Green Recovery.

Philippe Moseley (Policy Officer - Sustainable Industrial Policy and Construction, European Commission) talked about construction as a focus sector of the Circular Economy Action Plan, with the biggest potential for circularity. He continued to say that rental can be a more sustainable business model because it can make the use of equipment more efficient.

Audrey Nugent (Head of Advocacy, World Green Building Council) discussed the need for more ambitious targets in the European Green Deal. She said that the construction sector should focus on climate action, health and wellbeing, and resources and circularity.

The second panel brought the construction industry perspective on transitioning towards a circular and low-carbon construction sector. It was moderated by Murray Pollock from International Rental News and featured representatives from across Europe’s construction sector and supply chain.

Sue Arundale (Director, Technical and Environmental Affairs, European Construction Industry Federation) said that the construction industry was clearly committed to sustainability and has ambitious goals, but faces a number of regulatory barriers. She further said that construction companies engage with suppliers to become more resource efficient.

Peter Jordansson (Senior Vice President of Purchasing, Volvo Construction Equipment) discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that it had opened our eyes to the need for change and given greater impetus to the drive towards sustainability in the construction sector.

Douglas McLuckie (Managing Director of Environment, Social & Governance, Ashtead Group) said that the rental industry has a strong voice with OEMs in bringing new and innovative technologies to the market that support sustainability.

Michel Petitjean (Secretary General, ERA) talked about how ERA creates value for the industry by supporting the national rental associations and rental companies by developing tools for sustainabi, such as the ERA Sustainable Supplier Framework and ERA Equipment CO2 Calculator.

The event also featured a presentation of the ERA Equipment CO2 Calculator, an independent and free-to-use online tool to enable equipment stakeholders to make more sustainable choices when using construction equipment.

Watch the event in full here:

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