COP27: Pathways to sustainable building markets through credible, lifecycle-based information
This week IVL and the subsidiary EPD International are organizing a side event at the UN Climate Conference, COP27, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The event will demonstrate how life cycle assessment and product declarations can be used in the construction sector to achieve emission targets in Egypt, the Middle East, and North Africa.
"We will discuss strategies, opportunities, challenges, and ways forward to implement life cycle assessment in the region's markets. There is an increasing need and demand for information that describes the environmental impact of products and services objectively and transparently, and we see that EPDs will play an increasingly important role as countries set requirements for the total climate impact of buildings", says Elin Eriksson, business developer at IVL and chairman of the board of EPD International.
The buildings and construction sector accounts for almost 40 percent of global energy-related emissions of greenhouse gases, and a large share of global resource extraction. Hence, the way we build and use our buildings must change if we are to reach the climate change mitigation targets set out in the Paris Agreement and to reduce burdens associated with the construction of buildings.
Adopting a life cycle thinking approach for the built environment allows decision-makers to assess burdens and benefits associated with construction through its life cycle, including its supply chain, and to avoid solutions that shift burdens along the life cycle. In fact, most companies' total carbon emissions are created by their supply chains, either upstream or downstream, and not the processing facility.
"The life cycle perspective is key to improving buildings' overall carbon performance. Today, all stakeholders along the life cycle of the building and construction industry, such as financers, manufacturers, constructors, real estate agencies and users, want to reduce the climate footprint. This is an important driving force for finding climate-smart production methods", says Elin Eriksson.
In the Nordic countries, the demand for third-party verified environmental product declarations, so-called EPDs, has increased rapidly in recent years, especially in the construction industry. The Swedish database increased by 200 percent in the years 2019-2021 and now contains over 3,600 registered EPDs. In the Middle East and North Africa, the life cycle perspective is still relatively new in the construction sector.
The COP27 side event is organized together with the Egyptian license holder for EPD and the building materials industry in the Middle East and North Africa.
"Even though the EPD Egypt has only existed for a few years, the pace is high, and EPD and climate declarations will contribute to the industry's systematic work to reduce the sector's climate impact going forward", says Sebastiaan Stiller, CEO of EPD International.
There are several challenges and opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa. In addition to the need for LCA competence, one of the main pillars of conducting a life cycle analysis is proper data quality. One issue discussed at the seminar is how the process of creating and sharing transparent LCA data for buildings can be improved and accelerated.
"We will also discuss other issues about how we can facilitate the development of LCAs in Egypt and other countries in the region. We want to emphasize the possibilities of introducing policies based on the life cycle perspective and, in the long term, require a lower climate footprint and more circular products", says Elin Eriksson.
The side event will be held on Wednesday, November 16, more information about time and place can be found here Opens in new window., and on the UNFCCC website External link, opens in new window..
For more information, please contact:
Elin Eriksson, firstname.lastname@example.org, +46 (0)10-788 68 14
Sebastiaan Stiller, email@example.com, tel. +46 (0)73 879 85 51
EPD – Environmental Product Declaration
Environmental product declarations, so-called EPDs, are an information system that has been prepared in accordance with recognized European and international standards and objectively describe the environmental impact of products and services from a life cycle perspective. Read more about EPD International at environdec.com External link, opens in new window.