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Foreword

In a world where resources are becoming more and more scarce, the European Union needs to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by becoming a resource efficient economy.
Buildings use a significant share of our resources in materials, energy, water and land, and at the end of their lives they make up a third of all waste; therefore they play an important part in this transition. If we want the European building sector to become more competitive and more viable in the future, we need to attain higher resource efficiency levels. The potential to make savings in both costs and materials and to reduce the impact on the environment in the buildings sector is an important one.
There is scope for greater resource efficiency at all the stages in the life-cycle of a building, from manufacturing of bricks and blocks, cement, insulating and roofing materials, the construction process itself, the day-to-day use of the building, its renovation and finally to waste management. But for this we need to move from today's linear models where resources are extracted, used, then thrown away, to circular models, where they are used again and again – by repairing, recycling, re-manufacturing, or re-using them - making waste a thing of the past.
To support and facilitate the transition process, the European Commission is preparing a Communication on Resource Efficiency Opportunities in the Building Sector. The objective of this initiative is to reduce the environmental impact of buildings while at the same time improving the competitiveness of the construction sector.
As The Concrete Initiative clearly shows sustainability and business solutions can go hand‑in‑hand. I welcome your contribution towards a more resource-efficient and hence sustainable future for Europe.

Signature-Potocnik

Janez Potočnik
European Commissioner for Environment

Tags: resource efficiency, whole-life performance

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