Switching to circular construction reduces emissions by 75%

The transition to circular building would also be economically profitable.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the construction sector could be reduced by up to 75 percent by 2050. How? Moving to a circular building model, which is still struggling to get off the ground today. But saving 4 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases is a gargantuan goal for an industry that is a major contributor to climate change.
That’s why the new data, contained in the report released by McKinsey in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, is making the rounds at the desks at the top of the industry.

Also because there is not only the ecological side, but also a possibility of economic return. Circular construction, in the true sense of the word, could bring annual profits of up to $46 billion by 2030 and $360 billion by 2050.

Study author Sebastian Reiter explained that “the construction sector is crucial to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the long term. One-third of materials consumption and 26 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions come from here. At the same time, the industry employs 7 percent of people globally and accounts for 13 percent of economic output.”

According to the report, feedstock recycling, carbon capture and storage, and carbon reuse are expected to contribute about 40 percent of this reduction by 2030. The report considers the potential for greenhouse gas reduction and net gain in value for six building materials: cement and concrete, steel, aluminum, plastics, glass and gypsum. Bringing a circular approach to the cement industry is the action with the greatest potential for value creation among materials. The estimated net gain for cement alone is worth $10 billion by 2030 and $122 billion by 2050.

For other materials, however, increasing design aimed at reuse, the use of alternative fuels and recycled materials is imperative and can help transform the industry permanently and sustainably.