e-SAFE at the CCRI’s Inaugural Conference: Building a Sustainable Future through Circular Economy

First CCRI Conference in Brussels!  

The Circular Cities and Regions Initiative held its first General Conference on November 8th, 2023, marking a significant milestone in advancing Europe's commitment to a circular economy. The conference showcased the dynamic efforts of cities, regions, and their partners in driving the circular transition and fostering social innovation, offering a wealth of insights for e-SAFE's endeavours in constructing low-emission buildings and sustainable building renovations. 

The Conference has been a compelling event, providing our project partners with invaluable suggestions and examples on how to adopt circular solutions in the building sector 

Circular Solutions for Sustainable Buildings: Insights from the Conference  

During the 1st session, Jocelyn Bleriot from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation emphasised the importance of dialogue between jurisdictions, cities, and national governments to scale up circular initiatives, also shedding light on the benefits of circular economy in building renovations.  

Ioannis Bakas from the European Environment Agency further delved into the potential of circularity in building renovations. He addressed the challenges and opportunities inherent in reducing material consumption and delaying demolitions. Bakas's message was clear: circular solutions should not be confined to new buildings but should instead inspire innovative approaches to integrate them into existing structures. 



Coupling Circularity with Climate Action 

Numerous speakers delved into the connection between circularity and climate action, with one standout being the Uppsala Municipality's dedication to become a climate-positive welfare city. Their approach, centered around collaboration, innovation, and sustainable procurement, showcased a commitment to the circular transformation, particularly in the realm of construction. 

At the heart of Uppsala's ambitions lies the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP), a strategy that outlines specific measures related to the city’s transformative ambitions. Notably, the plan includes several interesting measures to be implemented within the building sector, such as stringent procurement requirements emphasising the preservation and reuse of materials, spanning design, construction, and conversion phases. Additionally, it sets forth demands to minimise waste materials during both construction and remodelling processes. 

What was in it for e-SAFE?  

The CCRI's inaugural conference profoundly resonated with e-SAFE's mission to reduce material consumption and champion sustainable building practices. It also served as an opportunity to fully appreciate the critical importance of engaging stakeholders within the sustainable building ecosystem, aligning seamlessly with the overarching objectives of the circular economy. 

The event left e-SAFE partners profoundly inspired, offering valuable insights for advancing sustainable building practices within the broader context of Europe's circular transition. The lessons learned will be etched into our endeavors, shaping both present and future initiatives aimed at transforming building renovations 

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