Enhanced co-operation on the path towards Zero Emission Construction Sites

Around 50 experts with the common vision of transforming construction sites into zero emission sites came together in Nordhavn, Copenhagen on 7 March. The half-day workshop organized by EIT Climate-KIC Nordic and the City of Copenhagen had a specific focus on transforming non-road machinery on construction- and civil working sites into fossil- or emission free solutions. 

Towards Zero Emission Construction Sites

As the urban population increases, so is the demand for new construction sites in urban areas in the Nordics and beyond. Construction sites are not only big contributors to COemissions, they also have a major effect on air quality in cities due to other harmful pollutants. Transforming overall construction sites into zero emission sites can therefore have major environmental- and climate benefits as well as the positive effect of enhanced air quality in cities.

Funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers and run by EIT Climate-KIC Nordic, the Zero Emission Construction Sites project looks into how construction sites can be transformed into zero emission sites, thus helping to pave the way towards the goal of achieving carbon neutral cities. Through a dialogue-based approach, the Zero Emission Construction Sites project is seeking solutions to these issues in close collaboration with the Nordic cities of Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki.

“There is great potential to become better and to learn from each other, and if we are to succeed in finding solutions to the world’s current climate problems, we need to co-operate with each other”

said Ninna Hedeager Olsen, Technical and Environmental Mayor of the City of Copenhagen, in her welcoming words at the workshop. However, the transformation is not without complexities, as the whole value chain of construction sites need to be considered in the process, including the heavy machinery on site, transport and the construction materials used.

With this in mind, the workshop in Copenhagen gathered entrepreneurs, advisors, manufacturers, city officials, municipalities, researchers and development organisations with the objective to foster and further the dialogue on the path towards emission free construction sites.  

“It will take a joint effort to reach the goal of emission free construction sites, therefore engaging in a dialogue with all stakeholders along the value chain is crucial. Today’s workshop was a very good start on the journey and the positive mindset at the workshop has left us optimistic about the outlook.”

– Anders Vestergaard Jensen, Project Manager, EIT Climate-KIC

The idea for the workshop was inspired by examples of buyers in the cities of Oslo and Trondheim, who are increasingly collaborating with the private sector in the construction industry to deliver solutions. By consulting with the whole value chain, they are ultimately procuring better and setting tender requirements that match the market readiness for innovation.

Taking the lead from the City of Oslo

Public procurement is a key element in driving the transformation for emission free construction sites forward, an insight the frontrunner City of Oslo has been focusing on for several years. Through their forward-looking and innovative procurement process, Oslo has managed to reduce emissions at construction sites while simultaneously encouraging technological changes in the market.

Together with DNV GL and other Norwegian actors, the City of Oslo co-created a guidebook for fossil- and emission-free building sites, a “Guide to arranging fossil- and emission-free solutions on building sites”, which provides insights into how emission free construction sites differ from sites using conventional methods.

Need for enhanced market awareness

Courtesy of STARK and Wacker Neuson, emission free machinery such as loading machines, plate vibrators and rammers were on display both in front and inside the venue in Nordhavn. These examples show that the market has already started delivering the heavy machinery required to fulfil the requirements of emission free construction sites, but it is important to make these solutions visible and accessible, so customers know to ask for these solutions on their construction sites.

“From the two dialogues in the workshop we gained valuable input to both the future work for the political agenda as well as how to work together with the market to find the right solutions.”

– Claus Wilhelmsen, Environmental Planner, City of Copenhagen.

Procurement can be used as a strategic lever, but we need more volume to drive demand and investment in the market. While a half-day workshop hardly is enough time to provide solutions to the complex task of transforming construction sites into emission free sites, the workshop provided an excellent platform for enhancing the co-operation between stakeholders in the Nordics. But, the workshop in Copenhagen is just the beginning. 

Based on the input and learnings, we want to continue to build on the format and repeat it again and again to mobilize buyers as well as suppliers, which we believe will help drive systemic change in the construction industry towards using emission free- and fossil free alternatives.

– Isabella Hofmann Frisch, Project Coordinator, EIT Climate-KIC

For more information on the Emission Free Construction Sites project, please contact:

Anders Vestergaard Jensen, Project Manager
anders.vestergaard-jensen@climate-kic.org

Isabella Hofmann Frisch, Project Coordinator
isabella.hofmann-frisch@climate-kic.org

 
Location
Denmark
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