THE CHALLENGE

Construction is one of the most important economic sectors in Canada, generating more than $150 billion in GDP in 2022. Simultaneously, Canada’s construction sector generates more than 4 million tonnes of waste per year – with much of the value from these waste materials and resources currently being lost from Canada’s economy at end of life.

THE OPPORTUNITY

A circular built environment for Canada can generate multiple benefits, including reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions; improving the resiliency of supply chains; creating new economic, investment, and employment opportunities; enhancing natural ecosystems and urban green spaces; and providing greater equity and related social benefits.

THE ACTION

CELC’s work in this sector goes beyond a focus on construction waste to encompass the entire built environment and real estate ecosystem in Canada, linking existing efforts together and going deeper on emerging topics that require further research and investigation. This work stream is looking to better define the business case for advancing the circular built environment in Canada to encourage further investment and innovation, including in circular design, material innovation, deconstruction and resource recovery, critical infrastructure, improved information and data (including on embodied carbon of products and materials), and procurement.

RESOURCES

  • Guest Blog
  • Dec 1, 2023

Circular strategies can help reduce carbon emissions from office buildings

Carbon emissions are typically associated with cars and heavy industry. But the buildings we live and work in also contribute…

  • Blog
  • Oct 26, 2021

The circular economy & Canada’s built environment

The construction sector is the largest consumer of raw materials and energy globally, and also the largest contributor to the…