The call for greener construction products


A report by the European Parliament (EP) on the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) calls for an ambitious revision of the regulation. The EP is moving towards clarifying what can be defined as green construction products and has now directly integrated EU environmental policies into the construction sector legislation.

The EP has approved a report calling for minimum performance requirements that construction products will need to meet before they are put on the EU market. The resolution was adopted with 686 votes in favour (four against, five abstentions).

Taking matters further

Furthermore, MEPs are calling on the European Commission to enhance the current CPR regulation with requirements for environment, health, and safety. These stricter requirements are intended to make construction products and buildings more sustainable.

However, there are calls for more action to be taken. Michael Neaves, programme manager of the Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS), said: “The European Commission must raise the bar for construction products, and exclude the worst performers from the market. A standards-only approach will not guarantee progress, and stronger policy tools are needed to achieve this. Introducing a framework for direct EU information and performance requirements for all aspects is the only way to meet the EU climate law targets and give Europe a first-mover advantage.”

Meanwhile, Gonzalo Sánchez, policy officer at EEB, welcomed the EP’s positive step on green construction products: “EU construction product policy has great potential to create a market of products that help make our built environment more sustainable, supported by strong market surveillance and delivering zero carbon emissions in the construction sector to meet the EU’s 2050 environmental target. The market is currently dominated by highly impactful products, and direct integration of EU environmental policies into construction sector legislation is long overdue, so this is an important step towards policy in support of a sustainable built environment.”

The Green Deal

The European Green Deal, established in December 2019, is the European Commission’s programme to provide steps towards the green transition. The Deal aims to make Europe the first carbon-neutral continent and was followed by the Circular Economy Action Plan.

What has still to be agreed is what construction products are going to make the green transition possible and whether some building materials should be phased out.

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CEMNET, 19 March 2021