Infrastructure consumes around 60% of the world’s materials and contributes around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions through construction alone. Better circularity in infrastructure has clear potential to bring about long-term impacts in terms of climate change mitigation and resource scarcity.
To increase understanding and improve the consideration of circular infrastructure, the GI Hub has formed a Circular Economy in Infrastructure (CEI) Action Group that includes global, senior leaders in circular economy and infrastructure across the public and private sector.
At the CEI Action Groups first meeting, members exchanged ideas and identified short-term actions to assist the implementation of transition pathways in circular infrastructure.
These pathways were outlined in GI Hub’s paper Advancing the circular economy through infrastructure which explores a data analysis on potential impacts to mitigate climate change and resource scarcity with a focus on infrastructure’s embodied and operational emissions.
The CEI Action Group has prioritised the development of following short-term actions:
- Create a vision for circular infrastructure: high-level summary of what circular economy means for infrastructure
- Develop a systems diagram: schematic of the infrastructure ‘system of systems’ to inform input/output and serve as the basis for further analysis
- Produce material flows mapping: map material flows and other input/outputs to the ‘system of systems’ diagram
- Build a data pool: gather data evidence on potential benefits, targets and best practice
- Collate a compendium of impactful opportunities: identify opportunities that create the most impact for circular infrastructure.
The GI Hub will be engaging with members of the CEI Action Group to identify collaborative initiatives that deliver the above actions.
Key results from circular infrastructure survey
Earlier this year the GI Hub partnered with Circular Economy Leadership Canada on a global Circular Infrastructure Survey. Participants included the public and private sector. The survey aimed to inform future work on enabling pathways to circular infrastructure and help raise awareness of the level of maturity of circular infrastructure and potential opportunities that are being pursued within the infrastructure ecosystem.
After some initial analysis, we can share the following key results from the survey:
- There is a low level of understanding of circular infrastructure in the industry – an average rating of 4/10
- 56% of survey respondents were not aware of any circularity considerations infrastructure development cycle in their organisation
- 26% of respondents were able to identify considerations of circularity in design, and 18% in procurement in their organisation.
If you or your organisation is interested in getting involved with the Action Group, contact GI Hub’s Senior Policy Officer, Hala Hubraq at firstname.lastname@example.org.