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Decarbonization of the construction industry will not be possible without reducing the carbon footprint of construction products – says Ewa Kosmala at the Building Trends 2022 conference

“Manufacturers of construction products around the world are currently focused on innovation and the drive for making products with a reduced carbon footprint. This can be achieved through changes in production or raw materials. Our goal is to reach full decarbonization by 2050. To this end, we must reduce the carbon footprint of our products already at the cradle-to-gate phase (i.e. from the moment of producing raw materials, to making the product, to taking it to the “gate” of the finished-product factory). At this point, it should be noted that the embodied carbon footprint accounts for about 11% of the total carbon footprint – the rest is the operational carbon footprint. In turn, in the case of NF15-standard buildings, as well as in passive construction, studies show that embodied carbon is as much as 50–70% of the whole carbon footprint, which is where we should see room for further innovation,” says Ewa Kosmala, Sustainability Director at Selena Group.

On 15–16 November, the first edition of the Building Trends 2022 conference took place in Kraków. During the congress, the organizers planned expert debates with entrepreneurs and business practitioners. Participants debated the most important lines of development of the Polish construction industry. The opening panels on the first day of the conference were devoted to zero-emission and zero-energy construction, as well as the condition of the construction sector during the crisis. The speakers talked about new concepts of making building materials. Ewa Kosmala from the Selena Group together with Alicja Kuczera (Managing Director, Polish Green Building Council) and Artur Łeszczyński (Skanska) discussed the modern vision of designing, constructing and disposing of buildings. Much of the discussion focused on the carbon footprint, EPDs and the EPBD (Directive 2002/91/EC on the energy performance of buildings).

“Environmental Product Declarations – or type III environmental declarations – the EPBD are tools that are currently driving the whole industry. Their implementation is a step that every manufacturer should take right at the start – that is, we should answer the question where we are with the carbon footprint of our product. Only later should we compare ourselves to the industry average,” Ewa Kosmala says. “In the construction chemicals industry, we have many tools at our disposal. One of the solutions that has recently gained in popularity is the mass balance approach, showing the structure of the mix of bio or recycled raw materials and traditional raw materials. This is an excellent approach when designing products with a reduced carbon footprint, especially when confirmed by ISCC Plus certification throughout the entire supply chain.

Marka Trendy Budowalne dla Grupy Selena_2

Creating environmentally sustainable, efficient, easy-to-use, innovative, and at the same time durable and safe products is the invariable goal of Selena Group’s R&D activity. At the same time, the Company is working on new solutions that reduce the carbon footprint of products throughout their life cycle. The products of individual brands from the Selena family are made only from approved raw materials, and the manufacturing operations at Selena’s plants are conducted in a way that minimizes the environmental footprint.

Packaging is another thing to care about. We should also focus on high-yield solutions that allow more running or square meters to be obtained from one package, and at the same time reduce CO2 emissions in transport to the retail outlet and to the construction site. Selena Group’s production plants are starting to use recycled packaging – which applies to both unit and bulk packaging,” Ewa Kosmala adds.

The interest in the first edition of Building Trends surpassed expectations. Lectures could be followed in a hybrid way: participants interested in the construction industry followed the event online and took part in the lectures and networking on site – at the Metropolo by Golden Tulip Hotel in Kraków. The first day ended with a gala, during which Selena Group was honored with the “Building Trends Brand” title. The award granted by the Globenergia publishing house went to the companies that were the strength and support of the first edition of Building Trends 2022.

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