A new European non-profit organisation is setting out to transform the construction and real estate sector towards sustainability. The Climate Positive Europe Alliance (CPEA) sees itself as a think tank that brings together expertise and market-based practical solutions and translates them into concrete recommendations for action. It addresses the most urgent challenges facing stakeholders in the construction and real estate sector, such as sustainable finance, circular economy or the intelligent handling of building data. At the core of the activities are collaboration and the establishment of a cross-sector dialogue between business and politics.
The EU Commission has set the goal: Europe should become the first climate-neutral continent. To get there, some efforts are still needed - also and especially in the construction and real estate sector as one of the main causes of CO2 emissions and resource scarcity. "The sector needs to set some strategic course today in order to be able to achieve our common goals," says Dr. Christine Lemaitre, Executive Director of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). "This can only be done in European solidarity and in constructive cooperation between the construction and real estate industries, the financial sector and political decision-makers."
Leadership by DGNB
This is precisely where CPEA comes in. In addition to the DGNB, the Green Building Council España (GBCe), the Austrian Society for Sustainable Real Estate (ÖGNI) and the Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (REHVA) are behind the newly founded organisation based in Brussels. Other partners are to follow. "Together we want to massively accelerate the transformation of the European construction and real estate market towards sustainability," says Lemaitre, who has taken over the chairmanship of the alliance.
In doing so, CPEA works with a bottom-up approach that focuses on collaboration between the key decision-makers in the market. All planned activities and projects are based on a common European understanding of the key requirements of sustainable construction. This is reflected in the methodology of DGNB certification. The alliance follows a fact-based, data-driven approach that is based on the aspects of holism and life cycle assessment.
Four thematic focal points
The new European alliance focuses its activities on four main topics:
- Sustainable Finance
- Buildings and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Circular Economy
- Building data and information
In the area of Sustainable Finance, CPEA will continue to support the work of the EU Commission and its Sustainable Finance Platform in further developing the taxonomy criteria. This will be based on the market study on the applicability of the EU taxonomy recently conducted and published by various CPEA partners. Together with representatives of EU institutions, CPEA will work to ensure that the SDGs and Circular Economy principles are central to the development of building policy for existing and new buildings. In addition, CPEA will support the establishment of a standardised, centralised building data repository. As a basis for better informed and more transparent decision-making, this will store all relevant building information throughout the life cycle.
Opportunity to participate and contribute
Other European organisations and associations are cordially invited to become actively involved in CPEA and to collaborate on the various topics. The most important prerequisite is that they pursue the same goals and want to create positive impulses based on a common understanding of sustainability.