Transitioning to zero emission construction for healthier buildings and clean air

The Clean Construction Forum supports cities in the transition to resource efficient, zero emission construction and helps deliver healthier buildings and better air quality to millions of residents in cities around the world.

Construction is one of the biggest contributors to the climate crisis globally, contributing more than 23% of the world’s GHG emissions. Construction materials and the building sector are also responsible for more than 30% of global resource consumption. The need for buildings and infrastructure will only intensify – by 2025 we will need to build 1 billion new homes. Globally, roughly 60% of buildings that will exist in 2050 are yet to be built. This means constructing a city the size of Stockholm or Milan (1.5 million people) per week until 2050, or a city the size of Singapore or New York every month until 2050.

Led by the City of Oslo, the forum helps cities in their quest to achieve zero embodied emissions from buildings and infrastructure by 2050, with a focus on reducing emissions from construction materials and machinery. The cities participating in the Clean Construction Forum are coming from diverse perspectives, reflecting the critical need for a comprehensive lifecycle approach.

The participating cities have prioritised the following focus areas around which they are actively sharing policies, strategies, ideas and challenges with one another:
  • Engagement and Inclusivity 
    Engaging the private sector in a constructive dialogue to ensure the market hears the demand signals and is prepared for zero emission construction policies.
    Engaging communities and residents effectively to ensure zero and low carbon buildings and infrastructure benefit all people.
  • Market Development 
    Leveraging the collective power of C40 cities to develop a market for low emission construction materials and construction equipment.
  • Tools and Data 
    Sharing experiences on available standards and tools used for assessing the environmental impact of materials and construction sites.
    Developing an understanding of the methods, data requirements, and processes taken when establishing city wide targets, as well as the long-term challenges associated with data ownership, access, transparency and monitoring.
  • Benefits 
    Articulating the collective benefits of clean construction policies including reduced air and noise pollution, job creation and increased health and well-being.