07 March 2024

The construction industry generates an estimated 600 million tons of construction and demolition (C&D) waste each year in the United States alone, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). About half of all materials extracted are used in the built environment, notes the WEF. This includes non-building infrastructure such as roads and bridges. As much as 30% of all construction materials delivered to building sites leaves as waste.

Global material use is expected to more than double by 2060, with a third of this increase attributable to the building and construction sector. In addition, the WEF predicts that over two trillion square feet of floor space, equivalent to adding an entire New York City to the world, will occur every month for 40 years. What’s more, about 40% of all global greenhouse gas emissions are derived from the construction and operation of buildings.

The demolition sector plays a critical role to reduce the environmental impact and carbon footprint of the construction industry, according to Kate Bester, Contracts and Project Manager at Jet Demolition. “It allows existing building materials to be recycled in a safe and sustainable manner that reduces construction waste at the same time,” she adds.

A key concept in this regard is the circular economy, which encourages the construction and demolition sectors to boost the quality and quantity of recycling, thereby minimising the environmental impact of such activities. For example, the EU Construction & Demolition Waste Management Protocol and Guidelines provides a practical approach to prevent and manage C&D waste and resources from design to deconstruction.

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Sustainable Development reports that circular economy actions in the construction industry can contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially those related to resource efficiency, waste management, and climate change mitigation.

Bester highlights that Jet Demolition is committed to conducting its business with respect and care for people and the environment and the responsible use of natural resources. It also continually strives to improve its safety, health, and environmental performance.

Jet Demolition also has a dedicated Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) department, a Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) rating of 9SE, and several awards and accreditations for its continued excellence and ongoing innovation in the demolition industry.

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