Building & Construction

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Buildings account for 40% of the energy consumed in the European Union – that’s why the ambition for a more Sustainable Built Environment is at the heart of the European Green Deal

We support actors in Buildings and Construction at a time of unprecedented change for their sectors

The political ambitions of the European Commission are clear: a more sustainable built environment is essential for Europe’s transition towards climate-neutrality.

That’s because the potential of sustainability in buildings and construction is significant. According to the European Commission, the construction sector is responsible for over 35% of the EU’s total waste generation. Greater material efficiency could save 80% of the greenhouse gas emissions from material extraction, manufacturing of construction products, construction and renovation of buildings.

The European Green Deal consequently sets out to address the sustainability of construction products and improve the energy efficiency and environmental performance of built assets in the EU.

One of the core initiatives is the ‘Renovation Wave’ which aims to optimise building renovation across the bloc, including by encouraging investment and financing which could provide a major boost in demand for construction materials. The Renovation Wave will also play an important role as a part of the EU economic Recovery Strategy from the Covid-19 crisis.

To ensure that buildings are renovated and constructed sustainably, an EU Strategy for a Sustainable Built Environment is due to be launched in 2021 as a part of the Circular Economy Action Plan.

The focus of the Strategy for a Sustainable Built Environment will be to address sustainability throughout the lifecycle of buildings.

It will address the sustainability performance of construction products in the context of the revision of the Construction Product Regulation, for instance, by introducing recycled content requirements.

The strategy also aims to bridge the gap between the design and use-phase, as it will promote measures to improve the durability and adaptability of built assets in line with the circular economy principles for buildings design.

There will also be a strong focus on energy efficiency in buildings by integrating lifecycle assessment in public procurement and the EU sustainable finance framework and potentially setting carbon reduction targets.

At the end of life, the European Commission is considering a revision of material recovery targets set in EU legislation for construction and demolition waste and its material-specific fractions

These are just some of the policy changes that will significantly shake-up the business environment for actors in construction and buildings with new opportunities and challenges.

We have public affairs expertise across all polices affecting buildings and construction

At FleishmanHillard Brussels, we have a Team with expertise across the numerous EU policies affecting buildings and construction.

Our leading Environmental and Chemicals Team have in-depth experience in working with the policies affecting construction materials across the product lifecycle.

All construction products consist of chemicals put together, and our Team support producers and users of chemicals to understand and navigate EU chemicals policies affecting construction materials. Upstream, our Team’s Circular Economy Experts help actors in construction to understand the changing political and policy environment that will result in new standards and norms for building materials.

Central to the EU ambition of a Sustainable Built Environment is the energy performance of buildings. Our experts on EU Energy Policy advise on the major policies in that area, such as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED).  The coming years will see a massive focus on insulation, domestic renewables and efficient appliances will underpin the move to Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings.

The core issue to be tackled by the EU Renovation Wave is that the expenditure on the improvement of building energy efficiency does not come close to cover current needs to reach EU 2030 energy and climate targets of 325 billion annually.

Our Financial Services experts are at the forefront of the political discussions about what policy instruments the EU should utilise to mobilise investments in building renovation. They provide insight and public affairs counsel for players engaging on innovative financing instruments for buildings, such as green loans and mortgages.

Our services

We provide wholesale advocacy and communications solutions for engagement on EU building and construction policy:

  • Holistic political counsel on EU construction and building policies

With our expertise across EU policy areas impacting construction and buildings, we help you think holistically about the developing political context for the sector.

For actors across the construction and buildings value-chain it is essential to understand how upstream and downstream changes to policies impact their business. What does new financial instrument mean in terms of boost in demand for construction materials? How will evolving energy

efficiency standards impact the value of built assets in context investment decisions? How can construction companies anticipate new sustainability standards for materials and buildings?

Our team provides political insight and thought leadership to ensure that you stay ahead no matter where you are placed in the discussion around the built environment.

  • Communications that show how you add value to the built environment

The complexities of construction and buildings make it challenging for organisations to get their messages across to policymakers and other audiences about the benefits they bring to the built environment.

The experts at FleishmanHillard Brussels help you tell a compelling story about the role your products or services plays in the future built environment whether it is in construction or finance

We help you to create the right types of content, select the channels to reach your target audience and evaluation of the impacts of communications programmes.

In addition, our team has substantial experience in communicating about buildings and safety such as in relation to fire hazards and other sensitive issues.

  • Public affairs engagement with politicians and regulators

We are proud of our record successfully supporting the advocacy needs of our clients in the area of construction and buildings be it in the area of energy, chemicals, finance or others.

Our role is straightforward: To help you understand your political audiences and present your best case.

We also support you in selecting effective engagement tactics and ensure the successful roll-out of your advocacy plan through every step of the EU’s many chemical complex regulatory processes.