Routemap for zero avoidable waste in construction

23 July 2021

Taking both buildings and infrastructure together, the construction sector is the biggest producer by volume of waste in England.

In that context, a Routemap for zero avoidable waste in construction has been prepared by the Green Construction Board (GCB) in collaboration with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

This recognises that the overall reduction of waste, and the minimisation of waste to landfill, is vital to improve material resource efficiency and will play a significant part in plans for national carbon reduction.

The Routemap aims to catalyse actions by all parts of the supply chain to reduce and ultimately eliminate all avoidable waste.

It identifies the action that everyone involved in the construction sector — both public and private — can take to help deliver a lower carbon, more efficient industry.

The Routemap adopts the interpretation of Zero Avoidable Waste in construction published by the GCB in 2020 as well as the principles of the waste hierarchy and life cycle assessment.

The initiative is supported by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), which leads on strategic government and industry issues for the sector.

Zero avoidable waste

Zero avoidable waste in construction means preventing waste being generated at every stage of a project’s lifecycle, from the manufacture of materials and products, the design, specification, procurement and assembly of buildings and infrastructure through to deconstruction.

At the end-of-life, products, components and materials should be recovered at the highest possible level of the waste hierarchy, that is reused before being recycled, whilst ensuring minimal environmental impact.