ENVI committee publishes draft opinion on Construction Products Regulation

On 29th September, the Environment Committee in the European Parliament (ENVI) published its draft opinion on the Commission proposal for a revised Construction Products Regulation.Rapporteur MEP Sara Matthieu (Greens/Belgium) proposes inter alia that eco-design and consumer information requirements should apply by default to all manufacturers.

She also proposes to set a target that within ten years all construction products placed on the market should meet the two highest future environmental performance classes and that the use of re-use and “sustainable bio-based materials” should be given priority over the use of recycled materials.

The rapporteur also insists on the use of the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methodology to carry out a systematic life cycle analysis of products.

In addition, MEP Matthieu does not want essential characteristics of construction products to be specified through a standardisation process, as proposed by the European Commission.

The ENVI committee is an associated committee and has both special (for Art. 22 on the additional environmental obligations for manufacturers) and shared competencies for some articles of the Commission proposal.



EU Czech Presidency puts forward new EPBD compromise proposal

In a document circulated to the Member States on 30th September, the Czech Presidency of the EU Council suggests for example that public bodies shall aim for new buildings that they occupy but do not own to be zero-emission buildings.It also suggests not applying the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) to residential multi-apartment buildings with more than ten building units and proposes a new wording according to which the MEPS should apply to all residential buildings based on a national trajectory for the progressive renovation of the building stock.

In addition, the Czech Presidency suggests that Member States may define additional indicators of non-renewable and renewable primary energy use, and of operational greenhouse gas emissions produced in kgCO2eq/(m2.y).

For solar energy installations, the Czech Presidency now proposes to take into account the principle of technology neutrality for the practical implementation of the solar energy obligations.

Furthermore, Member States should issue a paper version of the Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) on request.

The subject matter now clearly states that the recast EPBD lays down requirements for the calculation and disclosure of the life-cycle Global Warming Potential (GWP) of buildings.

Germany wants to strengthen EU due diligence rules

With ongoing debate on the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence, some Member States are advocating for due diligence rules to be as far-reaching as possible. This is the case for Germany, which will asks for strengthening the proposed EU legislation, even in areas beyond the new German due diligence law that will enter into force next year.The German Labour Minister Hubertus Heil explains that his government supports the Commission’s proposal and also calls for access to legal redress to be strengthened and for environmental due diligence to be expanded.

One area in which the proposed Due Diligence Directive goes beyond the new German law is its scope of applicability. While not clarifying whether the EU’s approach is supported from a German perspective, Heil explains that the new German law should be SME-friendly and not require companies to do things they cannot do.



RCS Social Dialogue project gets praise in Germany


The EU funded project “Reducing respirable crystalline silica dust effectively”, undertaken by the European social partners in the construction industry, FIEC and EFBWW, was praised in the German Hazardous Substances Protection Prize awards. The awards are organised by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA). For more than two decades it has been honouring activities to protect against hazardous susbtances.

The main final deliverable of the project is a mapping  of construction activities using a traffic light system to show, for as many construction activities as possible, how companies can reach a safe situation (green light), by taking prevention measures for a better exposure of their workers to respirable crystalline silica. It is available in 12 languages and can be downloaded for free from the FIEC website.



Thomas Bauer, former FIEC President, interviewed for Bauma


Interviewed for the BAUMA TALK 5 (a programme dedicated to ‘The way to Zero Emission’ broadcasted online), professor Thomas Bauer – former President of FIEC and Chairman of the Supervisory Board BAUER AG – stressed the importance of a holistic view on the impact of emissions from the construction sector. He added that to achieve a true cut of emissions or achieve the decarbonisation of the sector, collaboration between the different professions of the construction value-chain is needed.
The approach of the event launched by Bauma was meant to bring together the machine manufacturers and the rental companies who act as intermediaries, as well as the construction companies, namely the end users.



Reminder: 18 October event of the Construction 2050 Alliance on Sustainable Finance


The next event of the Construction 2050 Alliance will be held on 18th October from 11h00 until 13h00 at FIEC offices and online. The conference will focus on “Sustainable Finance” and in particular on the impact of the EU Taxonomy in the construction sector.

The number of places for physical presence is limited (first come, first served), but online participation will also be possible upon registration.

programme with the guest speakers is available on the FIEC website.