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Project of Development of a Roadmap to integrate Sustainable Consumption and Production within the Housing and Construction Sector for Turkey

  • Published on February 15, 2022

Sustainable production refers to a strategy, and BAT applications are a tool that contributes to sustainable production for production processes in industry. With sustainable production practices; Prevention of pollution at its source without the occurrence of environmental effects is based on an integrated pollution prevention and control approach, and environmental issues are discussed in terms of industrial, urban, agricultural and so on. It should not be overlooked that all kinds of human activities are included in the planning process as a parameter at the design stage. In addition to increasing environmental performance, production costs are also reduced through resource efficiency, preventing and reducing pollution at the source, using environmentally friendly products and technologies.

The housing and construction sector is directly related to the extraction of raw materials, production of materials, construction, demolition and reconstruction of materials, air pollution, noise and vibration, disposal of hazardous and solid wastes, treatment and removal of wastewater, and the impact of the habitat. While the sector consumes a significant amount of energy and water, it is seen as a high consumption and production area with a high potential to achieve a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

With the aim of determining the current situation and needs of the sector with an approach that adopts environmentally friendly and sustainable housing design, BAT and BEP applications in construction and demolition process and sustainable consumption and production (SCP) models; Under the coordination of  (Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change) Ministry's General Directorate of Environmental Management, Infrastructure and Urban Transformation General Directorate, Housing Development Administration and Emlak Konut A.Ş. Sustainable Consumption and Production Studies Project in Housing and Construction Sectors, of which relevant institutions and organizations such as, are stakeholders, will be prepared.

In the project, it is aimed to obtain outputs that will serve the national Sustainable Consumption and Production Action Plan with BAT and BEP applications with an approach that adopts integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC) in order to reach the sustainable production and consumption target.

Global climate change, which has gained vital importance in the last two decades, is an issue that necessitates the responsibility of all segments of society, from individuals to governments. To overcome this issue, which is the most difficult challenge of our times, international agreements and conventions have been signed, required legislation has been enacted, programs have been developed, committees have been convened, and numerous scientific activities have been held. Herein, the main source of the problem, the human being, with the unquenchable hunger for development, and the never-ending consumption frenzy that comes with it, are the main issues that must be dealt with absolutely. Considering all these, the Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) strategy is constantly emphasized at the international level to overcome these global concerns.

The construction industry, which is predominantly responsible for the generation of greenhouse gases that lead to climate change, continues to expand rapidly year after year to accomplish the fundamental requirements of the world's rising population, including housing, health, education etc. The world is one step closer to irreversible results every second that concrete steps are not taken at the point of the sector's exploitation of natural resources and major damage to nature with each of its constituent components. Given the estimated projections of a growing global population, including billions of new middle-class customers, it is vital to formulate more practical & strategic action plans for the construction industry. For the world of the future to be livable for humanity, the linear economic paradigm of "buy-make-sell," which depletes natural resources and erodes biodiversity, should evolve into a more sustainable and circular structure.

The circular economy model is regenerative and provides long term economic opportunities. The model considers wastes as valuable resources and necessitates traditional beliefs about waste transformation. Being proactive in sustainability benefits organizations, including lower input costs, the increased value of waste products, and improved appearance with regulators, investors, and consumers.

Given current global and regional activities, the necessity for a well-founded roadmap for Turkey on behalf of SCP is obvious. To that end, an essential step must be a comprehensive overview of the current situation of the housing and construction industry, the country's high-impact sector. In this regard, the objective of this report is to serve as a baseline study that can provide a sustainable and circular framework to the Turkish construction sector.

To this end, the current report outlined the requirements for a sustainable and circular economy, following which the current situation of the national housing and construction sector was evaluated. The assessment considered the region's characteristics, including geographical features, seismic risk, economic situation, demographic structure, and immigrant population. The most significant consideration in evaluating the current situation is the impact of each component of the value chain of the housing and building industry on people, the environment, and the economy. Furthermore, the paper presents the best accessible technology (BAT) and best environmental practices (BEP) in the nation and throughout the globe, which may serve as a model for the Turkish housing and construction industry in achieving a sustainable, circular economy identity.

As a result of the detailed study, a road map was created to be both original and inclusive at the international level and achieve the most efficient results in the shortest time possible with the available resources. Finally, after summarizing all the context in conclusion, the final section of the report summarizes the detailed recommendations.

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