Public policies as obstacle to sustainable CDWM practices
Paper in proceedings, 2020
The sustainable management of construction and demolition waste (CDW) should play a significant role to achieve the SDG11 for sustainable cities and communities as well as the SDG12 on responsible consumption and production. However, the construction sector is still a major contributor to the waste generated within the European union and contributes with around 25-30 percent of the total amount. The EU followed by the Swedish agencies and the professional associations have defined successive policies to increase the recycling ratio of CDW and mitigate its negative effect. The role of these public policies is to define and to encourage the implementation of sustainable solutions. In the case of management of CDW and in particular the renovation and demolition waste, those policies are not delivering the expected result. Building on multiple regulatory levels with the intent to govern professional's behavior, they so far fail to support change in practice. The aim of this study is therefore to study and analyze how the policy framework and professional guidelines are defining the conditions for adopting more sustainable waste management practices in the industry. The study is based on a document analysis of grey literature in terms of governmental reports, official guidelines, regulatory publications and other publicly published documents concerning CDW management. The analysis highlight ambiguity and contradictions within the material as to how the challenges concerning CDW should be addressed. There is a misalignment between the different actors view on definitions, responsibility and the design of roadmaps toward a more sustainable agenda. This ambiguity and complexity could explain the maintaining of the current practices, hampering practitioners to act. We therefore emphasize the need for a more coherent framework to create the necessary conditions for the industry to move towards a more sustainable agenda.