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EU taxonomy as a basis for ecologically sustainable environmental goals

May 25, 2022

The EU taxonomy is a standardized classification system for the environmental and social impacts of economic activities. This enables every company to measure and evaluate its ecological and social impacts against binding test criteria and to optimize them as it progresses. You can find out how this system affects the construction industry here.

The background to the EU taxonomy is the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 and – subsequently – the European Green Deal, which aim to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. As part of this, the European Disclosure Regulation was also adopted, which stipulates that companies must provide standardized information on the sustainability criteria ESG (Environment, Social, Governance).

It is envisaged that for the two main objectives of the EU taxonomy in the area of the environment, the prevention of climate change and adaptation to climate change, the reporting obligations and disclosure of information for the financial/fiscal year 2021 must be completed by 2022 at the latest. By 2023, the reporting obligations and information disclosure for the financial/fiscal year 2022 should then apply to all six environmental objectives of the EU taxonomy:

  • Climate protection
  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources
  • Transition to a circular economy
  • Prevention and reduction of environmental pollution
  • Protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems

Significance of the EU taxonomy for the construction industry

Buildings and infrastructure leave a large ecological footprint: the construction sector is responsible for around 50% of CO2 emissions worldwide, so the transition to a more sustainable building stock is essential. However, the EU taxonomy already plays an important role in the financing of real estate projects. Sustainable investments are to be promoted as part of the EU action plan for sustainable finance.

As a result, almost all commercial real estate projects, whether new build, refurbishment or in operation, must integrate the taxonomy requirements specified by the EU into planning, tendering and operation. From an investor’s perspective, real estate that is classified as non-sustainable according to the taxonomy is particularly exposed to the risk of high asset loss as a long-term asset class. Real estate purchases and sales are co-decided on the basis of the classification according to ESG criteria and EU taxonomy requirements. Non-compliant investments will lead to considerable disadvantages on the real estate market in the long term.

With regard to the building materials used, the EU sets specific requirements that must be verified and documented in construction projects.

Requirements for construction products and building materials

In order to make a significant contribution to achieving the environmental goals and to continue to build healthy and financially attractive properties, it is necessary to use low-emission materials with precisely defined emission limits and to exclude hazardous and harmful substances – especially in the case of materials used for interior finishing: the building products used must be easy to dismantle and separate, as well as recyclable, and transparency must be created regarding the carbon footprints of all construction activities and materials used.

These requirements are already integrated into a large number of tenders for new construction projects, but a practical and easy-to-implement solution for verifying and documenting compliance with the specifications is often lacking. This has been a major challenge for construction product manufacturers as well as building owners, planners and construction companies, as checking the technical criteria for each individual construction product and the corresponding documentation can be laborious and time-consuming. With our digital building product platform, we offer you a simple option for the taxonomy check, digital construction documentation and proof of compliance with building ecology requirements – all in one place.

How to keep track of the new requirements

For building product manufacturers:

  • With ESG / EU taxonomy product verification, we offer product manufacturers a simple solution for verifying the EU taxonomy requirements and making them available for construction projects.
  • In the event of subsequent changes and adjustments to the EU taxonomy requirements, the Building Material Scout will always keep you up to date.

For building owners:

  • By creating your construction project on our platform, the construction companies and planners commissioned by you have access to the project and can quickly and easily select suitable products and provide the necessary evidence.
  • The result is an overall documentation that serves as proof of compliance with EU taxonomy requirements.

For planners and construction companies:

  • The Building Material Scout offers planners and construction companies a central location where they can find construction products that meet the high quality requirements of the EU taxonomy, as well as taxonomy-compliant product descriptions and documentation.
  • With the help of the product database, you can reduce the time spent on research and can store suitable products directly in the project with all their references.

With the Building Material Scout, we want to help all those involved in construction to continue to act economically, socially and ecologically in order to achieve our climate targets.

We will be happy to advise you and answer your questions >> Contact

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