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Considering carbon as a currency will drive circularity in civil engineering

Introducing circular economies into construction projects has been discussed as a concept for a number of years but this episode of the podcast looks at some projects that have actually put it into action.

In this episode of ‘The Engineers Collective from the New Civil Engineer, NCE’s editor Claire Smith and head of content & engagement Rob Horgan are joined by Sweco Architects (Sweden)) head of sustainability Elise Grosse and Sweco’s UK Buildings Division digital manager Andrew Krebs to explore the practicalities of using circular economies.

The group set out by defining what a circular economy is and the drivers for the construction sector to adopt them. Elise explains that the industry must start to consider carbon as a currency in order for circular economies to become central to projects. Nonetheless, both she and Andrew believe that data digital tools are also critical to the success of a circular economy, particularly when it comes to using material passports to track and plan reuse of demolition waste.

The pair go on to explain how civil engineering is increasingly coming under the spotlight when it comes to material use and must take big steps to ensure it is focusing on achieving net zero rather than greenwashing. Elise added that recycling is often driven from an economic position rather than a moral one and urged the industry to consider whether the value and cost delivered by decisions today are at the expense of tomorrow.

Andrew and Elise join the conversation at 16m20s