The missing dot in the Sustainability debate

Sustainability is an interesting debate in the built environment but there is a hidden catch. Guess what…

According to the IEA report made in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme in 2018, 39% of energy and process-related carbon emissions come from buildings and the construction industry. In the developing world and elsewhere, there are two main issues: existing buildings which are very inefficient in terms of energy use and new constructions that are developed at a high expense of embodied energy. For some projects, due to the lack of locally sourced materials, construction elements will be imported. For instance, one roofing element may be shipped from Asia to a city in Africa through all means of transport – ship, cargo, trucks and more. Furthermore, on the lifecycle assessment perspective, this particular element will arguably need a regular annual maintenance or replacement in 5 years or so.

This raises a very serious question on how supply chains can be optimized for energy efficiency and climate resilience.

There are young startups, small businesses and established companies that are championing sustainability principles like reduce, reuse, recycle while providing solutions to these problems. There is however a very big disconnect between the supply and demand of environmentally friendly materials and we came up with a possible solution. It was developed and picked during #CYF2022 in the sustainability, climate and circular economies youth lab. It was further presented to the Commonwealth Youth General Assembly. Do keep in touch with the progress. We are open for partnerships.

Team acknowledgements to Crispus Kamau of Sterling Real Estate Advisory, Dr. Henri Evans of the University of SwazilandGloria Uwera of The African Leadership University, Happy and Solomon from the University of Rwanda and African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) respectively.