Construction and civil engineering sector

Film about the roadmap from 2019

The construction and civil engineering sector accounts for approximately 20 percent of Sweden’s climate emissions. Climate impact mainly comes from manufacturing materials and products and from emissions related to energy use in the operating phase. The roadmap spans the entire value chain from manufacturing material and products to operation and management of properties.

Targets in roadmap

2022: Actors in the construction and civil engineering sector have mapped their emissions and set climate targets.
2025: Greenhouse gas emissions clearly demonstrate a declining trend.
2030: 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (compared with 2015).
2040: 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (compared with 2015).
2045: Net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

To implement the roadmap, the industry is working on:

  • changed composition of raw materials.
  • electrification and efficiency improvements in production and transport processes.
  • greater use of renewable fuels in production and transport processes.
  • more efficient transport.
  • planning for circular flows and efficient use of resources.
  • optimisation of energy and climate performance from a lifecycle perspective, in the construction and operation phase.

Eight industry organisations in the urban development sector are jointly taking responsibility for the process of implementing the roadmap with the around 170 companies, organisations and municipalities involved. The Swedish Construction Federation is the process owner.

Progress since the roadmap was launched

LFM 30 – local roadmaps drive development

The local roadmap for Malmö, LFM 30, is an example of how local companies together with the municipality, organisations and research institutes have come together to drive development towards climate-neutral construction. Similar initiatives are also being carried out in Östergötland and Uppsala.

Climate requirements in procurement enabled at a reasonable cost

The project “Climate requirements at reasonable cost” has produced guidance aimed at making it easier for housing companies to set climate requirements for construction projects, enabling procurement with clear specifications of requirements and reliable climate calculations.

Climate-improved asphalt and concrete

Climate-improved asphalt made with input of re-used asphalt and using renewable fuel in asphalt production is becoming increasingly common. “Green asphalt BioZero” is a totally unique product in the world that also has a new bio-based binding agent that produces net zero emissions. Climate-improved concrete is currently available for housing, roads and civil engineering and provides a 10–50 percent lower climate impact.

House of choice – zero energy hotel

In June 2021, House of Choice was opened in Solna, the first hotel in Scandinavia built as a zero-energy project that produces as much energy as it consumes. New technology reduces consumption by 80 percent, while the hotel will have the highest proportion of solar panels in the world.

Fossil free construction sites

Several construction companies are working on fossil free construction sites. One example is Skanska, which has approximately ten construction sites in Sweden of different types and sizes that use at least 90 percent electricity and fossil free fuels for work vehicles, machinery, major transport of materials and heating/drying.

Industry challenges

Resources and the built stock must be used effectively and a circular approach must become a natural element of all processes in construction and civil engineering. Today, however, there are both legal obstacles and a lack of clarity as to how waste is classified, making it difficult to exploit opportunities for recycling and re-use.

To facilitate business models that build on efficient re-use of construction elements and large-scale material recycling, strict requirements must be set with incentives.

Today there is no correct statistical basis regarding emissions from the construction and civil engineering sector and joint values for calculating climate emissions, which is necessary in order to make correct decisions and ensure equal competitive conditions in procurement, for example.