Embedding Sustainability and the Circular Economy in Major Projects: the Opportunity and the Challenge

Summary

Highlights from the Major Projects Association Annual Conference held on16th–17th September 2019.

Sustainability is now a core issue for the major projects community. The sector must respond to pressure from governments, clients, investors, insurers and the public for projects to make a greater contribution to the triple bottom line.

The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) provide project leaders with a shorthand for understanding the breadth of these economic, social and environmental challenges. When the SDGs are translated into specific objectives, such as the UK’s commitment to reduce net carbon emissions to zero by 2050, the demand for radical, generational change becomes very clear. This all creates a significant opportunity for major projects. The community needs to be bold in its ambitions, embrace technology and innovation, and develop collaborative relationships across the project life cycle. If it is successful it can do good, grow in profitability, build public support and attract the next generation into the industry.This year’s annual conference explored how to grasp this opportunity, with a particular focus on the role of the circular economy in driving the transition towards sustainable development.

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