The construction industry is currently responsible for more than 23% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions and for 30% of global resource consumption. Maintaining this pattern in this sector, which depends on carbon-intensive machinery and materials, threatens to put the world on a fast track towards a global temperature rise of 3°C or more by 2050 (C40, 2020).
In Mexico City, 65% of construction and demolition waste (CDW) reported in terms of impact (461,276.61 m3/year) were sent to final disposal sites (SEDEMA, 2020). In addition, the 2016 edition of the Mexico City Emissions Inventory, reported that this sector contributed 5.05 tonnes of emissions of toxic compounds per year. These figures reveal the significant losses incurred, year after year, of valuable materials, products and components and the economic losses and negative effects on the entire materials value chain. Also, the poor disposal of this type of waste causes strong environmental impacts, especially in areas of environmental value, such as ravines, where waste is deposited illegally, while it also generates additional emissions from its transportation, because much of this waste is dumped in neighboring states since Mexico City has no final disposal sites.
Sustainability is one of the guiding axes of the Mexico City Governance Plan, 2019-2024. The circular economy is a driver of development that will make it possible to take advantage of opportunities for the revalorization of materials flows, which will contribute to the mitigation of socio-environmental impacts and generate direct economic benefits for businesses and local communities.
Provide technical support from specialists in the field of the circular economy and the technologies of Industry 4.0 for the development of a platform for the interchange of materials derived from construction and demolition, for the transition towards the circular economy in Mexico City. The created marketplace-type platform is expected to serve as a pilot project for application at the national level.
The assistance includes an analysis of the current situation of the construction and demolition sector from the perspective of the circular economy; the development of a proposed business model based on the analysis of the political, regulatory and incentive environment; and the creation of monitoring indicators. The platform's prototype will be trialed in a pilot and manuals for its users and administrators will be developed. In addition, a sectoral work group will be created to consult on key assistance inputs.
The outcome of the assistance is the development of a platform for the interchange of materials from construction and demolition for the transition towards the circular economy in Mexico City, to serve as a pilot project for application at the national level.
This project is also expected to have important co-benefits such as the creation of green jobs. It is also expected that the implementation of the platform will bring a reduction in the extraction of material resources and in the generation of waste, having a positive impact on the reduction of GHG emissions and damage to ecosystems. This will, in turn, reduce the financial cost to the city of removing this waste and sending it to final disposal sites in neighboring states. These savings can be invested in actions that contribute to better waste management in the city.
In the social sphere, this type of action promotes the development of awareness around the environmental, economic and social benefits that circular economy schemes bring, providing alternatives and solutions for the use of waste.