Following the recent position of the European Commission and related initiatives (e.g. the New European Bauhaus), bio‑based materials, in particular wood, are presented as more sustainable than other materials. The claim is that they act as a carbon sink to reduce the carbon footprint of construction.
According ERMCO, these statements, which take into account the building construction phase only, have no scientific basis and are controversial. Any evaluation of a building or infrastructure (its carbon footprint included) must be carried out using formal scientific tools and procedures already in place in the EU and across the world (such as life cycle assessment, environmental product declarations and the future Level(s) framework), covering the entire construction life cycle, end of life included.
For this reason ERMCO, thanks to the support of of some European Parliaments asked the following two questions:
1. Is the Commission supporting the principle of material neutrality in every communication, regulation and policy it produces?
2. Are all materials to be evaluated in a fair way according to their contribution to the final performance of a building or infrastructure over its entire life, via scientifically based tool and rules that can guarantee a level playing field for all technologies?
The risk of a priori preference is to lead to a distortion of the market owing to a misleading perception of different materials and would frustrate a proper evaluation of the sustainability impact of a building or infrastructure.
ERMCO is working to avoid this issue.
All the references at the following link: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2021-005231_EN.html