October 2023 : Circular economy in construction: a systematic review of knowledge in leading academic studies on the subject

Circular economy in construction: a systematic review of knowledge in leading academic studies on the subject
In recent years, a growing number of university-level studies have been carried out around the world on the circular economy in the construction industry. A recent study (July 2023) led by the Frontiers Research Foundation on this topic initially identified 137 research reports.
This Foundation study first adopted a two-step screening process to identify studies and reports in which knowledge gaps had been identified and investigated.
After this comparative analysis of the 137 reports previously found, the Foundation ultimately selected a total of 41 which included the different criteria that it deemed relevant to the achievement of its research objectives.
For the content analysis, knowledge gaps were mapped, synthesized and categorized according to seven (7) circular economy themes identified in the literature, namely: Economic, Environmental, Governmental, Methodological, Societal, Sectoral and Technological.
It is known in the general literature that the construction industry is responsible for more than a third of global energy consumption, carbon emissions, resource use and solid waste generation (Shooshtarian et al., 2021; United Nations Environment Program, 2022, Environment, 2014).
Given the industry’s significant ecological footprint and environmental impacts, the transition to more sustainable practices is becoming a top priority in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The research reports selected by Frontiers for this roundup provide valuable information in each of their specific areas.
This Frontiers review article thus undertook a systematic review of existing academic literature to 1) map and synthesize existing knowledge and 2) identify future avenues of research and propose a new framework that could support the transition to construction practices circulars.
The full report by Frontiers is available at

July 2023 : The growing potential for the use of industrial hemp fiber around the world

The future of hemp production is at a defining moment. Restrictions on this commodity and its crops that were once stigmatized are being lifted around the world, and people are increasingly aware of the concerns accompanying input-intensive agriculture. There is a lot of excitement about the potential sustainability of this fiber crop, but growing, sourcing or carrying hemp will not be a solution in itself, it will all depend on how that hemp is grown.
As there are few conventional pesticides permitted for hemp production worldwide, the industry can develop production practices from scratch that work in harmony with nature. TE encourages governments, brands, and farmers to implement systems that will result in high quality raw materials with low toxicity inputs and maximum environmental benefits.
If habits do not change, the same negative impacts on these communities and the environment may well occur from practices that are common in conventional agriculture today. And that begs the question, if the promise of hemp’s sustainability attributes begins to wane, will the market still be interested in the fiber? Consumers and brands were attracted to the fiber’s “natural” reputation, with the result that they might simply move on, looking for the next innovation to come along.
It is a material with great sustainability potential, and the industry has the opportunity to shape all stages of production. By working collegially and applying past learnings, we can all leverage its holistic benefits to achieve our climate and nature goals as a society.
The complete study is available on the website of Textile Exchange .

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