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The ABCs of sustainability in construction – Here is what you should know

The building industry is responsible for a significant ecological impact, with 40% of total energy use and 30% of the amount of waste globally. The concrete business has a particularly great responsibility in climate change as we account for a large proportion of this impact. What steps is Peikko taking toward more sustainable construction?

Furthermore, the talk about sustainability and climate change is full of abbreviations of related terms, regulations, and policies. But which are the most common ones affecting the construction industry and what do they mean? Let’s take a closer look.


General vocabulary on sustainability

C - CE - Circular economy

A circular economy (also referred to as circularity) is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible. The three principles of circular economy are designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.

Peikko is the first company to offer precast connections that enable design for disassembly: making the reuse of the building components possible.

E - ESG - Environmental, Social, Governance

ESG can be described as a set of practices (policies, procedures, metrics, etc.) that organizations implement to limit negative impact or enhance positive impact on the environment, society, and governance bodies. See also CSRD.

For example, Peikko is in the process of transferring from solvent-based coatings to solvent-free coatings. By 2025, all coatings will be made solvent-free.

European Green Deal

The European Green Deal is a package of policy initiatives, which aims to set the EU on the path to a green transition, with the ultimate goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2050. It supports the transformation of the EU into a fair and prosperous society with a modern and competitive economy.

EU Taxonomy

The Taxonomy Regulation introduces a taxonomy system to define environmentally sustainable economic activities, as well as environmental objectives and disclosure obligations. As an example, for buildings on a Circular Economy, examples of the main criteria are having at least 90 % (by weight) of the construction waste prepared for re-use or recycling, using construction designs and techniques that support circularity, and demonstrating how they are designed to be more resource efficient, adaptable, flexible and easy to dismantle to enable reuse and recycling. 

S - SDG - Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of seventeen interlinked objectives designed to serve as a "shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future", such as gender equality, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, and responsible consumption and production. The SDGs monitored by the United Nations emphasize the interconnected environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainable development by putting sustainability at their center. 

In 2030, the share of women working among Peikko’s white-collar employees is 40%. In 2020, it was 29%, and in 2022, 31%.

Peikko aims to improve its Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) by 5% annually. In 2020, it was 19.2; in 2021, 14.4; and 2022, 13.5.


Useful terms

C - CO2 - Carbon Dioxide            

Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG emissions) from human activities strengthen the greenhouse effect, contributing to climate change. CO2, which is emitted from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas, is one of the most important factors in causing climate change. Electricity generation, heat, and transport are major emitters; overall, energy is responsible for around 73% of emissions.

The carbon footprint serves as an indicator to compare the amount of greenhouse gases emitted over the entire life cycle from the production of a good or service along the supply chain to its final consumption.

Peikko is the first company to offer steel structures made from >90% recycled steel which decreases CO2 emissions by 50%. By 2025, DELTABEAM® Green will be used in a minimum of 100 building projects. As of 2022, DELTABEAM® Green has been utilized in 47 different projects.

Peikko is the first company to actively offer steel structures in combination with wooden floor slabs and to invest in researching this topic.

E - EPD - Environmental Product Declaration

An EPD is the result of a unifying methodology for evaluating and publishing environmental impacts associated with the production of a product. It covers all phases of the product life cycle from raw material extraction to disposal. It allows businesses to compare and select products that perform the same function with a lower environmental impact or choose a product with an EPD over a product without one.

You can find more information on Peikko’s EPDs at

L - LCA - Life Cycle Assessment

LCA is a methodology for assessing environmental impacts associated with all the stages of the life cycle of a commercial product, process, or service. An LCA study involves a thorough inventory of the energy and materials that are required across the industry value chain of the product, process or service, and calculates the corresponding emissions to the environment. The aim is to document and improve the overall environmental profile of the product.


Regulations and policies

C - CBAM - Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) is the EU’s carbon tariff on carbon-intensive products mainly including construction materials such as cement and steel. CBAM aims at more strict observation throughout the supply chain, including a mandatory requirement for EPDs from raw material supplies. The CBAM will take effect in 2026, with reporting set to begin within 2023. Between 1 and 10% of all material used in the EU construction sector is currently imported from outside the EU.

CPR - Construction Product Regulation

CPR aims to make the single market work better and improve the free movement of construction products in the European Union (EU), by laying down uniform rules for the marketing of these products and providing a common technical language to assess the performance of construction products. From a climate point of view, an important change will be mandatory reporting of carbon footprint to receive a CE marking.

CSRD - Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive

The EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) paints the big picture of full corporate responsibility taking one step further from environmentally friendly production to considering the consequences of all of the company’s actions. See also ESG.

E - ESPR - Ecodesign for Sustainable Product Regulation

Ecodesign regulations set requirements that improve the energy efficiency of products or reduce their other environmental impacts (e.g. material efficiency, circular economy, sustainability, repairability, use of recycled materials). If a product does not meet the applicable ecodesign requirements, it cannot be placed on the market or put into service in the EU.

For instance, by 2025, the amount of used electricity from renewable sources at Peikko factories will be 75%. In 2020, it was 60%, and in 2022, 72%.

ETS - Emissions Trading Scheme

The EU ETS follows a 'cap-and-trade' approach: the EU sets a cap on how much CO2 can be emitted – which decreases each year – and companies need to have a European Emission Allowance (EUA) for every metric ton of CO2 they emit within one calendar year. They receive or buy these permits and can trade them.

We in the building industry need to be innovative in creating solutions that are economical yet ecological and good for mankind. We need to provide products and solutions that greatly improve the sustainability of buildings during their whole life cycle. In addition, by providing our customers with products that are manufactured by using recycled raw materials with lower CO2 emissions in the process, even challenging environmental targets can be achieved sooner than expected.


Peikko's Sustainable Development Goals

We have identified six goals that we believe are closely tied to our operations and where we can make the most significant contributions.

 When we at Peikko speak about sustainability, we have two different angles:

 Our own actions

  • To focus on reducing our CO2 footprint
  • To accelerate Research & Development investments in the sustainable building industry

Our offering to our customers

  • Provide solutions to help customers reduce emissions

It is important to walk the talk – sustainability is about actions both big and small. Whether focusing on one action or another, every step of the way counts – there remains a lot to do. Welcome to the path of sustainability together with Peikko!


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