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Focus on circular economy and sustainability in construction was the last day of EDIFICA 2022

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Thursday 6 de October del 2022

On Thursday, October 6, the Sustainability Day was held at Edifica, highlighting the sector’s practices aimed at circular economy. In the Plaza de la Industrialización, a space for construction waste management was exhibited by entrepreneurs who work in this field together with several companies. Construction is one of the activities that produces the largest amount of waste in the world, so managing its waste is essential in a path of sustainability of the industry. The Chilean Chamber of Construction has set as one of its strategic axes the sustainability of the sector, encouraging companies to take actions in this direction. At Edifica, a display of debris symbolizing construction waste was installed, with a graphic display of how it can be reused, leading to a final product, such as terrace furniture, children’s playground equipment, among others. A cultural change is needed On the last day of EDIFICA, the central theme was the link between the industry and environmental care and the circular economy. As part of this invitation, the executive director of the Sustainability and Climate Change Agency, Ximena Ruz, and the regional secretary of the Ministry of Economy of the RM, Cristian Rodríguez, attended a tour of the recycling area. Both authorities, together with the president of the Chilean Chamber of Construction, Antonio Errázuriz, were able to talk with the entrepreneurs, who explained the business models they have developed and the way in which construction waste is treated. On the occasion, the executive director of the Sustainability and Climate Change Agency Ximena Ruz valued this instance and highlighted the collaboration between the public and private worlds in order to advance in a circular economy strategy. “Our role is to bring the public sector together with the private sector, seeking opportunities for collaboration is clearly fundamental to move forward. What we have to do and worry about now is that there are more recyclers in different regions, that there is a secondary market that is capable of somehow taking on all these new products that are being generated, and that is what we are working on,” said Ruz. “I appreciate that there is a dedicated space for the circular economy. Construction generates a lot of waste and residues that must be treated in this circular approach, to which the government is committed. And indeed this is a contribution to productivity because waste costs are being incorporated into the production process and that really helps,” said the Seremi of Economy Cristian Rodriguez. In the space he highlighted the presence of entrepreneurs such as Armony, which recycles organic waste; Recylink, a virtual platform for waste management; Reviste, which reuses wood; Revaloriza, which gives value to concrete; Idea-Tec, which produces paints with improved thermal insulation using plumavit waste. Nicolás Behar, director of Recylink and one of the organizers of this part of the fair, stated that “the main challenge in this aspect is a cultural change. The challenge is that companies at the corporate level and also the work teams in the field see this as something important, that it is not the last thing that has to be solved because it is requested from above”. After the tour and at the end of the day, the president of the CChC, Antonio Errázuriz, was enthusiastic about this entrepreneurial facet in the country, and explained that “we have to take advantage of the entrepreneurship of these young people who are showing us how to make a better country, how we can take advantage of these situations that cause discomfort, such as waste, and how we can do something more environmentally friendly and for the country”. Regarding the balance of the fair, Errázuriz highlighted the attendance and participation of academics, authorities, companies and representatives of the public, who were able to see, for example, industrialized housing of social interest, advances in water and energy efficiency and the best virtual design programs that improve the productivity of the sector.

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