Circular Economy

UKGBC is running a series of live experiments, testing the application of circular principles on real estate assets and construction projects. Our aim is to facilitate collaborative approaches to overcome common obstacles and to share these findings with the wider membership and industry.
Circular Economy


May 12, 2018


Research & Innovation



Get involved: If you would like a copy of the sponsorship opportunity document please email

Our Vision is of a built environment at the heart of a circular economy – where waste is eliminated and materials retain value long after their original use. We are looking for visionary, courageous, and bold-thinking organisations to join us on this experiential learning journey towards a more circular built environment.

There are many ways to get involved in the programme, see this Get Involved document that sets out all the opportunities to get involved including sponsorship, training, events and task groups.

The task groups will form the main part of the programme and this first year will investigate practical solutions that will enable clients to specify circular outcomes and drive greater reuse of products and materials using live projects to test solutions. Our task groups will begin meeting in October 2018 and will work on developing an output through Spring 2019.

The programme was set up because, in 2017, UKGBC Gold Leaf members said, through a Circular Economy Research Survey, that UKGBC needed to facilitate collaborative approaches in overcoming common obstacles, these included:

  • Limited practical action and engagement across the value chain
  • Limited awareness and understanding
  • Lack of business case evidence
  • Product liabilities
  • Unsupportive business models and strategic, long term thinking

The research survey also gave some background to what the circular economy means, examples of best practice and how the value chain is addressing circular economy in the UKGBC Gold Leaf membership. We plan to update this document with examples of best practice over time.

On 12thJune 2018 we held a webinar to provide an update, share current plans for the programme and gather feedback. You can listen to it here.

On 17th July we hosted a debate in central Bristol on the Circular Economy. A second debate will take place in Birmingham on October 4th. Further information about these and other events are available on our events pages.

On 12th September 2018 we held a webinar about glass in the circular economy. We heard from a range of speakers with experience recycling glass in the built environment. Details of this webinar as well as the ‘How-to-Guide’ associated with it can be found here.

Our third series of Course Mail focuses on the Circular Economy. The first of our straight-to-inbox learning will go live on October 31st, but you can sign up at anytime.

Starting on November 13th, the third series of UKGBC Insights and Innovations webinars will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in the field of circular economy. Sign up here.

UKGBC’s work in this area is being made possible thanks to the generous support of The Crown Estate, who will support activities as a programme partner across the two years. In addition, the first year of the programme is being sponsored by forward-thinking UKGBC members: Clarion Housing Group, Cleveland Steel, ISG, HS2, Telford Homes and TFT. UKGBC will be working in collaboration with supporting organisations working on the circular economy and the built environment including: Business in the Community (BITC), BRE Trust, Circular Economy Club, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Forum for the Future, Green Construction Board, London Waste and Recycling Board, RIBA, RICS, the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products and the Supply Chain Sustainability School.

To discuss partnering with UKGBC on this programme or if you would like to receive updates or further information about our Circular Economy programme please contact

Circular Economy sponsors