ECOS secures Built by Nature Accelerator Fund grant to boost adoption of sustainable mass timber in construction       

Work to target European legislation, as well as European and international standards, on specific policy areas targeting the accelerated adoption of mass timber in construction

BRUSSELS – July 6th. Built by Nature, a network and grant-making organisation with a mission to accelerate the timber building transformation in Europe, is pleased to announce a €211,336 Accelerator Fund grant to Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS) to influence European Union legislation, building standards, and climate financing toward removal of regulatory barriers and an incentivised use of sustainably-harvested timber in construction. 

Brussels-based ECOS is an international NGO with a network of members and experts advocating for environmentally friendly technical standards, policies and laws. With this Accelerator Fund project, ECOS will target its technical advocacy to strengthen the case concerning the climate benefits of sustainable timber for buildings in relevant standards, policies, and in the EU sustainable finance taxonomy.

The targeted legislation focuses on construction products’ and buildings’ environmental performance, and carbon accounting methodologies and requirements. In addition to the provision of incentives for sustainable timber, reducing the existing bias towards traditional materials in current legislation will facilitate investment in timber buildings through the integration of embodied carbon criteria in the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy.

The project seeks to support sustainably-sourced timber as a solution for the EU building sector’s climate mitigation pathway, as well as establish the benefits of timber in embodied carbon assessments in progressive EU laws and EU and international standards. This includes shaping ongoing EU policy files for the reduction of whole life carbon emissions of buildings and construction products. In the long run, the initiative would contribute to introducing embodied carbon monitoring requirements, benchmarks and emission limits at building and product level before 2030.

Built by Nature’s Accelerator Fund provides grants of between €50,000-€250,000 to teams and solutions that help decarbonise the built environment and scale up building with timber from sustainably managed forests. Since launching in October 2021, the Accelerator Fund has supported five projects totalling (€738,586) in the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and the UK.   

About Built by Nature

Built by Nature connects key actors across the built environment and forest communities to spark city-scale projects and amplify stories of ground-breaking timber projects and solutions. In close collaboration with its major partners and frontrunners, Built by Nature aims to change perceptions around timber construction and reshape the built environment system. 

Built by Nature is supported by founding partner Laudes Foundation, which launched in 2020 and is part of the Brenninkmeijer family enterprise. Laudes Foundation supports initiatives that inspire and challenge industry to harness its power for good and has a track record of leveraging philanthropic capital as a catalyst for industry wide change.  

About ECOS

Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS) is an international NGO with a network of members and experts advocating for environmentally friendly technical standards, policies and laws. We ensure the environmental voice is heard when they are developed and drive change by providing expertise to policymakers and industry players, leading to the implementation of strong environmental principles.

QUOTES

Amanda Sturgeon, CEO, Built by Nature says: ‘Built by Nature knows that there is a great deal of work to be done at the European policy level, and that legislation affecting construction standards and the built environment needs to evolve to reflect the climate crisis while acknowledging the new technologies and biobased materials available which can lead to real carbon reductions. We also know that ECOS has a good track record of engaging policymakers and effecting change, and Built by Nature is optimistic that this Accelerator Fund grant will help secure the acceptance of mass timber in European regulatory frameworks.’

Justin Wilkes, Executive Director, ECOS, says: ‘We are thrilled to start this new partnership with Built by Nature: we need a strong environmental voice at such a turning point for EU construction sector legislation. We will put all our energy into transforming the policy and standardisation landscape to unleash the potential of sustainably sourced timber in decarbonising the built environment.’

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