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Reducing carbon footprint without reducing the delivery of social & affordable homes

An 'Innovation bites' webinar

Online, 30 November 2023Save the date

Housing Europe is happy to announce its new series of webinars – Innovation bites – bringing forward innovation projects, with a focus on policy and funding. Second episode: addressing a value-driven transition towards circular housing based around sufficiency, local economic development and whole-of-life emissions.

As the transition to a circular economy in the built environment is gathering pace, how can we make sure that it is a fair one that respects human rights, including the right to adequate housing. The social, public, cooperative housing sector represented by Housing Europe is committed to bring down emissions in their construction and renovation activities. This requires a new systemic approach to development from better use of existing buildings to improving local supply chains so that we can reduce the carbon footprint, not only in the use-phase homes, but also those linked to construction activities.

The second episode of our ‘Innovation bites’ webinar series will focus on ‘Reducing carbon footprint without reducing the delivery of social & affordable homes’. We will hear about the issues around measuring embodied energy, experience of some early adopters of the circular economy principles in the social and public housing sector, and we will welcome key industry and policy players in the field at Housing Europe’s office to have a chat with.

This webinar episode is organised as part of the EU-funded Drive 0 project.



Moderated by Diana Yordanova, Director of Communications at Housing Europe

10:00 – 10:10 | Introduction to the session & the Drive 0 project

Clara Mafé, Housing Europe

10:10 – 10:40 | Sufficiency: using what’s already there

Out-of-Office pitch on ‘converting office buildings to housing’ by Kate Joyce, Tuath Housing

Pitch on ‘densification and collective purchasing of re-used materials’ Carine Puyol, Union Social pour L’Habitat

Chat with Josephina Lindblom, DG ENV European Commission

10:40 – 10:55 | Material mix: measuring and reducing embodied energy

Björn Berggren, Sveriges Allmannytta (Public Housing Sweden)

10:55 – 11:20 | Chat with Construction 2050 Alliance on bringing down emissions together in social/public housing

Fernando Sigchos, European Builders Confederation

11:20 – 11:30 | Policy changes & social safeguards needed for a circular transition

Sorcha Edwards, Housing Europe

11:30 | Closing

The Q&A section will be open all throughout the session.

Register now to save your spot!


Innovation bites webinars - part of the series on 'For a Green Deal driving Decent Housing for All'

We need more innovative answers, that would not only prepare the places where we live to be more adapted to the environment, but also to do so without leaving anyone behind.The good news is that many interesting ideas are being tested out there. However, it is paramount that these ideas and their results are put forward, to inspire and eventually encourage scaling up. In our series, we have chosen four projects:

  • The European Affordable Housing Consortium, SHAPE-EU, has as a mission to support renovation at district level
  • NRG2PEERS is focused on improving the creation of energy communities
  • Drive-0 aims to accelerate deep renovation, prioritising circular solutions in a cost effective manner
  • syn.ikia’s goal is to prove that the neighbourhood approach is the best when wanting to ensure energy efficiency without compromising the well-being of the residents.

A project is not an isolated environment, its goals are set to respond to existing issues, and its results are meant to inspire solutions. The development of demonstration cases can serve as testbeds for different types of funding and financing, while lessons learned from a project could deliver solid arguments for new or improved policies.

The EU Green Deal must not leave anyone behind. Now is the time to set the right priorities at political level. We must adapt new and renovated homes to climate change and social needs. It is generally agreed that housing should be a right. But housing without affordable means to light, heat, cool, cook - is not decent housing. To achieve this goal, a unified European Housing Plan should be launched, that could harmonise all existing tools, and mobilise the necessary resources for a responsible Renovation Wave. One of its reference point is the European Affordable Housing Initiative, a valuable source of knowledge.

With the right plan, social and affordable housing providers in Europe could commit to delivering over 200,000 new homes annually emitting lowest carbon per m2 possible. People expect more than a few more centimetres of insulation and a couple of solar panels. They would be on board with the goals of the green deal if it makes homes energy-saving, at a price they can pay.