The built environment refers to the human-made surroundings where people gather to live, work and play, such as roads, parks, playgrounds, public spaces, commercial and residential buildings.

Our ambition

A circular economy that prioritises reuse, recovery and recycling in our growing built environment with influence to develop innovative and adaptive building and planning policies and practices.

Government commitments

  • The ACT Government is developing a 10-year pathway to achieving world’s best practice sustainable buildings, in the context of the ACT’s net zero emissions target
  • The Suburban Land Agency is actively investigating opportunities to reduce waste going to landfill during construction and landscaping in their projects
  • The CIT Woden project is working to achieve a minimum of 90% of construction and demolition waste diverted from landfill.

Potential opportunities for the ACT:

  • Explore opportunities for adaptive reuse and retrofitting to extend the life of existing buildings by considering whole of life costs
  • Develop procurement guidance on embedding circular economy concepts in the procurement process to uphold the ‘Environmental Responsibility’ procurement value under the Government Procurement (Charter of Procurement Values) Direction 2020, identifying opportunities to obtain greater recovery of materials from existing infrastructure and support innovative solutions for repurposing in the built environment
  • Embed sustainable practices in new projects throughout the project life-cycle to design out waste and pollution
  • Examine options to set specific mandatory, minimum and/or desirable requirements for use of recycled materials in government infrastructure projects
  • Align procurement policies and specifications for the use of recycled materials with our surrounding jurisdictions to leverage the combined purchasing power of ACT and New South Wales
  • Develop new training products to skill and upskill the new and existing workforces in sustainable building and construction to support the circular economy.

Learn more about the circular economy in action

Thor's Hammer, a local Canberran business, reclaims unwanted timber and transforms them into new products. Find out more by reading the case study.