Our society is in the process of bringing about a change in its values. Climate change and, in concrete terms, energy and resource efficiency as well as recycling are taking centre stage. In respect of the built environment, however, many more factors must be taken into consideration: functionality, maintenance requirement and durability are the central components of sustainable construction. The current discussion in society – especially outside legislation – has created an environment in which future-oriented companies actively present their role in society. Besides documentation of the sustainability of their products, they are logically taking the next step. Product manufacture as well as the position of the company are communicated in regard to their ecological, economic and social responsibility. The occasional sustainability reports by large companies have now given way to a broad wave of communications activities on corporate social responsibility (CSR). With regard to construction product manufacturers, with the FSC and PEFC label of the timber industry, seals of approval that have been positively acknowledged by society are already available. New is CSC certification (Concrete Sustainability Council) of the cement and concrete industry. These marks address especially sustainable resource management as well as awareness of social responsibility in product manufacture – areas in which the clay brick and tile industry has been taking a pronounced sustainable approach for years now.
Against the background of the current issues in society, this must urgently become part of the industry’s overall communication – and it must be documented verifiably.
Hans Peters, Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V., Berlin