Sustainable housing – Addressing SCP in the housing sector

Schneider, Madeline; Carolina Borges, Jessica Weir, Anton Barckhausen, Jonas Restle, Mikael P. Henzler, Apurva Singh, Isha Sen, Suhani Gupta, Shruti Isaar, Gitika Goswami and Zeenat Niazi 2019: Sustainable housing. Addressing SCP in the housing sector . EU: SWITCH-Asia Sustainable Consumption and Production Facility.

Sustainable consumption and production (SCP) can have a large positive impact. Depending on the industry, however, different measures may be called for, and not all regions start at the same point. A closer look is therefore necessary.

This scoping study provides a comprehensive overview of the current state, trends and gaps of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in sustainable housing in Asia and identifies critical issues with the need for further action. In order to determine the most pressing issues, the study examines housing along the different stages of the building value chain: By going through the stages of material production, design and manufacturing, construction, usage and recycling, this study provides a holistic overview of SCP in sustainable housing in Asian countries, followed by an assessment of overarching topics underpinning the theme, such as affordable housing, district development and the countries’ building and sustainable housing objectives within the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development 2030 Agenda. This in-depth assessment is performed for ten focal countries, i.e. China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand, that have been selected due to their sector focus and priorities. Based on the scoping part of the study, the SCP progress of the focal countries in sustainable housing is evaluated and compared, using a set of indicators. In addition, the scoping study also includes a selection of international best practices as well as country briefs to show the current status in further Asian countries, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Maldives, Myanmar, Philippines, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Overall, the assessment demonstrates that considerable efforts in the field of SCP in sustainable housing have already been made in most focal countries, ranging from affordable housing programmes, government level approaches to eco-city development and incentives for energy efficient appliances to awareness raising campaigns for energy and water conservation. However, challenges remain, especially in the areas of material production and recycling, i.e. at the beginning and at the end of the building lifecycle. Based on the comprehensive analysis performed, priority topics in the current SCP debate related to sustainable housing have been identified which have not received much attention so far but are critical to foster sustainable development along the whole building value chain.