Contributions of the circular economy to the UN sustainable development goals through sustainable construction

Olabode Emmanuel Ogunmakinde, Temitope Egbelakin, William Sher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)
374 Downloads (Pure)


The construction industry plays an essential role in a country’s economic growth. The industry has been criticised for activities and processes that generate high volumes of waste, whilst obstructing sustainable development goal (SDGs) targets. The circular economy (CE) increases waste minimisation by keeping materials and resources in a closed loop. This concept has continued to gain positive traction as a potential solution to achieve sustainable development. The authors argue that contextualising the circular economy (CE) as part of the discourse towards implementing the United Nations (UN) SDGs Agenda 2030 is crucial for managing the increasing amounts of waste generated by the construction industry. This paper provides a framework that establishes a detailed relationship between the SDGs, construction waste management and the CE to direct future sustainable development research, policies, and innovations. The study adopted a narrative literature review methodology. Scopus and Web of Science were scoured for relevant literature published between 2015 and 2021. Initially 65 articles
were identified with this number being reduced to 24 following a detailed inspection of their applicability to the study. The findings from the articles were summarized, synthesized, and incorporated into the study. A key theme that emerged was that an understanding of the SDGs-circular economy linkages in construction waste management is integral to establishing long-term innovative solutions for developing multi-sectorial measures for waste prevention, eco-design, and re-use of materials. These linkages increase competitiveness, stimulate innovation, and boost economic growth. This study proposes that all stakeholders who generate waste should apply new innovative technologies, methods and strategies leading to transdisciplinary and transformative change.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106023
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Early online date11 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


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