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This call-to-action is a change management initiative, to change how the building industry views and deals with waste and other resources



Mission 2030 is the first important initiative by the Construction Resource Initiatives Council (CRI Council) - a non-profit, non-partisan, and building industry professionals led organization. It was founded to create an integrated body of knowledge, and change the way building industry views and deals with waste and resources.

The CRI Council harvests the knowledge and energy of wide ranging professionals, academia, goevrnements and other like minded to address the issues, impacts and possible solutions of industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) waste, starting with the construction, renovation and demolition stream - a matter of free trade agreements and the Basel Convention

The organization's mission is to support, develop and implement initiatives, that first eliminate the concept of building waste, recognizing the high impacts and resource value of  recoverables; or that we are powerless to the increasing IC&I waste.

Mission 2030 challenges ALL stakeholders to eliminate the construction, renovation and demolition waste to landfill by 2030, pushing them to

1.    Rethink their design practices and policies to

2.    Reduce

3.    Reuse

4.    Recycle

5.    Recover for Waste-to-Energy

The strength of this intiative lies in the many individuals who have created a strategic change management approach providing:

·      Clear Change Direction

·      Creativity to overcome inertia: 

·      Inspirational and Motivational Leadership

The path to Mission 2030 considers waste and sustainable development at all points of a building projects lifecycle from the  project delivery method, the conceptual design, design and specification development, to the eventual demolition or deconstruction – and all steps in between.

It was developed with a holistic. inclusive and integrated approach, to promote the accepted waste hierarchy, while being mindful of the risks of by-product contamination for social well-being, as well as current infrastructure, economic and social realities.

Category of the action

Reducing emissions from waste management

What actions do you propose?

Raise Awareness to the Need for Change   

Understanding by ALL of the reasons why change is necessary is critical to the success of Mission 2030 and while GHGE may be the core reason, it either is not understood by many stakeholders, and many others wantto speak more about costs and benefits, or other change concerns.  

Unfortunately, we all this requires immediate action and a concerted global effort – we can’t wait for government leaders to deal with this through more policies, which may or may not be effective. We need to come together, converse in the language of choice by each sector and become self-policing. 

According to Architecture 2030; approximately 75% of the built environment will be either new or newly renovated by 2035 – Which provides us with a tremendous and immediate opportunity to improve energy and water efficiency, create non-toxic environments, reintegrate natural systems into the built environment and reduce the overall wastage and pollution in the industry. 

And this doesn’t necessarily mean increasing costs; it simply means we need to recognize the hidden value in the so called 'waste'; work smarter and more efficiently; integrating our efforts across all disciplines, and making even the hardest connections.

Therefore, in the quest for energy and GHG reduction, the need for complete and transparent accountability for reliable chains of custody, and life cycle assessments are more essential than ever, for the building industry, and all others.

We can no longer ignore the role that we as individuals play in the industry that has allowed us to sustain our own needs, and the impact that our decisions and actions may have on our social, environmental and economical fabric.

The waste industry began some time ago integrating and organizing itself to address these issues. And while the building industry certainly has as well in terms of building efficiencies, much more attention and leadership is required to address the related waste impacts.

Understand Building Waste Complexities and Provide a Thorough yet Concise Message to Stakeholder

Canadian buildings account for:

·       33% of all energy used

·       50% of natural resources consumed

·       25% percent of landfill waste generated

·       35% percent of greenhouse gases emitted

Even a small impact to our waste scorecard will have extensive effects for the country as a whole; and given the amount of build and renovation in our future, and the urgency associated with greenhouse gasses, the time for us to do something as an industry is NOW.

Create an Industry Challenge

Mission 2030 is an integrated, nonpartisan and non-profit initiative to inspire decision makers on building and product design, construction practices, purchasing, policies, operations and maintenance, to base their decisions on resource efficiency, reducing construction, renovation or demolition waste to landfill with the following targets:   35% by 2015; 50% by 2020; 75% by 2025 and 100% by 2030

The actual path to “zero construction, renovation and demolition waste to landfill” considers waste and sustainable development at all points of a building projects lifecycle from the project delivery method, the conceptual design, design and specification development, to the eventual demolition or deconstruction – and all steps in between; using the waste hierarchy, and mindful of the risks of by-product contamination for social well-being, as well as current infrastructure, economic and social realities.

Making better decisions early in the design (architectural, interior or industrial), or building process can reduce the overall volume of waste, and while the infrastructure varies from region to region, it is theoretically possible to reuse, recycle, salvage, compost or recover for energy over 95% of all waste generated by construction, renovation or demolition activities, effectively removing it from the waste stream. Leading consultants, manufacturers and builders have shown us, and we need to show all others, that this can be done by adopting simple principles such as, but not limited to:

·       Design for Disassembly and Adaptability 

·       Design for Durability

·       Specification of Deconstruction’ rather than ‘Demolition’

·       Specification of sustainable materials – ideally Cradle-to-Cradle – or such as:

·              Existing materials suitable for reuse

·              Materials with high recycled content and recyclable

·              Materials made from rapidly renewable resources

·       Reviewing the need for unnecessary extra materials to store for maintenance

·       Site Resource/Waste Management Planning, including

·              Shipping considerations

·              Implementation which should include trade education

·              Review         

By tackling the issue of resource inefficiency/wasted resources at all stages we feel that we could decouple the generation of waste from economic growth, allowing us to reap the benefits of the growth without the inherent costs and impacts of waste. This will be good for industry, the environment, and society as a whole. 

Consider some case studies:

·       In the Wesley House 2003 study, it was calculated that every square foot of materials diverted equated to avoidance 4.29lbs of GHGCE, 15.75lbs GHGCO2, etc.

·       A report from NRCan ‘Let’s Climb Another Molehill indicates that 24kg of CO2 emissions is avoided with every kg of drywall recycled. 

Zero C&D waste to landfill by 2030, may sound to some like an aggressive target, but history has shown us that it is possible.  For example; In 2003, German construction and demolition activities generated 214 Megatons of waste composed of two thirds excavation material, nearly another third of building and road demolition waste and a smaller fraction of mixed construction site waste.

Despite these high numbers, only 15% of this material was disposed of in landfills, while the remaining 85% was recovered and reused in further applications or recycled.

Germany’s high material, energy, labor and waste disposal costs favor the economics of recovering, reusing and recycling as much as C&D waste as possible. Additionally, strong waste management systems have been long required by laws and regulations at all levels of government in order to minimize the impact of C&D waste in the waste stream. More recent versions of these regulations focus on the complete material cycle, working towards a closed loop substance cycle in construction and demolition, known as ‘Kreislaufwirtschaft’.

This combination of regulation from government and proactive industry action have helped Germany establish an effective C&D waste management infrastructure, where waste management and abatement practices have been integrated into mainstream architectural and engineering education and practice, and provide an effective model for other countries to follow.

It’s interesting to note that in leading organizations and countries, the attention and goal has in fact already shifted from zero waste to landfill, to zero waste production, cradle to cradle – even biomimicry; recognizing the high value of wasted resources in social, environmental and economical development.  But for Canada and many other countries, we need to address the way we fundamentally view and deal with waste first.

Clear the Path to Zero Waste to Landfill

While Mission 2030 is a “call to action” for the whole industry, it is also a pragmatic initiative based on a foundation of proven change management principles;

1.       Defining the direction of change: Mission 2030

       Mission 2030 starts with the end vision clearly in focus: Zero construction, renovation and demolition waste to landfill by 2030. This is what we want to achieve and all steps of this journey will be aligned to achieving that vision.

2.       Overcoming inertia: Generating the reason to change

No change is successful if the people affected by the change process do not see the need for it.  This is a key element of any successful change initiative… and where a lot of change efforts fail.  The communication of the reasons that change is necessary to ALL primary and secondary stakeholders is a critical component to creating sustainable change.  The ‘learner-centered’ education pedagogy initiative is a means of educating on the why change is necessary - as well as identifying how change is possible, and what tools are available or is necessary; presented in a way that all can understand.

3.       Starting the Journey: The first few steps

As Martin Luther King said “I don’t have to see the whole stair case to take the first few steps”. It’s not necessary, or even desirable to attempt to map out every step on this journey before we start. If we attempted to do this we would be forever planning, and will never accomplish anything. But in order to generate real industry change it’s essential to create those “first few steps”… Once we have these, the journey can start; measure and verify our performance as we go, and correct our course as necessary- always aiming for the ultimate goal of Mission 2030.  

No change is successful in the long run without these three elements.  And conversely with these three elements in place, the chances of success increase exponentially. For now, in the words of William McDonough (co-founder of Cradle to Cradle and other important initiatives) ‘We don’t need to eliminate waste, but the concept of waste’

Pulling Together:

For Mission 2030 to succeed, it will require the participation of all primary and secondary industry stakeholders, not just the efforts of the CRI Council and a few other dedicated groups. While the challenge was issued by the CRI Council, it’s the industry as a whole who are determining its path and priorities.  

Ultimately, this initiative is about creating the industry change to effectively decouple waste generation from economic growth, allowing us to continue to grow without negatively impacting other societies, and our environment, challenging others and the next generations to sustain themselves.

As the CRI Council continues to build alliances and integrating with committed industry and community leaders, the first steps have been taken to develop a pedagogy reflective of resource efficiency part of sustainability principles, and optimal for promoting learning which involves higher-level thinking and attitudinal changes – transformation.

The CRI Council’s Mission 2030 is intended to be a collaborative effort from a wide range of industry organizations, educational institutions and many other public and private sectors, which will inspire those who seek support, or yet to embrace change; while motivating pragmatic policies for sustainable development.

Our action focuses around the following:

·       Effective Global Industry Communication

·       Providing Tools & Support starting with as a ‘Waste Saver’ Mobile App and Reference Guide

·       Integration & Learner-Centered Education meeting UNEP Guidelines for Education Policy on Sustainable Development, making sustainability sustainable

·       Research & Technology - various research project are already getting organize and funding applied for     

·       Strategic Change Management  - A team of  strategist is already in action        

Such focus will help us demonstrate and promote the interdependencies between our various disciplines and through the use of scenarios, templates and business models, demonstrate how, by working together and addressing all aspects of the building cycle we can not only reduce waste to landfill, but also reduce our costs and increase our flexibility at the same time.

As the approach is intended to take lessons from the sustainable development integrated design process, it will have to deal with the lack of understanding, and on some levels, trusts and conflict between all required disciplines.

Essentially, the adoption of such an initiative will imply unprecedented bi-directional communication and feedback, maximum synchronicity and task coordination.  




Who will take these actions?

Many organizations are doing great work in the area of material recovery. The CRI Council is the leading organization of the Mission 2030 initiative, and  begun collaborating with such group as Architecture 2030 and other design associations, Habitat for Humanity, Green Building Councils, Waste Associations, Zero Waste Councils, specialty product associations, educational and research institutions, etc.

Renée Gratton, LEED AP, President of a sustainability consultancy, RG Integration and Associates Inc is the founding President CEO of the CRI Council, leading a growing number of others in this zero waste initiative, including:

Architects:   Darryl Hood & Gordon Erskine, Teresa Coady

Interior Designer & Professor: Ann Callaghan

Developer:   Minto Communities

Other wide-ranging subject matter experts:   John-David Hutchison, Diana Osler, Meredith Thatcher, Rob Hewitt, Michael Trevail, Elizabeth Millar, Simon Paquette

Mechanical Contractor:   Modern Niagara  

Mission 2030 was officially launched on February 19, 2013, in collaboration with the Toronto Canada Green Building Council and Evergreen Brickworks, with the fianacial support of Architecture Canada, Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute and BOMA 

The CRI Council is an official partner of UNEP-Global Partnership on Waste Management; collaborator to the Sustainable Building and Climate Initiative; and official advisor of Canada's National Zero Waste Council - a Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Fund Initiative.

There is in fact a growing list of supporters and allies, endorsing Mission 2030. All this said, ultimately, for Mission 2030 to succeed, the actions will have to be taken by individuals and leading organizations (public and private). This is being increasingly done by industry leaders, as they sign the Mission 2030 pledge.

Note that we do not want to 'reinvente the wheel'. We want to provide strenght and clarity to the existing great initiatves, with a pragmatic option for all, engaging laggers. 

Where will these actions be taken?

Most of the physical strategic meetings are happening where the original core founding group is located, in the Ottawa area.

However, as the number of partners and volunteers is increasing, we are wanting to see workshops around the world, and actively seeking global partners. 

This is key as building resources are freely traded globally from the point of finite or rapidly renewable natural resource extraction; through to fabrication where a great deal of industrial, commercial and institutional waste happens with important global warming potential; is installed a building which will require more resources creating waste and more GHG; to then reach the end of its life. At that point, it will either be deconstruction to extend the life of the resources through reuse or recycling, or even waste to energy. Or it will be wasted to landfill where it will contribute to important greenhouse gas emissions...

Actions need to be taken from the earliest and respctive wide ranging decision making points, including but not limited to:

  • the owner/client's, in the approach they will take action on their purchasing/contracting policies
  • the designer (architectural, inetrior, industrial, structural, mechanical, electrical, landscaping), in the consideration for design for adaptability, flexibility, durability
  • the contractor and trades, in their estimating, contracting/purchasing, internal and onsite education, communication and management policies
  • the waste management company, in their integrity and chain of custody management


To date, most of our outreach has been in Ontario in view of limited time and resources. This noted, we have been reaching out to organizations around the world, and have now been invited to present our vision and expertise in other Canadian Provinces, and abroad including Italy, China, Austria, US.

Our strategy also includes priority engagement with international organizations to spread the word more effectively and rapidly. 

What are other key benefits?

There are many other benefits to Mission 2030:

·       Facilitation and cost reduction for industry transformation for a circular economy 

·       Life cycle impact and health risk minimization 


·       The Wesley House 2003 study concluded that every square foot of materials diverted equated to avoidance of 33,470 BTUs.

·       A 2002 Wastecap Wisconsin & Alliant Energy study, ‘Implementing a Reduction and Recycling Program at a Commercial Construction Site’, shows how $15,000 was saved through avoided disposal costs, and the 50% diversion was surpassed to 75% through a number of key et simple elements, all part of the Mission 2030

The Ohio MORPC-ME3 (E3: Economy, Energy & Environment) 2009 lean manufacturing pilot project with 6 companies, resulted in nearly $150,000 savings per company - equa ro $1.7million in energy savings, $2.6million in environmental savings, and over 250,000lbs of water pollutants avoided.  

Germany's startegy on C&D also shows the possible economical benefits.





How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

At this time, it is difficut to evaluate the emission reduction resulting from our strategy. However, consider the following:

A Sienna study adjusted landfills from 11th to 4th as most responsible sector to GHGE, and though greatly debated, they warn on the high waste-to-energy emissions 

Based on data from the Athena Institute from the report 'Let's climb another Molehill, we found that 24kg of CO2 emissions was avoided with every kg of drywall recycled on thta project. 

Methane - a primary landfill gas has a global warming potential around 24 times greater than CO2 

Nitrous Oxide & Fluronated Gases atributed to industrial processes also have far greater emissions.

In a US EPA report, we find that increasing the nation’s recycling rate just 1% will cut greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking more than 1.3 million cars off the road — that’s more than all the cars registered in the state of Utah / sim. to Toronto

Some of our allies are doing life cycle impacts.

What are the proposal’s costs?

Bringing Mission 2030 to market is a significant challenge at great initiatives cost. As does the professional consulting, research, outreach, development, marketing, administration, etc. that supports it.  In a fragile local economy, the cost of such an ambitious initiative, led by a grassroots non-profit organization is daunting. Especially as:

Although the work of the founders and volunteers is extensive and increasingly supported by other industry leaders and organizations, the CRI Council only became a legal entity in March 2011 and still unknown or unproven to many stakeholders who would typically support such initiatives.

Professional volunteers dedicated to the actual tasks at hand (research, development and planning), must balance their own work with volunteer time, leaving little to no time for fund raising

Current volunteers and supporters are small to mid-size organizations or non-profit organizations with limited funds, through challenging economic and transformation times

While the cost of creating and developing such a program are substantial, the most important costs will be associated with the wide reaching campaigning, as well as the logistical implementation, including the necessary communications and multi-media tools.

The cost to reach our first 35% reduction by 2015 benchmark could easily range from 5 to 7 million dollars.

This would greatly depend on the endorsement and support by other like minded organizations, as well as ALL levels of governments from Canada, US, China and others, in introducing and enforcing extended producer responsibility type policies.  

Municipalities can also affect the adoptation and therefore costs of this endeavor though their policies on building or deconstruction (VS demolition) permit fees and requirements or incentives.

Last but not least, the evolution of building or product certifications will have an important impact on the cost of such an inititiave. 


Time line

The council’s journey really began in 2009 with the forming of a task group addressing drywall recycling, or the lack thereof, in the Canadian National Capital Region.

In 2011, the group was incorporated as a non-profit organization, introducing its concept to industry, through the year it themed as INitiate.

In April 2012 the council held a unique two day gathering retreat: CRI Council International INspiration Leaders Workshop, where industry leaders, innovators and experts from wide ranging fields came together to advance the concept of Mission 2030 and the learner-centered pedagogy. This enabled the council’s core professionals to begin the development; setting the direction and pace of one of the most important, far reaching initiative to hit the building industry in many years.   

The many workshops, symposiums, group presentations and consultations provided a solid foundation for the draft of the Mission 2030 Pledge, and the development of various projects, including a dynamic learning experience, with Modern Niagara Ottawa

A few of our milestone dates, leading up to the launch of Mission 2030 include:


  • Position Paper: Drywall Recycling in the National Capital Region (c/w specification sample)



  • INitiate Summit, Toronto, April 2011
  • United Nations Environment Programme – Sustainable Building Climate Initiative (UNEP-SBCI):   Meeting Paris Head Office;   Symposium on Sustainable Buildings, Philadelphia



  • Realpac (Real Property Association of Canada  
  • Canadian Construction Association Annual Conference – Oral Presentation
  • INspiration Leaders Workshop, Wakefield, Québec
  • International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) Congress, Florence, Italy 
  • International Interior Designers Exhibition 



  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Windsor, Ontario



  • Canadian Stewardship Conference 
  • Ottawa, Toronto and Quebec Construction Associations  
  • Alberta Recycling Association
  • Meeting with the Office of the Ontario Minister of the Environment's office...

Related proposals


Some references are listed in our own peer reviewed report, ‘Drywall Recycling in the National Capital Region’, available at

Subsequently, countless reports have been examined from the original concept of this project in 2007. We continue to look through reports to find information that help us build stronger business cases for the building industry, as well as hold invaluable consultations with such organizations as the following - our most frequent reference sources:

Architecture 2030

Athena Sustainable Materials Institute

BRE (British Research Establishment)

CSA (Canadian Standards Association)

Conference Board of Canada

Deloitte Touche

European Environment Agency

Green Building Councils (US & Canada)

ISWA (International Solid Waste Association)

ISO (International Standards Organization)

National Research Council

National Round Table on the Economy and Environment (Canada)

WBDG (Whole Building Design Guide)

UNEP (UN Environment Programme)

US EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency)

Government of Canada (several sector web sites)

A few documents examined include:

Kyoto protocol

Basel Convention

Construction and Demolitiona Material Characterization by Frankin Associates, 2008

Smart Construction by Leopardo Construction

World Green Building Trends, McGraw Hill Construction Report 2013

Towards the Circular Economy, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Green Buildings in North America: Opportunities and Challenges (2008) Teamwork in Integrated Design

Understanding the Effects of Trust, Conflict, and Collaboration on Performance by François Chiocchio, Daniel Forgues, David Paradis, & Ivanka Iordanova 

NAFTA Commission for Environmental Cooperation report

Waste Wallboard and Wood Fiber for Use as an Alternative Dairy Bedding Material - Interim Report; as well as other reports by the Nova Scotia Canada Resoyrce Recovery Fund Board, who works closely with the city of Halifax and Dalhousie University 

We also worked and will continue to work closely with students of Ryerson University and Algonquin College to prepare bibliographies on related information, including a review of all Provincial regulatory policies or public sector initiatives across Canada, including for major cities

Reference links on risks of drywall recycling in the agricultural sector, provided by one of our member, new West Gypsum Recycling include