Lets explain how recycling practices can lead to environmental sustainability



2-4 NOVEMBER 2020

BEYOND 2020 went virtual!


Many thanks to all who have helped to make BEYOND 2020 a reality despite the COVID-19 situation: our partners, sponsors, speakers and participants! The conference took place online on 2-4th November 2020 and here are some of the results that the conference generated:

  • 877 participants
  • 118 sessions
  • 301 papers published

For those who attended the conference, the recorded sessions will be available here until the end of October 2021 (please use the same user name and password as during the conference).

BEYOND 2020 Organising Committee

Linking the
Global Building Sector
to the

GOALS 2030

By 2050, 68% of the world’s population will live in cities.

And Tuesday 1st January 2030 is the deadline for the built environment to contribute to the fulfillment of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
A deadline that takes place in the next decade may seem like someone else’s problem.

But if we don’t act now, then who will and when?

Now is the time to plan the cities and communities we want and need, both now and in the future. It is up to everyone in the construction value chain and beyond to play their part in planning and securing a sustainable built environment for the future: architects & engineers, constructors, materials suppliers, building owners & municipalities, regulators, financial institutions and IT players.
No group is too big or too small to be neither irrelevant nor unaffected.

Bringing the best minds together, BEYOND 2020 is our opportunity to create the missing link between the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 and the built environment.
We will cross the boundaries of knowledge, share top-level expertise and merge it to help shape the future of the built environment, together.

How will you make a difference in the built environment?


BEYOND 2020 embraces a global perspective that reaches across academia as well as private and public sectors. We will work together to develop concrete solutions and achievable implementation plans. These solutions will incorporate research, policy, finance, education, and innovative thinking, in order to create the resilient and sustainable built environments of tomorrow.

What BEYOND 2020 offers you:


Engage with the world’s leading researchers.

Diverse interactions with global green building community.

Comprehensive programme with high-quality paper sessions.


Gain insights into recent academic findings and innovations.

Learn about remarkable green construction projects from across the world.

Network with global leaders in the sustainable building sector.


Contribute to developing implementation pathways for the sustainable build environment.

Get inspired by best policy practices and initiatives from all over the world.

Experience Sweden’s sustainability initiatives at first hand.


Find inspiration for potential green investment opportunities.

Contribute to discussions on scaling up sustainability financing in the building sector.

Learn about best practices from global sustainable building sector.

In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to find ways to protect our environment and promote sustainability. One key way we can do this is through recycling. By reducing waste, conserving natural resources, and minimizing pollution, recycling practices can lead to a more sustainable future for our planet. As we explore how to explain how recycling practices can lead to environmental sustainability, we’ll dive into the various benefits of recycling and how it contributes to achieving the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, as well as insights from the recent Beyond 2020 conference on sustainable built environments.

The Environmental Impact of Recycling

Recycling plays a crucial role in reducing the environmental impact of human activities. When we recycle materials, they get transformed into new products, which means we don’t have to extract and process as many raw materials. This helps conserve precious natural resources like timber, water, and minerals, which are often non-renewable and limited in supply.Plus, recycling helps cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. Making goods from recycled materials usually takes less energy than making them from scratch. Like, recycling aluminum saves a whopping 95% of the energy needed to create new aluminum from raw materials. By using less energy, recycling helps lower carbon emissions and shrink our carbon footprint.

The Human Side of Recycling

While the environmental benefits of recycling are clear, it’s important to remember the human element too. Recycling isn’t just about sorting materials – it’s about the choices and actions of individuals, families, and communities.Research shows that our psychology plays a big role in our recycling habits. Things like social norms, attitudes, and perceived barriers can all influence whether someone chooses to recycle or not. For example, people are more likely to recycle if they see it as a moral obligation or if their friends and neighbors are doing it too. On the flip side, inconvenience, lack of knowledge, or not having a personal connection to the issue can lead people to recycle less.The good news is there are ways to motivate people to recycle more. Education is key – teaching people about the importance of recycling and how to do it right can make a big difference. Making recycling more convenient and accessible, whether through curbside pickup programs or better labeling, removes barriers. And even small things, like putting eyes on a recycling bin to make it seem more human, can nudge people in the right direction.At the end of the day, recycling comes down to individual choices. But by understanding the human side of the equation, we can create a culture where recycling is the norm. As the Beyond 2020 conference highlighted, moving towards a circular economy will require changes in both supply and demand, with consumers embracing more sustainable practices.

Achieving a Sustainable Built Environment

The impact of recycling goes beyond just consumer goods to the very buildings and spaces we live in. The built environment is a major contributor to global carbon emissions and waste. But as the Beyond 2020 conference showcased, there are tons of opportunities to make construction more sustainable, with recycling and reuse of materials playing a key role.Innovations in recycled building materials, from concrete to insulation, can help close the loop and reduce the need for raw resources. Designing buildings for deconstruction and reuse at the end of their life cycle is another important strategy. And at the community level, embracing a sharing economy and shifting away from the ”take-make-waste” model can lead to more efficient use of space and resources.Of course, realizing a truly circular built environment will require action from all stakeholders, from architects and developers to policymakers and residents. But the potential benefits – for both the planet and local communities – make it a worthy goal. As the Beyond 2020 conference declaration states, ”a sustainable built environment is the foundation for a more viable ecological, economical and social future”.


Recycling is a powerful tool in the pursuit of environmental sustainability. By adopting effective recycling practices, we can conserve natural resources, reduce pollution, combat climate change, and contribute to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. And by appealing to the human side of recycling – our psychology, motivations, and social connections – we can create a culture of sustainability that extends from the products we buy to the buildings we inhabit.The insights and innovations shared at the Beyond 2020 conference paint an inspiring vision of what a circular, sustainable future could look like. Now it’s up to all of us to help make that vision a reality, one recycled material at a time. Together, we can build a greener, more resilient world for generations to come. So let’s get out there and start recycling like our planet depends on it – because it totally does!