Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

Investments in infrastructure – transport, irrigation, energy and information and communication technology – are crucial to achieving sustainable development and empowering communities in many countries. It has long been recognised that growth in productivity and incomes, and improvements in health and education outcomes require investment in infrastructure.

Manufacturing is an important driver of economic development and employment. At the current time, however, manufacturing value added per capita is only US$100 in the least developed countries compared to over US$4,500 in Europe and Northern America. Another important factor to consider is the emission of Carbon Dioxide during manufacturing processes. Emissions have decreased over the past decade in many countries but the pace of decline has not been even around the world.

Technological progress is the foundation of efforts to achieve environmental objectives, such as increased resource and energy efficiency. Without technology and innovation, industrialisation will not happen, and without industrialisation, development will not happen. There needs to be more investments in high-tech products that dominate the manufacturing productions to increase efficiency and a focus on mobile cellular services that increase connections between people.


The building industry is producing massive amounts of waste and consuming large amounts of natural resources and energy.

Advancing sustainability in the built environment requires a development of industry and industrial infrastructure away from current practice and towards new ways of producing and assembling. We must develop our industry, its services, products and transportation systems to pollute less, tie up less energy, produce less waste and provide solutions that are safer and healthier than current standards.

The building industry is by nature site-specific, and we must aim at utilising local industries and advancing the development of sustainable products locally, in all countries. This requires the development of both physical and digital infrastructures to promote more sustainable trade and coexistence, including much more focus on the industry’s use of local materials and resources. Where advanced industry is available, the focus is on the development of products that improve existing standards and raise the level on sustainability, for example by moving from a focus on no waste in production to a focus on no waste in a lifecycle perspective. This requires training and the development of new competences at all levels in the building industry, as well as research and prototypes to test the potential of new tools, processes and solutions. The resulting innovations in industry must continuously be measured against a culturally and climatically site-specific impact on sustainability.

CASE STUDIES Kvadrat Soft Cells, Denmark