Exploring the circular economy in the concrete sector

The European REBus project seeks to enable the advancement of resource-efficient business models. Resource-efficient business models extract the maximum value from products by using them more intensively, extending their lifetime or enabling them to be reused – increasing business resilience and reducing resource dependency.

The first step towards establishing a resource-efficient business model is to evaluate the resource efficiency of bids made in tender procedures. Today, price is generally far more important than resource efficiency in such procedures. Within the framework of the REBus project two pilots were therefore organised to explore ways in which resource efficiency can be factored in to public tenders in the field of infrastructure projects. Both pilots were organised in the form of a workshop.

Pilot with Rijkswaterstaat
Rijkswaterstaat, the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, is the Netherlands’ major contracting authority for infrastructure projects, which generally involve large volumes of concrete. During this workshop, participants explored future opportunities for including use of recycled concrete in public tenders for replacement of about 50 locks scheduled between 2020 and 2040.

Pilot with representatives of the three largest Dutch municipalities
These municipalities are the Netherlands’ largest procurers of non-structural concrete products in infrastructure applications. During this workshop, participants from municipalities and the concrete sector explored the scope available in public tender procedures for challenging market parties to use state-of-the-art technical know-how in order to reduce the lifecycle environmental impact of concrete.

This reports describes the outcomes of the workshops.