Circularity is a relatively new concept for the construction sector, and we’re working to embed circular thinking in all our activities. This means that we strive to continually eliminate waste and pollution and maximise the use of fully-recyclable materials. We also take action to minimise our impact on natural resources – from the lands we choose to the materials we use and reuse. We strive to reach the moment where we can claim that we build, own and manage fully circular buildings.
The ‘6R’s’guide our circular thinking. We think it’s useful to look beyond the well-known ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ approach, to add three more common sense actions.
We ask ourselves: Rethink: how to encourage a shift in mindset towards circular economy thinking?; Refuse: where can we say no to products that are wasteful or unsunstainable?; Reuse: what are the best ways to use products or materials again before they become waste?; Reduce: how to effectively minimise the amount of materials and resources we use?; Repair: can we extend the lifespan of products with maintenance and repair?; Recycle: how to best ensure that waste is recycled for use as a new resource?
Our first step is always to optimize the resources we use so that we waste less materials. When we can’t find the resources we need on-site for construction, we look for locally-sourced recycled raw materials and products. We also apply ‘6R’ waste management thinking to our built environment in two ways. For the deconstruction of our brownfield sites; and looking to the future, to set the scene for dismantling of our newer buildings when they reach the end of their productive lives.We’re not there yet. And continually improving our circularity is a journey and learning experience for all of us. To progress, we’re developing procurement policies for sustainable sourcing that guide the acquisition of all construction materials; and clear guidelines for the reuse, recycling and active waste management of our deconstruction and construction sites.
Did you know?
According to the WWF and the Global Footprint Network, if the whole world used as much fuel, food, land and wood as Europeans do today, 2.8 planets would be needed to supply the world’s population. With this in mind, we’re committed to doing our part to explore practical ways to do more with less, to empower Europeans to live better without consuming more than their fair share.
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Here’s a glimpse at our waste management approach:
Since 2021, we have been tracking all waste from construction and deconstruction at our site developments and refurbishments.
From 2022 we adapted our processes to progress toward diverting 100% of our waste (by weight) from landfill during the construction phase. By 2025, we will collect and analyze data on waste produced in all our buildings during business operations.
By 2030, our ambition is to reach circularity during deconstruction for all brownfield developments.
As part of our commitment to conserving natural resources, we are progressively installing rainwater harvesting and reuse systems in all our premises, and building natural drainage systems in parking areas. For energy efficiency, photovoltaic systems at our sites often produce more power than our customers need. We continually reduce energy demands on our energy efficient buildings with efficient lighting system, efficient HVAC installation and with smart metering to manage energy consumption using as much renewable energy as possible, thanks to on-site renewable energy production.