What is your definition of circularity?
“Circularity and sustainability are often used interchangeably. An entirely circular pair of jeans that has been made through child labour, is not sustainable. It is key that everyone in the construction industry uses the same definition for circularity. As a construction company you operate in a chain that runs from the producer and supplier to the end user. Therefore, it is important that we all mean the same thing. Also, to be able to substantiate circularity claims. Platform CB’23 is working on a definition, which we expect will be published in June 2019. Until then, we at Heijmans will use a work definition:
Circular materials are materials that are a hundred percent reusable, are manufactured and processed in a sustainable manner, are made up exclusively out of recycled or renewable building materials and raw materials and meet the current requirements with regards to functionality, technical life span and environmental impact.
How does Procurement influence circular construction?
“At Heijmans we procure about eighty percent of all that we use and deliver. This means we can only reach our circular targets if we take our suppliers, partners and subcontractors along in our ambitions. For example, demolishing buildings. When you crush a building, it will not be of any use anymore. That is why you need to dismantle instead of demolish. That way, the materials can be reused.
To this purpose, we are now collaborating with New Horizon. They work on urban mining; they carefully collect all reusable materials from of a building. Furthermore, we also procure catering services, asphalt, concrete, company clothing… We have already started talks with our suppliers about all these matters. This way, we are making the supply chain more sustainable and are committing to maximum circularity.”