To combat these issues, many companies have turned to the circular economy model, which aims to create a closed-loop system where waste is minimized, and resources are conserved. In Germany, several large construction companies have successfully implemented circular economy initiatives, leading the way in sustainable practices.
Successful Circular Economy Initiatives in German Construction Companies
- HeidelbergCement: Global leader in the production of cement, aggregates, and ready-mixed concrete. In 2018, the company launched its Sustainability Commitments 2030, which included a circular economy strategy. The strategy aimed to reduce waste generation and the consumption of natural resources. One of the initiatives implemented was the use of recycled concrete aggregates (RCA) in their production processes. This initiative reduced the use of virgin materials, saving 1.2 million tonnes of natural resources in 2019 alone.
- Hochtief: In 2020, the company launched its sustainability strategy, which included a circular economy approach. Hochtief’s initiatives include the use of modular construction, which allows for the efficient use of materials and reduces waste generation.
- Züblin: Züblin also employs a cradle-to-cradle approach, where products are designed to be reused or recycled at the end of their lifecycle.The company includes the use of recycled building materials, such as glass and steel, and the use of energy-efficient building systems.
Benefits of Circular Economy for the Construction Industry:
Implementing circular economy initiatives can provide several benefits for the construction industry. These include:
- Reduced Waste Generation: Circular economy initiatives aim to minimize waste generation by promoting the reuse and recycling of materials
- Lower Carbon Footprint: Circular economy initiatives can lead to a lower carbon footprint for construction companies. By reducing the consumption of virgin materials and promoting sustainable building practices, emissions can be decreased.
- Improved Reputation: Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important factor for consumers and stakeholders. Implementing circular economy initiatives can improve a company’s reputation and attract environmentally-conscious customers.