3 questions about the Green Deal on Circular Construction

Together with 230 other organisations, Colruyt Group signed the Green Deal on Circular Construction on 22 February 2019. This makes it the third Green Deal we have put our weight behind, following in the footsteps of the Green Deal on Biodiversity and the Green Deal on Circular Purchases. The aim of Flanders is that by 2050, it will achieve a circular economy in which raw material cycles will be closed. Reducing our environmental footprint can be brought about by change-focused construction, selective demolition and circular renovation using a careful selection of materials.

1. What does this Green Deal entail?

More than 60% of CO2 emissions are related to the materials we use. The circular economy offers solutions to reduce that impact. For the construction sector, this means reusing and optimally recycling building materials, with a focus on change-focused construction, maximum use of space and extending the life span of buildings and their materials.

Colruyt Group signs Green Deal on Circular Construction
Maarten de Tant, head of the department responsible for construction, signs the Green Deal on behalf of Colruyt Group.

The aim of this Green Deal is to accelerate the application of the principles of the circular economy within the construction sector. Our aim is to operate within an innovative learning network made up of construction companies, building material producers, local and regional authorities, private building owners, researchers and other organisations, with the following goals:

  • to reinvent the construction process
  • to stimulate cooperation and transparency in the chain
  • to gain an understanding of the economic and environmental value of circular construction
  • to develop instruments for measuring circular principles
  • to share practical experiences, to try new things and seek out circular principles in order to expose current bottlenecks

2. Why does Colruyt Group want to commit to this?

Colruyt Group has a large stock of premises and is a pioneer in the field of sustainability. In this pioneering role, our aim is to help achieve a circular economy by 2050. The construction sector is a major consumer of raw materials, with a corresponding major impact on the environment. Signing this Green Deal is our way of showing our commitment to reducing material waste. We want to replace the use of primary raw materials as much as possible by reusing existing materials and recycling the raw materials released during demolition works.

Colruyt Group signs Green Deal on Circular Construction
Colruyt Group also wants to extend sustainability in its construction projects.

Future generations have the right to live in a healthy and prosperous world. This requires a transition to a low-carbon economy to cope with current climate change. Therefore, we need to decouple our economic prosperity and growth from the environmental impact and the ever-growing raw material needs of our current economy.

3. How will we achieve this?

Over the next four years we will set up a pilot project and provide support to other participants in the learning network. We are currently working with various parties to form a strong consortium, providing all parties with the opportunity to formulate their learning trajectory and goals. The project will evolve over the course of the next few months.

Colruyt Group signs Green Deal on Circular Construction
With this Green Deal, we are setting up an innovative learning network with the 230 other participants.

With this initiative, we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

Affordable and clean energy Sustainable cities and communities Responsible consumption & production Climate action Life on land