Werflink is an online sharing platform on which construction sites and companies can share equipment, materials, resources, freight space and facilities. The platform has been set up in collaboration with the Flemish Construction Confederation, construction company BESIX, Circular Flanders and FLOOW2 to create a more circular construction sector.
Construction companies in Belgium can swap, sell and share unused construction equipment, materials, resources and freight- and storage space through the platform. The purpose is for the construction sector to make intelligent use of available resources at a local level; this way waste can be prevented, material and resources will not get lost and costs can be saved since there is no need for new material to be purchased etc. Matching supply and demand between construction companies and sites from the same region also avoids unnecessary transport.
Werflink provides three key benefits:
- Financial: cost savings by renting or borrowing equipment temporarily instead of purchasing new equipment and materials, and the realization of additional turnover by renting out materials and services or selling it to fellow companies.
- Sustainable: efficient use of existing products and materials leads to less new purchase, less new production and therefore less waste of raw materials and energy.
- Social: shared use of equipment, facilities and services on a local level stimulates a culture of local collaboration and connection.
“Werflink is another step forward in taking the circular character within the construction sector to a higher level. In addition to re-using waste streams (...) we now have an instrument to use the available equipment, materials and resources more efficient within the sector. After all, it is an initiative that is being set up at Belgian level, but with a focus on a more intense interaction between activities at local level. With cost savings on production and transport as a result”
Marc Dillen, general director of the Flemish Construction Confederation.
Main activity field:
Midway through the pilot project, the platform counts about 600 users and more than 325 active construction companies.
All kinds of building equipment and materials are offered, with a total sales value of 50,000 euros and a rental value of 16,000 euros per month. It is estimated that in 2018 users realized an average turnover of 2,235 euros. That may not sound like a huge amount, but, as far as building material is concerned, these are surpluses that would otherwise simply end up in a landfill.
The Werflink platform is currently being expanded to more target groups in the construction sector, like storage companies and building material traders. Its future plans include extending the sharing platform to The Netherlands and France.