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Towards a circular European infrastructure

Under the Circular Economy Action Plan, the new Sustainable Built Environment measures focus on buildings - and infrastructure is just as important for achieving a climate-neutral, circular European construction economy.

Like buildings, infrastructure such as roads, bridges and waterworks has a high environmental impact due to material use, waste production and CO2 emissions. It therefore has huge potential in areas such as tackling climate change, high-quality reuse and recycling, circular design and the use of renewable materials. Public sector design, procurement, delivery and maintenance are unique opportunities to encourage climate-neutral and circular markets. A pan-European infrastructure sector can be instrumental in achieving a circular and climate-neutral economy and implementing the EU Recovery Plan.

This #EUCircularTalk shed light on the critical role infrastructure plays in achieving a circular, climate-neutral economy while exploring possibilities for collaboration and joint action in Europe. The event also broadened the discussion to consider the role of circular infrastructure at different levels.

On 11 May from 3 to 4.30 p.m. CEST, Rijkswaterstaat together with Holland Circular Hotspot will held interactive workshops in cooperation with a wide range of circular construction European leaders and connoisseurs. The workshops were an opportunity to showcase success stories and identify challenges and opportunities in areas such as public procurement, digital logbooks, standards and technical regulations and circular design for infrastructure works.

Program

Moderator: Freek van Eijk, CEO Holland Circular Hotspot

  • Welcome by moderator
  • Introduction (all slides)
    •  ECESP and new CE Action Plan, Baiba Miltoviča, president of the EESC Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society (European Economic and Social Committee)
    • Towards a circular European infrastructure, Jessica Leffers (Rijkswaterstaat)
    • The Benelux as a potential test bed for cross-border circular infrastructure, Jan Molema (director Benelux Union)
  • Breakout sessions:
  1. Material passports & reuse for building and infrastructure, Pablo van den Bosch (Madaster) - Dominik Campanella (Concular)
  2. Integrating circular infrastructure into purchasing strategies, Julia GOIGOUX (L'Institut l’Economie Circulaire)
  3. The new CEN commission on circular construction, by Evert Schut from Rijkswaterstaat/CEN
  4. Local government levers to promote circular infrastructure, Kaitlyn Dietz (ICLEI Europe)
  5. From waste to a resource for circular infrastructure, Geert Cuperus (Fédération Internationale du Recyclage)
  6. Circular design & innovative approaches to collaboration for infrastructure replacement and renovation projects, Evelien Ploos van Amstel (Rijkswaterstaat)
  • Discussion
  • Next steps & Closing remarks by Anna Lupi, policy officer, (European Commission)