Arcadis and Madaster join forces to create circular passports

20 July 2018 2 min. read

The circular economy has been suggested as one part of the wider shift towards a sustainable economic model. Arcadis recently announced that it is working with Madaster to create materials ‘passports’ which support the creation of a zero-waste construction sector.

Various studies have shown that the current resource intensity of industrial production is no longer feasible. The circular economy has been proposed as one way to reduce the need for virgin input materials that place a burden on the environment. Careful planning could reduce the need for unsustainable materials, could expand re-used materials through recycling and would limit waste by reusing goods. A shift of focus away from goods, to services, as well as sharing economies can also reduce the impact of consumption behaviour.

Arcadis and Madaster join forces to create circular passports

The prognosis is not good for companies that provide a cradle to grave model for their businesses, and in the long-term many will have to face the reality that their business practices are incompatible with climate measures designed to ensure the survival of human society. Change is likely to be a multi-stakeholder exercise, including businesses, users, government and NGOs, but will need to happen relatively quickly to offset the worst effects of unsustainable consumption.

Arcadis recently announced that the firm is working together with circular economy focused Madaster to create a database of materials that are well suited for circular economic utilisation – aimed at eliminating waste in the construction industry. The aim is to give materials an identity, through the creation of a materials passport system, which provides current and future users with a clear understanding of the material’s utilisation potential across its lifecycle – allowing people to make informed decisions about the use of that material in their designs from its utilisation to its reutilisation. A circular focus would be on materials that tend to be durable, reparable, recyclable and reusable – and can factor into circular processes. 

Commenting on the project, Niels van Geenhuizen, who is responsible for sustainability within Arcadis, said, "Sustainability is important within Arcadis because we also want to keep the world liveable for future generations. We look for the most sustainable solutions for our customers. The re-use and reflection on future material-use is part of this. That is why we are enthusiastic about our cooperation with Madaster. It is a next step in striving to make the sector more sustainable.”