The circular economy is gaining momentum in a complex geopolitical and energy context. To shift from a linear economy where production takes precedence to a circular economy centred on use and moderation, we have to change the way we think and innovate.
Often encapsulated by the three Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle, the circular economy is based on openness, dialogue, collaboration and frugality. Encouraged by new solutions from start-ups as well as large groups, the shared aim of the various stakeholders is to limit the consumption and waste of resources and the production of waste by creating infinite loops.
Switzerland: Include future dismantling and reuse of materials from the start of a project
In the “NEST” modular research and innovation building at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA), Bouygues Energies & Services is using reused materials to design sustainable premises as part of the Sprint unit.
In just ten months, the team created versatile, attractive and coronavirus-compliant office spaces using mostly reused materials. This timeframe would not have been possible if new materials had to be bought.
« Reusing makes sense especially when the required materials are already available and don’t need to be bought during the project, as there is no central platform for trading reusable components yet. This means forecasting and scheduling from the very beginning of the project »Maike Stroetmann,
Head of the BIM CAD department in the Basel area
UK: Renovation and recycled carpets
Bouygues Energies & Services UK has partnered with Interface Carpet, a supplier of low carbon recycled carpet, on several customer sites. Carpets removed from office sites during refurbishments are usually thrown away, increasing their initial carbon footprint. The carpet that is removed is then recycled by Interface Carpet, and the replacement is more environmentally friendly. The carbon savings of this solution are over 20% for the production and use.
France: Setting up equipment repair shops
As part of its Facility Management contracts and thanks to the technical expertise of its operational teams, Bouygues Energies et Services repairs the equipment they maintain daily, such as air handling units, boiler rooms, air conditioning equipment. This extends the equipment’s lifespan and guarantees user comfort.
However, the operational teams wanted to go further by working closely with the suppliers. Equipment is becoming more removable and repairable, thus making it possible to repair a single piece of equipment directly on site in a repair shop manned by operational teams, such as plumbing equipment or washing machines. This reduces the transport freight of equipment, reduces the amount of waste, and repairs just what is necessary.
As a result, the carbon emissions of the services are reduced. The approach will be scaled up on most equipment in the coming years.