Thinking circular

Where we want to go

In a circular approach, resources contained in materials remain available for the economy and society, instead of getting lost through landfilling or incineration. In our ambition to support circularity, we are inspired by cradle to cradle (C2C) principles. C2C is based on nature’s model, where everything is a resource, energy is renewable, diversity and cooperation are the norm, and a systemic view is essential. Such circularity has clear benefits in that it counters resource depletion while offering cost efficiencies and securing the long-term supply of resources and materials.

 

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Three keys to unlocking the potential of circularity

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Optimisation

of our current processes related to waste management, responsible sourcing and related activities

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Innovation

to find new and practical solutions to improve our products and processes

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Collaboration

As circularity in a value chain is based on all actors working together

The Etex circular economy model

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Teammate story

Zero waste to landfill

2020 was a landmark year for our ambition of zero landfilling. Our plants in the UK and Italy were the first to achieve this ambitious goal by implementing reuse or recycling solutions for all types of waste generated on site.

 


% Waste landfilled / Total waste treated

 

It is exciting to explore opportunities to re-use and recycle products and materials without losing value over time. While gypsum has very good recycling qualities and needs relatively low energy to do so, materials like fibre cement pose more technical difficulties. I like to look beyond mechanical recycling processes: how can different waste streams, potentially across industries, be pre-treated and combined to create new products? With our future-proof strategy, as well as by combining our individual actions with a collective approach, we are positive that we can continue to raise the bar of our waste management.

Steven Wante,
Recycling Stream Manager,
Etex Belgium 

Unleashing fresh ideas for a sustainable future

To create a new circular value chain, we must develop new solutions. We believe that innovation is the key in this transition to achieve both economic gains and a reduction of environmental impacts across the entire lifecycle of our product portfolio. In 2020, we further increased our resources to explore how to boost disruption and produce solutions that are technically superior, but that also advance us on our sustainability ambitions in line with our lightweight materials strategy.

Our proactive spirit is also reflected in our Future Lab, which was set up in 2020, in which we scout for external innovative technologies to be integrated into our activities. More than 50% of our Future Lab activities are focussed on sustainability benefits.

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