Exploring the circular economy in the concrete sector

This report shares the lessons learnt from two Dutch REBus case studies: ‘Replacement of 50 locks between 2020 and 2040’ and ‘Resource-efficient procurement of infrastructural concrete products by Dutch municipalities’.


REBus seeks to enable the advancement of resource efficient business models which extract the maximum value from products by using them more intensively. This extends the lifetime of products or enables them to be re-used – increasing business resilience and reducing resource dependency.

The first step towards establishing a resource efficient business model is to evaluate the resource efficiency of bids made in tender procedures. Today, price is generally far more important than resource efficiency in such procedures. Within the framework of the REBus project, two pilot workshops explored ways in which resource efficiency can be factored into public tenders in the field of infrastructure projects.

Pilot with Rijkswaterstaat

Rijkswaterstaat, the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, is the Netherlands’ major contracting authority for infrastructure projects, which generally involve large volumes of concrete. During this workshop, participants explored future opportunities for including use of recycled concrete in public tenders for replacement of about 50 locks scheduled between 2020 and 2040.

Pilot with representatives of the three largest Dutch municipalities

These municipalities are the Netherlands’ largest procurers of non-structural concrete products in infrastructure applications. During this workshop, participants from municipalities and the concrete sector explored the scope available in public tender procedures for challenging market parties to use state-of-the-art technical know-how in order to reduce the lifecycle environmental impact of concrete.