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Knowledge category: Papers and reports

A future proof built environment

Updated on 26.06.2023

This report is co-launched by ABN AMRO and Circle Economy and discusses five circular business models within the construction industry – namely circular inputs, product-service systems, lifetime extensions, sharing platforms and value recovery. For every business model the report provides possible financial solutions, types of new value a business model creates and challenges associated with the implementation of a business model.

Author: Circle Economy
Year of publication: 2017

More information

Currently, 40 % of all extracted minerals worldwide are used in the built environment. Luckily the sector has started to recognise this, and some companies are now leading the way.

This report highlights real-life and practical examples on how to rethink the way we create the built environment that surrounds us. The report takes a systematic view of the sector, identifying clear levers for circular change.

Circle Economy and ABN AMRO have now published all the insights gained during the build of the first fully circular building in Amsterdam’s financial district – ABN AMRO’s CIRCL pavilion. CIRCL was planned and built as an example of ‘how to walk the circular talk.’ The philosophy and ambition were: ‘doing nothing is no longer an option and now is the time to create inspiring examples showing that circular business models and building standards are the future.’ This report captures and analyses the insights that all parties involved in the planning and construction process have gathered – and cross-referenced with ‘best circular practices.’

The report also analyses market potential for circular development and construction followed by the analysis of new opportunities that circular economy business models provide for various sector players – from demolition and recycling businesses to clients and developers. The report highlights how each sector player can create value within these business models. Relevant tools and methods for each sector player are presented as well.

Relevance for Circular Systemic Solutions

Based on specific objectives of a territory, a city/region can analyse and identify which business model (or a combination of business models) would make most sense in their context. A proposed Circular Systemic Solution can be in line with this business model typology, and therefore cities/regions will find the report useful to learn about the associated challenges and impacts as well as gain insights about implementation.


built environment, CEAP2 key product value chain

Territories involved

large 500 000-200 000, medium 200 000-50 000, and small cities 50 000-5 000

large metropolitan area >1.5 million, metropolitan area 1.5 million-500 000

predominantly urban regions, intermediate and predominantly rural regions, refer to TERCET typology NUTS 3 region

Intra-territorial areas

e.g. commercial, residential, service, industrial