Circular Construction Economy

The Circular Construction Economy Transition Agenda describes the Netherlands strategy for achieving a circular construction economy by 2050 and contains the Agenda for the 2018-2021 period. The ambition is to make the entire built environment circular before 2050, including housing, utility construction and the civil engineering sector. This Agenda has been drawn up by a transition team made up of experts from the fields of science, the government, and market parties.


The Raw Materials Agreement ('Grondstoffenakkoord'), entered into in January 2017, is the guiding principle for the Circular Construction Economy Transition Agenda of The Netherlands. The Transition Team continues the work of the Social and Economic Council (SER) focused on a circular economy and the 'A Circular Economy in The Netherlands in 2050' programme (‘Nederland Circulair in 2050’). The Transition Agenda follows 'De Bouwagenda' that describes a strategy and approach for reinforcing the construction industry and for making the Netherlands future-proof.

The Circulair Construction Economy Implementation Program was started at the end of 2018, a collaboration between government and business. The duration is 2019-2023. The ministries of Internal Affairs (Construction) and Infrastruction & Watermanagement are responsible for progress and results.

In three stages to the top

"Mountain climbing" has been used as a metaphor for the process that should lead to a circular economy in 2050; a mountain climb that goes to the top in three stages:
• 2018-2023 resulting in a completely furnished base camp.
• 2023-2030 in which 50 percent of the final objective has been achieved.
• 2030-2050 in which the goal - "the top" - is achieved.

From bottlenecks to spearheads

There are already plenty of initiatives in the field of the circular construction economy. And it is clear that a circular construction economy requires good cooperation between government, market and science. However, several bottlenecks stand in the way of the development towards circular construction. For example, there is still insufficient supply and demand, financiers are wary of the risks of innovations and new policies and amendments to legislation and regulations are needed to remove barriers and to encourage circularity. These bottlenecks have been translated into four spearheads and 10 action points in the Implementation Program:

The Implementation Program in four spearheads and ten action points
Spearhead 1: market development
• Action point 1: a first series of innovative products and services for circular construction
• Action point 2: a specific demand for circular products and services, for example in public procurement
• Action point 3: accurate knowledge and an action plan to halve CO2 emissions in construction in 2030 and to eliminate it completely in 2050
• Action point 4: a plan to make the housing stock and one million extra homes more sustainable in a circular manner in ten years
• Action point 5: sufficient incentives for R&D, experiments, prototypes and concrete projects

Spearhead 2: measuring • Action point 6: a common language and common instruments for interpreting and measuring circularity in projects

Spearhead 3: policy, legislation and regulations
• Action point 7: no inhibiting, but stimulating laws and rules
• Action point 8: international positioning and cooperation

Spearhead 4: knowledge & awareness
• Action point 9: knowledge, experience and instruments with sufficient and the right people in the total construction chain
• Action point 10: understanding, support, recognizable benefits, awareness

Download the complete Transition Agenda here.