CIRCULAZE Virtual Trend Tour Built Environment

On February 26th, we heard from experts and start-ups working in the Built Environment on their solutions for a more circular economy. These are our key takeaways

Rachel Johnson | Mar 5, 2024

The World Economic Forum estimates that 25-30% of the total waste generated in developed countries is construction and demolition waste. While it may seem far from our everyday lives, the construction industry is one of the largest economic drivers and connects many correlated industries.

On February 26th, 2024, we invited three start-ups working on circular Built Environment solutions to share their ideas: C2CA, ROSI Solar, and zupply. Following each start-ups pitch, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions directly to the start-ups in a Q&A session.

Our keynote speaker, Thomas Romm, Architect DI at forschen planen bauen ZT, opened the session with an overview into the topic of the Built Environment and why circularity matters.


The key takeaways:

  • The circular economy is not about additional costs if you do it right. It’s also about saving money.
  • We need efficient materials, however, this won’t save us alone. We also need to find new ways of implementing existing materials.
  • To implement all the regulations that are coming, digitalization will play an important role. Bringing digitalization and sustainability together is crucial.

Catch the full Trend Tour here:

Moderation by:

Natascha Zeljko


Keynote by:

Thomas Romm

Architect DI forschen planen bauen ZT

The Start-ups

Thomas Petithuguenin


Based In: Utrecht, The Netherlands

What They Do: Almost every city on this planet is dominated by one material: concrete. This ubiquitous building material is chosen for being strong, durable, temperature and water-resistant, and easy to mould. However, the popularity means that the production of concrete is also responsible for 8% of total global CO2 emissions – that’s more than any other country besides the U.S. and China! Enter C2CA Technology, the Dutch start-up on a mission to upcycle end-of-life concrete into new building materials, therefore reducing emissions, preventing rubble from going to the landfill and preserving scarce natural resources. Their journey began in 2016 when Delft University of Technology and private company GBN joined forces as a spin-off from a European research project. In 2023, they hit a huge milestone as their demo line became fully operational, processing 1,000 tons of waste concrete.


Project Manager International Development

Based In: Grenoble, France

What They Do: Introducing ROSI Solar, the French start-up leading the charge towards a greener energy future. As the European Union strives for a bold 45% renewable energy target by 2030, the production of solar panels is set to surge in the coming years. While this growth is promising, we must not turn a blind eye to its environmental repercussions. Take photovoltaic (PV) modules, for instance; they dutifully generate electricity from sunlight for 20-25 years, but what about the emissions and wasted material during the production of solar panels, and what becomes of them when they reach their lifespan’s end? This is where ROSI Solar steps in. Their pioneering technologies rejuvenate discarded materials, ensuring precise material separation without the need for harsh chemicals. This not only fosters eco-friendly recycling but also drives remarkable cost-efficiency. Their commitment to environmentally friendly, cost-effective recycling is setting the stage for a more sustainable tomorrow in a world where renewable energy is paramount.

Pepe Tavares

Co-Founder & CEO

Based In: Copenhagen, Denmark

What They Do: zupply operates a circular material management platform to reduce construction material waste. Their platform provides a material management tool for planning and tracking materials during construction activities and offers a complete overview of actual material status, surplus availability, and cost-impact performance measurement in real-time, utilizing material tracking and waste streams data. zupply is on a mission to make zero-waste construction happen by solving real problems and making better communities. With a team of experts in engineering, construction and enterprise SaaS development, they are turning material waste into profits for construction projects. More importantly, avoiding up to 1.5% of the global CO2eq emissions resulting from the construction industry.