The linear “take, make, waste” economic model is reaching its limits. The environment simply does not have the capacity to sustain it any more. Take a circular approach, however – where waste is minimised and resources are re-used efficiently – and you can create an economy that’s both sustainable and profitable.
Nowhere is the shift to a circular model more urgent than in construction. Consuming three billion tonnes of raw materials every year, it’s the single largest consumer of resources and it produces around one-third of all waste, much of which ends up in landfill. As a result, buildings are a key focus of policies and guidelines issued by the EU, which is championing the circular economy .
The ROCKWOOL Group’s business model already incorporates circular economy thinking. We upcycle waste materials, recycle our own waste in closed loops and design products for long life and indefinite recycling. One of the most valuable features of stone wool is that it can be made with materials that would otherwise be landfilled or downcycled. Overall, around one-third of our raw materials consist of repurposed waste from metals manufacturing, power plants and wastewater treatment. We can upcycle for instance slag from the metal industry and sludge from water treatment plants, and even in small amounts old ceramics like broken bathroom sinks and toilets.