circular economy

As a world leader in recycling, we apply the principles of “reduce, recycle and regenerate” across our business. Circularity is at the core of everything we do and is a lever for our net-zero journey. 

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Clone of Circular economy

What is the circular economy?

It means shifting gears from a linear “take-make-waste” approach to a circular “reduce-recycle-regenerate” economy.

A global circular economy can enable us to fulfil people's needs while reducing the materials we extract and use – making human activity compatible with the safe limits of the planet.

Why is it so important to transition to a circular economy?

The world economy has grown to unprecedented levels, with global GDP now exceeding USD 96 trillion. The global economy is just 7.2% circular, and we are currently set to consume over two planets by 2040.1

If we can embrace circularity in all walks of life, we can decouple our society's growth from the consumption of Earth’s precious resources.

1 Source: WBCSD

What role does the construction industry have in a circular economy?

Driving circularity is all the more important for the construction industry. The world is set to build the equivalent of New York City every month for the next 40 years, driven by rising population and urbanization. Over 40 billion tons of virgin materials are extracted every year to build our homes, schools, hospitals, roads and other vital infrastructure. Making construction more circular is essential to stay within our planet's boundaries while we improve living standards for all.

There are also circular opportunities when buildings reach the end of their life, as construction demolition materials (CDM) represent a significant resource stream. In Europe alone CDM represents a third of the total waste volumes. Making circularity a driver of profitable growth, Holcim will increase its ECOCycle® technology platform to 150 sites in Europe by 2030, to recycle 20 million tons of construction demolition materials per annum.

By driving circular construction, we unlock economic growth in a way that is climate-friendly, nature-positive and socially-inclusive.




By 2025, we will:


Recycle 10 million tons of construction demolition materials into high-value products

By 2030, we will:


Increase recycled content in our cement to 30%


Recycle 70 million tons of waste and byproducts for alternative energy and raw materials

our circular initiatives

With GO CIRCULAR, we are sailing the world with our call to action to accelerate circular building and living from sea to city. In 2023, the GO CIRCULAR team joined The Ocean Race – a global climate-positive sports event that symbolizes Holcim’s net-zero journey. The team has its sights set on the Vendée Globe 2024 and The Ocean Race Europe 2025 to continue to spread its message.

70% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2050. Cities, therefore, play a vital role in helping us shift from a linear take-make-waste economy to a circular reduce-regenerate-recycle one. The Circular Cities Hub, developed in partnership with Bloomberg, is a dynamic platform to raise global awareness and fast track the shift to circular living and building.

In partnership with One Earth One Ocean, Holcim launched the Circular Explorer. This first-of-its-kind 100% solar-powered catamaran is designed to preserve vital marine ecosystems in a sustainable way through plastic waste recovery, and education and science programs.

Partnering to accelerate change

Cities are ecosystems where all value chain actors have a role to play in enabling the transition to a circular economy. Given the complexity of this transformation, no single organization can get there alone. Deep collaboration between all actors in the construction value chain is critical. 

We want to bridge the gap between what Holcim’s circular solutions and innovations can enable and what our markets are asking for. To do this, we are engaging with the most influential partners across our value chain to shift the paradigm together:

  • Government authorities: to support enabling policies, such as evolving building norms and specifying more low-carbon and circular solutions in their projects, from infrastructure to buildings
  • Investors: to redirect capital flows and investments towards circular construction
  • Real estate and infrastructure developers: to specify low-carbon and circular solutions in their procurement and building standards
  • Architects, engineers and designers: to specify low-carbon and circular solutions in their design, in line with today’s sustainability certifications, from LEED to BREEAM
  • Companies: to innovate to develop new technologies, from recycling to digital material management and building their real estate parks with circular and green materials and systems
  • Citizens: to make circular lifestyle choices every day, from demanding greener and more circular homes to using recycling infrastructure systems



We work to have a positive impact on all 17 UN SDGs. Under our circular economy pillar we have identified five goals where we can make a significant difference:



How we are making it happen

ECOCycle® enables the world's first fully recycled concrete building

A 220-unit social housing complex – “Recygénie” is currently under construction outside Paris, France. Built in partnership with Seqens and using a custom concrete made with Holcim’s ECOCycle® technology, this is the world's first fully recycled concrete building.

Crushing it in France with game changing advanced concrete upcycling technology

With this advanced circular system, we aim to scale up our ECOCycle solutions. This will lower the CO2 footprint of new buildings while closing the material loop to save virgin resources.


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