At the end of March, the Circular Economy Summit Austria took place as a kick-off for a practised circular economy strategy under the leadership of the Minister for Climate Action Leonore Gewessler. Our Managing Director Brigitte Reich was there to present SECONTRADE as one of the pioneers of the Austrian circular economy. Together with other stakeholders, a national circular economy strategy and the sustainable and circular use of valuable raw materials were discussed.
Big interest in secondary raw materials at the Summit
The huge interest in the SECONTRADE platform and many conversations with Summit participants confirmed Brigitte Reich in her strategy to significantly expand the secondary raw materials portfolio in the future. As a trading platform with over four years of experience in the circular economy, SECONTRADE is able to efficiently handle secondary raw materials such as construction waste and biogenic residues, which are increasingly in focus, both nationally and internationally. “The more resources are returned to the circular economy, the greater the effect on the implementation of the environmental and climate policy goals formulated at the Circular Economy Summit Austria,” explains Reich, “this is what we are going to and have to focus on in the future.”
Construction materials dominate raw material consumption
In Austria by itself, the consumption of raw materials per capita and year amounts to 19 tonnes, which is about 5 tonnes more than that of the average European. Metals represent 5 % of this, fossil fuels about 15 %, biomass about 25 %, and the majority – about half of the total raw material consumption – is accounted for by non-metallic minerals such as those found in building materials. However, only a very small proportion of construction residues are reintroduced into the production cycle as secondary raw materials. This becomes even more important because the processing and extraction of newly extracted raw materials accounts for half of all greenhouse gas emissions. Overall, explained the Minister for Climate Action Leonore Gewessler at the Summit, society is still far too wasteful with valuable secondary raw materials. Currently, only about 10 % of all raw materials are recycled, 90 % are disposed of.
“The Circular Economy Summit set an important signal for the future to solve this problem in solidarity with politics, business and, last but not least, civil societies. We have therefore made our message unmistakable and clear: Austria must become more circular in the fullest meaning of the word. The concept of the circular economy must now be implemented quickly. We can and want to make an important contribution to this with SECONTRADE,” Brigitte Reich concludes about the successful summit.