Last week, the Annual Convention of EDA/EDI was held in Paris (9 – 11 June 2022). During this very successful edition, many presentations (see the attached program) and discussions were held on four important topics: exemplary demolition jobs, the right demolition/recycling tools, hazardous substances and, last but not least, circular economy.

A fantastic gala dinner closed the EDA Annual Convention, and we celebrated the handover of the presidency from Francisco Cobo to Stefano Panseri as the new EDA-president. Patrick Frye became the next vice-president of the EDA.

Recycling Assistance BV, EDA member, was especially involved in the discussions on circular economy and hazardous substances. Some important highlights on these topics:

Demolition is still too often considered as something bad, just to destroy buildings. This is not true at all. Demolition is the only industry that can decontaminate hazardous substances, recycle space and adapt the existing buildings to meet the future requirements. By doing this, the demolition and recycling industry proved to be a reliable and capable partner in the circular construction industry. However, circularity doesn’t stop after recycling. Materials from demolition jobs have to be reused in the construction of new buildings and infrastructure in the most sustainable way. There are already many examples and techniques showing us that a circular construction industry is not an impossible dream. 


At the moment, only 10% of the volume of construction materials used in new projects is being replaced by (recycled) C&D waste. This means that even when all the C&D waste is recycled/reused, today, we still need 90% virgin materials to meet the demand in the construction industry. So, in this situation, it is very difficult to speak about a circular industry. 


Due to legislation, we see that in some regions the rise in the total building volume is flattening. Here we will hopefully arrive at the situation in which the available volume of C&D waste will meet the required volume of building materials. And it is for this situation that we have to be prepared with the circular construction industry. Circular economy is not aimed for greenwashing, it is essential if we want to continue our job!

Ms. Fulvia Raffaelli, European Commission – DG GROW, fully supports EDA and the members in their efforts on circular economy. Her presentation made very clear that the European Commission and EDA are sharing the same vision on our industry.

Beerse, 12th June 2022

Ir. Johan D’Hooghe