Resources are about making businesses sustainable

The global population continues to grow. By 2050, there will be 9.36 billion people producing and consuming on a daily basis. Everything we eat and consume requires a massive quantity of raw materials. To maintain the current rates of production and consumption, we would need the resources of three planets. This means something will need to change. Reducing our ecological footprint by changing our production methods and consumption patterns is key to achieving economic growth and sustainable development.

A smaller ecological footprint can be achieved in a number of ways, such as more emphasis on sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources and raw materials. Smarter methods of producing food and goods are needed – ‘produce more with less’.

In terms of energy we will need to make the ways in which we work and live more energy-efficient. In addition, sustainable energy sources must be further developed and expanded. And our production methods will need to be cleaned up by using fewer chemicals, producing less waste and more reuse.

Circular design means preparing a deconstruction plan for each design

Rob Dijcker

How does Witteveen+Bos support this transition? 

Today’s major global challenges – nature conservation, ending poverty and assuring everyone’s wellbeing – demand comprehensive solutions and creative ideas. Witteveen+Bos considers it as one of its tasks to structure public areas as efficiently as possible. New research, new insights and developments can change a situation. In such cases, engineers need to be able to adjust solutions to the changing situation. Our sustainable design principles will help them do just that, Central to these design principles are circularity and reuse of materials, energy- and resource-efficiency and ‘building with nature’.

The sustainable design principles challenge engineers to maximise the positive impact of their designs on people’s wellbeing. That may sound easy, but the tricky thing for engineers is to create their designs in such a way as to prevent negative environmental impacts. Designing is making choices with a vision. Using sustainable design principles allows us to give sustainability (and also responsible production and consumption) concrete form in our projects, thereby enhancing our contribution – in terms of social, ecological and economic aspects – to a sustainable world, in partnership with clients, partners and knowledge institutes.