‘Raw materials are of immeasurable value, because they make our existence possible. In a good circular model, we appreciate this value. For instance, by asking ourselves whether we could use less raw materials to make things and also whether we might use “second-hand raw materials”. So what is required is a broad scope,’ says Andre Arends, managing director of GMP Group, of which Paro, which is located in the port of Amsterdam, is part.
Optimism is good, realism is necessary
Arends is optimistic about the circular economy: ‘The awareness needed to live and produce more sustainably has definitely broken through in society. Re-using raw materials is widely encouraged. This is a promising development that will make the world more sustainable in the decades ahead. At the same time, we need to beware of this becoming a fad. Circularity is all too often deployed as a marketing ploy. We need level-headedness, potential solutions need to be assessed in terms of their viability and impact.’ But something else is also needed, according to Arends. ‘Consistent policy adhered to by politicians and a good business location policy with a level playing field are hugely important and urgently needed. This is critical to success.’ Arends comments that using each other’s expertise is also a decisive factor for the success of a fully circular world: ‘Which businesses and activities reciprocally strengthen each other? A whole world can be won by joining forces to think of functions and applications for raw materials and products.’
Circularity is a tradition at Paro
Paro specialises in processing construction-related waste materials. This waste is converted into all kinds of re-usable raw materials and construction materials at its location in the Port. Arends: ‘Re-using raw materials has traditionally been at the heart of our business model. Being aware of the value and the possibilities. This applies both to what is in the ground and to what has been built up on the ground. That approach and our long-standing experience mean that today, at GMP Group, we know all aspects and possibilities of the built-up environment. And we are pleased to deploy this expertise in the transition to a fully circular world.’
Port of Amsterdam is our partner
Space, ample processing capacity and embracing new technologies are core conditions for Paro for high-quality recycling: ‘That is also why the Port of Amsterdam is such a good location for us. On the one hand, the Port gives us access to the global waste and raw materials markets. On the other, the economically strong Amsterdam Metropolitan Area offers many opportunities for local storage, processing and sales of raw materials and alternative fuels. Our location in the Port is the “best of both worlds”. Our goal is to develop our location into the central cluster in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area for storage and high-quality recycling. We have a found a worthy, strong partner for this in Port of Amsterdam.’