Material Flow Management

WUR is working on implementing circular operational management as set out in WUR’s circular economy policy Vision & strategy 2019–2030. The organisation aims to halve its use of (abiotic) raw materials by 2030 compared to 2014.

Achieving this ambition requires a new perspective on how to deal with waste and raw materials. A perspective that not only pays attention to the end-of-life phase of products and materials, but that focuses on the entire life cycle and the entire chain. WUR wants to broaden waste management to Material Flow Management for this purpose. In addition to the existing waste monitoring, the usage of resources will also be monitored intensively. By getting a grip on the resources that flow into the organization through purchasing, the outflow of resources (waste) can be made more sustainable by reuse, refurbishment or recycling.With Material Flow Management, WUR can get take control of its raw material flows and keep as many raw materials as possible in the chain for as long as possible.

Working together with partners

Traditional collaborations with suppliers are aimed at having them carry out a predefined assignment on the basis of previously agreed conditions. But this form of collaboration is not suitable for the implementation of Material Flow Management. This is a complex task, which is not yet common in the Netherlands (nor worldwide) and for which there are no ready-made solutions. There will have to be a flexible response to changing circumstances. WUR cannot do this on its own and therefore requires external expertise.

At the end of 2021, WUR signed a contract for Material Flow Management. The raw materials processing company PreZero and engineering and consultancy firm Witteveen + Bos have emerged as the best partners for implementing Material Flow Management within WUR. They have been given responsibility of working on reducing the use of raw materials throughout the entire use cycle. With Material Flow Management, WUR aims to start an innovative and hopefully trendsetting approach to material flows and the use of raw materials, in cooperation with its selected partners.

In the coming years, the projects and initiatives that are being developed will be further explained on this page. And of course the results that are achieved with it.

Have a look at our infographic Material Flow Management: the road from awareness to partnership for an overview.

On campus, waste is collected separately in special waste containers. This Waste Guide indicates which waste belongs in which container.