UPP participates in BlueCity Circular Challenge 2017

In the circular economy there is no such thing as waste. Just like in nature, the output for one is the input for the other. Even though more and more companies (and people) are convinced by this idea, a lot still struggle with so called ‘worthless’ waste streams.

With the BlueCity Circular Challenge we invite companies to offer one of their waste streams to a team of students and young professionals who will do all they can to turn it into a valuable product. After a period of six weeks the four multidisciplinary teams present their circular, innovative, and profitable new product to a grand jury. The winning team will get the chance to further develop their idea into a business case within the walls of BlueCity.

In the weeks leading up to the kick-off of the challenge (on the 11th of September) we offer you a sneak peek of the participating companies and their waste streams. Today this is: UPP

Landscaping collective

Rob Luyk (Binder Groenprojecten) immediately started to think out of the box when he heard about the BlueCity Circular Challenge. He knew that his company would probably not be big enough to participate on its own, so he gathered like minded entrepreneurs and they decided to take part in the challenge together!

UPP is a collective of four landscaping companies (Binder Groenprojecten, Hoek Hoveniers, Van de Haar Groep, Van Helvoirt Groenprojecten) that together consists of about 300 employees. On a daily basis they work on the designing, developing and managing of all green spaces you can possibly think of such as rooftops, parks, gardens, play areas, and sport facilities.

More than green

The members of UPP share the idea that their work is not purely about keeping the city and the environment green,  but also about creating a green, healthy, and above all sustainable environment. In this process circularity plays an important role. “By creating circular processes in our day to day activities we want to show that we have respect for our environment and that we want to start doing now what will be inevitable in the future.” says Rob Luyk of Binder Groenprojecten. Inspired by the cradle to cradle philosophy the collective has already developed several services and products, but they want to focus on even more structural innovation. Therefore the challenge comes at exactly the right time.

Variety of waste streams

The companies that form UPP are active in different fields which leads to a broad variety of waste streams ranging from the obvious grass, trees and leaves to the less obvious like general litter waste, sand and tarmac. All these (and other) waste streams have been carefully analysed. But no stream has been selected so far. It is up to the students to decide what they want to work with.

Circular solution

With such a variety of different waste streams, there must be plenty of circular possibilities. UPP is looking for a new product or service made out of one or more waste streams. The idea should be really be innovative, or even disruptive and must be suitable for use within the organisation. Also the product should have a certain marketing value, so that UPP can use it in their communication towards clients and the larger audience. Curious which waste stream will be selected, and what kind of disruptive idea the students will develop? Stay tuned for our updates about the Challenge, we will keep you posted.

Read more about UPP

Curious about the Circular Challenge?