Category 18 April 2019

ALOIS: Innovative information system aiming at recycling and re-using soil, demolition waste and construction materials.

The ALOIS tool is an efficient, up-to-date, cost saving, and interactive information system, which connects companies which are offering and seeking soil, demolition waste and construction materials. By supporting a circular economy, material cycles are closed and landfill is no longer necessary.

The challenge

Scarcity of resources and energy is a global challenge. One possible solution is waste management based on the growing understanding that ’waste’ is actually a resource  particularly in energy-intense sectors such as construction. Here, promoting sustainable practices requires stakeholders such as manufacturers, construction companies, and policy makers, to work together. Minimising costs through local sourcing gives support to the innovation competences of firms by combining activities of different stakeholders.

The innovation

ALOIS was established by the State Agency for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection of North Rhine-Westphalia. ALOIS provides a platform to exchange information on how much of which material, is available or needed where, when and by whom. Up to date information on where material is needed or available has a number of advantages: it minimises the distances transport vehicles travel leading to a decrease in both costs and CO2 emissions. This market has been active since 1995.

Why did it work?

Four different German Federal States joint forces and maintain the online tool ALOIS, having thus created a powerful policy instrument supporting local communities as well as protecting the environment. This market place offers all stakeholders in the construction sector an interactive information system which aims at recycling and re-using soil, demolition waste and construction materials. The goal is the efficient matching up of companies who are offering and looking for these products.Additionally, by providing advice on construction and demolition waste (product and material sheets), as well as on legal matters, municipal solid waste treatment has improved and waste reduction ensured.

Further deployment

ALOIS network represents a promising example for promoting eco-innovation by partnership and networking among motivated Federal German States in one of the most important fields of eco-innovation, i.e. construction. It allows for waste monitoring and business support while minimising the carbon footprint. Good marketing helps raising consumer awareness Thus, the ALOIS business model could be replicated to other regions or even sectors, qualifying it for an estimated level 7 on the generic maturity scale GML.