BESIX has the ambition to play a leading and innovative role with regard to reducing the environmental impact of the construction sector. Within BESIX Group, BESIX and its affiliates and subsidiaries are committed to a number of reduction programmes and initiatives. Some examples are listed below.

The full list of (sector) initiatives can be found on the following link.

BESIX Group is since October 2020 a signatory of the Belgian Alliance for Climate Action, launched by the non-governmental organizations The Shift and WWF Belgium. 

The Belgian Alliance for Climate Action (BACA) is a national initiative that invites the private sector and academic institutions to take the lead on climate action and to align their activities with the objective of the Paris Agreement, i.e. to limit the rise in global temperature to a maximum of 1,5° C. 

Signatories of the Alliance express their intention to commit themselves to the Science Based Targets (SBTi) initiative and to develop and submit greenhouse gas science-based reduction targets.  

Through debates, workshops and webinars, BACA aims to increase knowledge about Science Based Targets amongst the members in order to build their business case for the adoption of science-based targets, define specific targets and develop a roadmap for their implementation.

Through the Belgian Alliance for Climate Action and The Shift, BESIX has introduced to SBTi a request to develop a more sophisticated, nuanced pathway for setting targets within the construction industry. For more info, consult the website of the BACA.

In 2016, the at that time Ministry of Infrastructure & Environment and MVO Nederland (a network of innovating companies with the aim to create a futureproof economy) took the initiative to use the Concrete Agreement to flesh out the earlier plans of the Green Deal ‘Sustainable Concrete’, which was concluded in early 2016. The objective of the Green Deal was to define a widely supported and independent definition of ‘sustainable concrete’.

The Concrete Agreement wants to takes this further and make it more tangible to the value chain partners. In July 2018 at the moment of the launch of the Concrete Agreement, Rijkswaterstaat has taken over the role of facilitator from the MVO Netwerk Beton.

The Concrete Agreement is committed to increase the sustainability of concrete within the sector and value chain. The agreement focuses on four themes: CO2 reduction, circular economy, innovation and education and natural capital. Within these four themes, the signatories to the agreement aims to improve competitiveness, increase employment, increase exports without making concessions to the quality, safety and life span of concrete.

The Concrete Agreement gives substance to the objectives and ambitions for the concrete related value chain. Here are a few examples: 30% CO2 reduction by 2030 compared to 1990 with an ambition of 49% reduction in the value chain, 100% high-quality reuse of waste concrete by 2030 and, with immediate effect, replacing at least 5% of the total volume of aggregates with concrete residual flows.

BESIX is since 2020 a signatory of the Concrete Agreement.
More information can be found in Dutch on the website of the Concrete Agreement.

3D2BGreen is a three-year 3D concrete printing research project, set up in June 2019 by BESIX, together with the start-up ResourceFull, the engineering company Witteveen+Bos and Knowledge Institute Ghent University. The research focuses on developing sustainable concrete mixtures suitable for the printing of breakwater units. The combined expertise of the project partners results in new, innovative and more sustainable solutions in hydraulic engineering.

As the major construction cost of a breakwater unit is related to the logistic resources needed to move the breakwater units from the yard to the construction site, the possibility to print it in situ, possibly even below the water level, would be very advantageous. Moreover, 3D printing would allow to define a tailor-made model breakwater unit, with more complex and optimized shapes in line with local wave patterns and sea currents. In addition, the layered surface, own to the 3D print technique, would allow for additional energy dissipation.

However, printing such massive units is a real challenge as the high binder contents currently used in printable mixtures would cause thermal cracking in addition to the drying shrinkage cracks which are related to this automated production technique. To guarantee the durability of the unit in a marine environment, the research partners want to develop a printable mixture which answers all requirements to print the contour or both the contour and the infill pattern of the breakwater unit. The environmental impact of the mixture will also be taken into account. In case only the contour is printed, a sustainable filling material will be developed. Its sustainability in the marine environment will be further increased through improvement of the interlayer. Once these challenges are tackled, scale model breakwater units will be printed to investigate their durability and mechanical and hydraulic performance.

More information

Read here the press release of this initiative.


This project presents the design, engineering and digital fabrication strategies for a circular pedestrian bridge to be built as part of ‘De Groene Boog’ development of the A16 highway north of Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

The bridge is designed as a lightweight funicular concrete shell based on the principle of a three-hinge arch extrapolated to 3D geometry. In its realisation, it demonstrates a model of circular construction using novel material developments (such as recycled concrete) and an efficient flexible formwork system. A hybrid spline-supported 3D-knitted textile made of recycled and natural fibres that is easy and fast to assemble will be the formwork to cast the complex structural geometry needing minimal scaffolding. An in-house developed computational pipeline, based on the open-source COMPAS framework, enables the efficient design, collaborative exchange and streamlined fabrication of the bridge.

The CO2 development project, within the framework ‘Disruptive Innovations for Sustainable Concrete Construction’ is aimed to acquire expertise and to examine the possibilities of strength through geometry, computational design, use of recycled aggregates and digital fabrication in the field. The presented design and fabrication process is developed collaboratively by the Block Research Group at ETH Zurich and De Groene Boog. The ambition of the design is to provide an icon in terms of efficient design and circularity. The bridge consists of two recycled concrete grid shells using minimal reinforcement and a foundation of removable steel piles. The deck will be constructed out of reused, pressed steel panels from the construction site.

More information can be found on the website of the Block Research Group or of the A16 Rotterdam.


The COProject Plan is a sector initiative led by BESIX Nederland gathering a number of large Dutch construction companies. The COProject Plan is used on CO2-awarded projects to analyse the foreseen carbon emissions, including the scope 3 ones, of the project and to take measures to reduce these carbon emissions by, for example, applying saving energy measures, using sustainable energy, design optimisation, more sustainable materials and optimising execution and transport methodologies.

Experiences by the members of the initiative are shared publicly and form a basis for dialogue on sustainability. By sharing experiences and inspiring each other, the members of the initiative strive for a joint carbon reduction within the construction sector and its supply chain.

For more info, consult the website of the CO2 Project Plan in Dutch.

In 2016 a workgroup has been initiated by ADEB VBA and both the Belgian federal and regional authorities with the aim of promoting the CO2 performance ladder in the Belgian construction sector. This working group led to a pilot phase from 2019 to mid-2023 in which a total of 24 projects were put on the market by the federal and regional authorities with the CO2 performance ladder being part of the tendering process. BESIX has been a driving force of this initiative since the beginning and is still today part of the steering committee of the CO2 performance ladder in Belgium. Since February 2024, Bart De Bruyckere (QHSE Manager BESIX) is a member of the Central College of Experts (CCvD) representing ADEB VBA and Embuild.

About SKAO 
For more info, consult the CO2 Performance Ladder website in Dutch or in French.

The construction sector in Flanders (Belgium) has launched the first ‘Concrete Agreement’ to promote the concept of low-emission concrete. This is a major step to help reduce CO2 emission related to the use of concrete, thanks to circular principles and the use of sustainable or recycled materials. This new agreement fits within ‘Vlaanderen Circulair’, a Flemish partnership to promote circular economy in Flanders and is supported by Groen Beton Vert (GBV), Buildwise, the Association of demolition, dismantling and recycling companies (VSOR), Fedbeton, and Embuild Flanders. A first final version of the Flemish Concrete agreement has been finalised after two years of intense preparation, including studying aspects linked to selective demolition and the requirement of circular concrete. BESIX (and BESIX Infra via GBV) were part of the steering committee and transition group of the initiative which led to the Flemish Concrete Agreement.

More information.

Under the initiative of ADEB VBA, the Belgian Alliance for Sustainable Construction has been founded in 2022. The alliance is a network for partners throughout the value chain of the construction sector in Belgium. It was founded with the following mission:

  • Integrate and stimulate sustainable development at micro and macro level in the Belgian construction sector between the various chain partners in a concrete and pragmatic way. This with a common agenda at federal level and in the three regions to make the transition to highquality, sustainable, future-oriented and climate-proof construction and renovation.
  • Increasing the positive impact and image of the sector based on a common and holistic vision of innovation, sustainability and quality, while also guaranteeing the affordability of new construction and high-quality renovation.
  • Accelerating the sector's transition towards the European Green Deal agenda, its elaboration in the New European Bauhaus and the global Sustainable Development Goals.

The unique added value of the Belgian Alliance for Sustainable Construction is that it offers an independent moderated platform for knowledge sharing and cooperation with a common agenda for all chain partners in the three regions and at federal level. BESIX is part of the steering committee and is an active member of the ‘scope 3’ workgroup.

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In the current context of decarbonization, the construction sector is facing several major challenges. While reducing the operational carbon footprint is crucial, a second challenge is emerging: reducing the integrated carbon footprint associated with construction materials. In the past, the primary concern was to build at the best price, but now we have to incorporate a carbon footprint criteria. So how can we incite our designers, who are already focused on many structural aspects, to also consider CO2 as a design parameter? It is to tackle this challenge that we want to develop the parametric modeling including CO2. By integrating this carbon dimension into our design tools, we will be fostering a more holistic approach where sustainability and environmental efficiency are as important as structural and aesthetic aspects. This paradigm shift requires appropriate awareness, training and incentives for designers to effectively integrate the reduction of CO2 emissions into their design processes. Ultimately, this move towards carbon-aware design will help us shape a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future for the construction industry.

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