Circular Economy

The circular economy aims to keep resources in use and at their highest value for as long as possible. It aligns directly with HS2’s strategic goals to support sustained economic growth across the UK and to create an environmentally sustainable solution.

Challenge Topics
1.  How can we minimise the amount of virgin material used within the wider supply chain to build HS2?

2.  How can we maximise the re-use potential of materials within the project?

3.  How can we assess and maximise the value upon disposal of materials (virgin or otherwise) that can no longer be re-used on HS2?



The circular economy is an alternative to the traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) whereby resources are kept in use and at their highest value for as long as possible. It can therefore thrive in the long term by decoupling economic growth and development from the consumption of finite resources. 


The circular economy is more than simply recycling; it involves looking at the entire life cycle of any process, creating and optimising value by reconsidering what might be seen as waste or system losses and identifying opportunities to achieve the best whole-life outcome. 


HS2’s circular economy principles are proactively considered throughout specification, design, procurement, construction and operation. These principles may be achieved by the following approaches and should consider application for demolition and site clearance, civil structures, stations and railway systems.

Circular Economy Principle 1 - Keep resources in use for as long as possible
Approaches include;
•  Design for longer component lives
•  Design for ease of maintenance to extend component lives
•  Condition monitoring

Circular Economy Principle 2 - Keep resources at their highest quality and value
Approaches include;
•  Design for recondition or remanufacturing
•  Product-as-service models
•  Sharing models - to increase utilisation of resources in the economy

Circular Economy Principle 3 - Recover and regenerate resources at the end of each use
Approaches include;
•  Design for reuse
•  Design for recovery/recycling
•  Use compostable materials
•  Product take-back


The following business model groupings from BS 8001:2017 have the potential to be compatible with a
circular economic system.

For further information
Please visit

Your application should;
•  Deliver an Economic benefit to the Build Baseline of the programme.
•  Build a legacy of knowledge, expertise and new commercial opportunities for the UK as we develop HS2.

  • Black LinkedIn Icon
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black YouTube Icon

Innovation Birmingham, Holt Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B7 4BP.

Privacy Policy | Contact

© 2018 Innovation Birmingham. Company registration no. 01720256 

All rights reserved.