Photo: Sitra

Published May 15, 2019

Online shop for surplus materials from construction

An online shop gives new life to surplus materials from construction sites. Netlet’s collection and sales service reduces the waste expenses of construction companies and makes lower-cost building materials available to renovators.

Problem

Every year, the construction industry produces thousands of tonnes of waste and materials that are never used. Among the unused materials, there are often usable and brand-new materials with a value amounting to tens of millions of euros.

The building products may go to waste, because the contractor or customer lacks the resources for processing the surplus materials. Furthermore, in many cases it is not cost-efficient to transfer the materials to another work site. The transport of construction waste generates major costs for companies and burdens the environment.

Solution: online shop for surplus materials from construction

Netlet collects useful surplus materials from building sites free of charge and sells them on. The company sorts the materials it has collected at its depot and sells them through its online shop and warehouse store to builders and house renovators who want them. Netlet’s sales prices are approximately 50 to 80% lower than in traditional hardware stores. By winter 2019, about six months after the service was launched, the company had collected some 300,000 kilos of usable building materials and equipment from construction site skips that otherwise would have gone to waste.

Netlet’s revenue logic and benefits

Netlet collects the materials from building sites free of charge and keeps all sales margin to itself. The company’s expenses include logistics and warehousing, and, if necessary, special equipment for collecting materials from building sites. The benefit construction companies gain from the service is that they avoid paying the waste expenses.

Netlet’s growth prospects in the winter of 2019 are significant: large construction companies are interested in co-operation, and the company has received international enquiries. However, the size of the potential market depends on the number of construction sites and the amount of waste they produce.

Benefits to customers and end users

Construction companies pay lower transport and processing costs for waste thanks to Netlet’s service. Construction companies are bound by increasingly strict EU-level reduction targets for construction waste, which encourages them to use Netlet. End users, or online customers, get the materials they need at a significantly lower price than from a hardware store, which makes it possible for public administrations and educational institutions, for example, to reduce their building costs.

Facts

Netlet in a nutshell

Main business: Recycling and sale of construction materials

Year of foundation: 2016

Turnover: Less than €1 million

Year the circular economy solution was launched: 2018

Share of the circular economy solution of the total business: 100%

Employees: 1-10

Based: Helsinki

Website: www.netlet.fi

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