Circular grid management

The background

The assignment

As one of the grid management companies in the Netherlands, Enexis has been working on the energy transition for many years. In many areas, the grid requires reinforcement and expansion, which increases the demand for (scarce) raw materials. To be an affordable and sustainable grid in the long term, circularity is essential. We are supporting Enexis by mapping the circularity of the grid components, establishing a KPI for this and advising on measures for Enexis to become a circular grid management company.


Enexis is one of the biggest regional grid management companies in the Netherlands, managing many kilometers of cables, pipes and technical installations. The energy transition and the materials that come with it have a big impact on this social task. Enexis sees circularity as essential for making the energy transition a success; after all, the transition tightens the grip on (scarce) materials. The first step is to gain insight into existing circularity, then to build on that and work toward becoming a fully circular grid.

The question

Support us by developing indicators and a measurement method for determining the circularity of our technical components. Carry out a baseline measurement and establish a concrete goal (KPI) against which we can measure our progress towards becoming a circular grid management company. Advise us on the (impact of) possible measures we can take.

Current situation and future

The baseline measurement must refer to the elements that have the greatest impact on material use and CO2 emissions. Because of this, the elements selected for measurement were grid components, distribution transformers, medium- and low-voltage cables, and gas pipes – collectively, these are responsible for about 95% of the materials and emissions impact. The baseline measurement will involve looking at procurement and use of products, as well as their end of life (waste and reuse).

The process

We worked intensively with a project group during the process, in which the most important departments were involved (asset management, strategy, procurement, waste management). The process was divided into three phases. In the first phase, working with the project group, we determined the definition and KPIs we could use for circularity in the grid management company’s context. In the second phase, we used extensive data from the procurement and waste management systems to establish a baseline measurement for circularity, and circularity was measured in view of the definition and KPIs established in the first phase. In the third phase, we worked through several circular scenarios in collaboration with the project group. These scenarios comprised different measures, tested on their achievability. The scenarios were calculated to estimate how circular Enexis can become, and on what timeline.

The results

The process has resulted in an Excel model with which Enexis can measure its circularity through the years, along with video guidelines. We also put together an advice report, in which we highlighted all facets of the process we undertook.

The most important result is actually the advice given in three areas:

  1. Organization-wide – how the organization can lead and report on circularity;
  2. Procurement – how the market can be challenged to reach circular solutions and how Enexis can lead that process;
  3. Performance – inventory of measures that could be taken and advice about the improvement and extension of data sources.
“Hendrik and Marijn have really helped us with establishing clear indicators to make the circularity of our grid components visible and measurable. They have also carried out good work in drawing up the baseline measurement and mapping the circular measures we could take to achieve our circular ambitions." Roeland van Hoof Procurement Advisor Knowledge Center – Sustainable Public Procurement and Circularity

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