RDC Environnement | Our history
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Our history

RDC Environment celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2017.

Bernard De Caevel founded RDC Environment in 1992 with Professor Alfons Buekens (VUB) of whom he was the assistant.

 

The first studies carried out within RDC Environment cover various aspects of the environment, such as :

 

  • the impacts of incineration (dioxins, energy recovery, aluminium);
  • LCA studies;
  • environmental impact studies;
  • waste studies.

 

In 2006, Michael Ooms and Bernard De Caevel took over the shares of Professor Buekens.

 

In 1999, RDC Environment finalized the first version of its RangeLCA software, a particularly innovative tool for Life Cycle Assessment studies. More than 250 studies result from this! Since then, the tool has constantly evolved to adapt to new databases being developed around the world. RangeLCA still has features that are unequalled by other LCA tools. For example, high computational speed thanks to a design that integrates from the beginning the use of data ranges (“Range”) instead of individual values, and sensitivity analysis functions that result from this operation in “data range” mode.

 

 

In 2011, RDC Environment is taken over by Intertek and brings the company to 36 employees.

 

 

In 2013, Bernard De Caevel takes over the company, of which he is now the sole owner. Jo Buekens was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors.

 

 

Today, RDC Environment has about twenty engineers and economists, and its activities focus on:

  • LCA studies and the development of LCA tools for eco-design
  • waste studies in support of public authorities
  • Cost-benefit studies to integrate the 3 pillars of sustainable development
  • on-demand expertise that allows companies to be accompanied on specific subjects

 

At the same time, RDC Environment has also developed a subsidiary in France.

The moments that have marked our history and that of sustainable development

During its 25 years of existence, RDC Environment is proud to have carried out several outstanding studies. As the following examples show, they may have influenced decisions towards a more sustainable development of our society:

 

  • In 1997, RDC Environment carried out a study for the European Commission on Eco balances in relation to political decision-making in the field of packaging and packaging waste.

 

  • In 2000, the European Commission commissioned a study on the assessment of the costs and benefits associated with the targets for recycling and reuse of packaging. This study formed the basis for setting recycling targets in the European Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.

 

  • In 2004, the Brussels Institute for Environmental Management commissioned an inventory of jobs in construction and an assessment of the impact of a more sustainable orientation of construction on employment. We have identified actions to be carried out at the level of the Brussels-Capital Region in favour of sustainable construction and determined the number of potential additional jobs over the period 2005 – 2010 (ref. 28).

 

  • In 2006, we carried out a study for the Danone Group on the life cycle of PLA packaging (bio-sourced plastic) and were among the first to draw the scientific community’s attention to the competition that bio-sourced plastics could represent for agriculture intended for human consumption, at a time when bioplastics were seen as a solution to the problems of scarcity of hydrocarbons and climate change. (ref. 178)

 

  • In 2007, we carried out a study for the Flemish Waste Management Administration (OVAM) which made it possible to greatly simplify the calculations of recycling rates for shredding and sorting centres for end-of-life vehicles. This method allows for faster, more relevant and cheaper work, which was completely innovative at the time and is still applied today. (ref. 432)
  • In 2008, the Walloon Region (Office Wallon des Déchets) commissioned a study to prepare the implementation of a deposit system for beverage cans. The main objective of this study was to develop the environmental, economic and social arguments in favour or unfavourable to the deposit system. This analysis covers environmental, economic and social aspects. (ref. 1052)

 

  • In 2014, we carried out a study for the ADEME (French energy and environment administration) on the positioning and competitiveness of recycling companies in France. We visited 80 companies in 13 recycling areas and our conclusions made it possible to better understand the strengths and weaknesses, levels of competitiveness, obstacles to development as well as the challenges in terms of added value and jobs of the recycling industry in France. (ref. 1864)

 

  • More recently, in 2017, we analysed for the Federal Public Service Economy (Belgium) the policies and measures to be taken into account at the Belgian and European federal level to extend the life time of products and thus counteract programmed obsolescence. This study includes the assessment of social and economic impacts. (ref. 2820

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