Digital Technologies as a driver for Circular Economy

Outcomes of G-STIC 2017

One of the G-STIC 2017 key findings is that a transition to a new industry framework  requires a circular economy approach that is enabled by smart technologies. This is vital to realise maximum resource productivity, using recycled materials, wastewater, CO2 and bamboo as resources.

Circular economy represents a fundamental alternative to the currently predominating linear take-make-consume-dispose model. To help achieve SDG 9 (sustainable industrialisation) and SDG 12 (sustainable production and consumption), a new model is needed to ensure that material usage per unit of functionality can be minimized and materials will be managed  in order to reduce waste and avoid pollution. The complete value chain needs to be revisited based on circularity principles, and customers need to be provided with services rather than throw-away products.

Karl Vrancken at G-STIC 2017
Karl Vrancken at G-STIC 2017

G-STIC 2017 concluded that Industry 4.0 provides the technological driver for circular innovation, while circular economy is a driver for envisioning the industrial framework in 2030. We cannot have a circular economy without the 4th industrial revolution, nor can we have a socially useful and sustainable 4th industrial revolution without advancing the circular economy.

The necessary digital technologies currently exist. The challenge is to make them available and integrate them into the systemic approach that leads to sustainability.


At G-STIC 2018:

We want to dive deeper into the technologies, show and discuss how the existing digital technologies are (or can be) made available for circular business. We identified 3 main topics:

  • Advanced sorting and characterisation
  • Virtual product chains
  • Mapping Urban Metabolism

Additionally, we will explore the world-wide contacts that have been developed in the G-STIC community and reach out to other discussion fora.

The Big Picture: International Context

It is important to recognise the various international dimensions and perspectives surrounding circular economy. G-STIC has developed a strong interaction and exchange of ideas with several organisations at the UN and global level. We provide an open exchange platform for these organisations to present the outcomes of their discussion and new insights concerning the technologies for circular economy.

Regional differences exist between continents. G-STIC recognizes the importance of building an exchange of experience to learn from each other.


The aim at G-STIC 2018 is to assess the international challenges and investigate ways in which various regions can collaborate and learn from each other. How can we ensure that a circular economy does not create a group of closed local economies, but rather becomes a global system of various economies working together? What is the role of digital technologies in aiding such a transition, and what policy changes are in turn needed to bring such technological solutions to the global market? This high-level dialogue will explore the various options to build a global vision on circular economy.

During a high-level panel debate we will bring together representatives from the University of Oxford, World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF), World Resource Forum (WRF), Regional 3R Forum in Asia and the Pacific, International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) and European Commission.


PROGRAMME REGISTER

Posted By Karl Vrancken on 04 October 2018