CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Digital technologies as a driver for Circular Economy

Focus of thematic cluster

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

G-STIC 2017 explored the overall interaction between digital technologies and Circular Economy. It was 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 can’t 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.

At G-STIC 2018, we want to dive deeper into the technologies, showing and discussing how existing digital technologies are (or can be) made available for circular business. In particular, we want to

  • explore advanced sorting and smart characterisation technologies to enable re-use, remanufacturing and high-quality recycling op products,
  • explore virtual product chains that mimic the real product chain behaviour,
  • discuss the active management of construction materials, both in construction and demolition waste flows and in the building stock, to enable the development of circular building practices at city level.

Programme outline


The High-level Dialogue on Policy Actions on Wednesday November 28 (15:15 - 16:45) will reflect on the G-STIC 2017 conclusions. In addition, this session will provide an open exchange platform to present discussion outcomes and new insights concerning technologies for Circular Economy. 

On Thursday November 29, individual thematic sessions will focus on

  • advanced sorting and smart characterisation (11:00 - 12:30)
  • virtual product chains (13:30 - 15:15)
  • mapping urban metabolism (16:00 - 17:45)

Potential impact on SDGs

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SDG 12 calls to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Progress is indicated by e.g. material footprint and domestic materials consumption, food loss, recycling rates, and hazardous waste production, sustainable public procurement actions. All these indicators are directly affected by the implementation of circular economy policies. Both go beyond the efficient collection and recycling of waste. They aim at the introduction of a sustainable lifestyle, in which producers and consumers move away from the linear take-make-use-dispose model and introduce sharing, leasing, repair and remanufacturing concepts.

SDG9 aims to build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation. Sub-target 9.4 aims to upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities. This calls for a smart introduction of technologies and a reasoned choice of industrial development. Circular economy is considered a driver for envisioning the industrial framework in 2030. Industry 4.0 provides the driver for the technological choices to be made.

Partners include

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Speakers include

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