Digitalisation for a Circular Economy – Summary notes & mapping of digital tools

3. April 2023

Digitalisation for a Circular Economy – Summary notes & mapping of digital tools

The summary notes of a practitioners’ exchange about digital circular solutions and a mapping of digital solutions within the PREVENT Waste Alliance has been published!

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Since 1970, global resource extraction has tripled and is, in combination with processing, responsible for about 50% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 90% of biodiversity loss. These global environmental challenges make a systemic sustainable transformation to a circular economy necessary. At the same time the Digitalization is an enabler for the circular economy.

Digitalization often also leads to an increased collection of data and digital technologies can improve processes and logistics at different stages of the value chain.  However, data only acquires a value if it is fit for purpose, accessible, and if the context of its collection is known. The kind of data needed for different purposes depends on the context and the stage of the value chain addressed. This shows that for a successful transformation, cooperation between relevant stakeholders from different sectors with different business models is crucial.

With more than 400 members from different fields and from all over the world, the PREVENT Waste Alliance can play a key role in promoting the exchange between digital circular economy actors and enabling data cooperation and to tackle challenges jointly. In November 2021 PREVENT started to discuss how digital tools can support a circular economy, especially in low- and middle-income countries. To dive deeper into these digital solutions, 15 digital tools were presented and discussed in a Digital Series.

To reach a better understanding of the roles of and interconnections between different digital actors within PREVENT, a mapping of digital solutions across the circular economy was created (see below).

As a next step, this mapping was used to create a structured overview of these solutions which includes the main functions, target group, technologies used, the main problems/ solutions addressed and the tool’s geographical scope: Airtable – Digital solutions within PREVENT

This mapping was used to identify the circular economy aspects addressed through these digital tools. It became clear that similar approaches are being developed in the same operational space and targeting the same section of the value chain. Interoperability was identified as one main challenges for the Digitalisation for a Circular Economy.

Learn more by reading the summary notes: Digitalisation for a Circular Economy