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Digitalisation & Circular Economy

Monday, September 2, 2019

Digitalisation and Circular Economy have the potential to drive our society and economy towards sustainability and to transform the way we do business and live our lives. Join our 5th edition of the Sustainability and Innovation Conference in collaboration with Huawei on the 10th of October to discuss how we can maximize the potential of these two trends for positive impact.


A connected world

In recent years we have seen a sharp rise in digitalization. We are now more connected than ever before. The power of digital technology has made many aspects of life, from healthcare and production processes to communication and education, more efficient and accessible, to the benefit of many. Through fast internet, Apps, the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, blockchain and machine learning we can reimagine many aspects of life. As a result, boundaries between sectors are blurring and new business models are popping up. These developments can make processes more efficient, can extend the life of products through predictive maintenance, they can make transactions faster and more trustworthy and can empower citizens to change their lifestyles. However, if these developments are not managed properly, they can also be harmful to society and the environment.

Going Circular

At the same time, we are also seeing a strong transition towards a more circular and sustainable society. There are increased efforts, awareness and regulations to reduce our negative impact on the environment by changing production processes from a linear (produce, use, dispose) to a circular model (Produce, use, repair, reuse, recycle). In a circular economy, all products and materials are designed and produced in such a way that they can last longer, can be repaired and are easy to dismantle and recycle. This way, all material will be used again in a new product, instead of being wasted. This significantly reduces the need for raw material and minimizes the pollution of our environment. To achieve a circular economy however, we will need strong collaboration between stakeholder across the value chain and across sectors and we need to rethink our business and consumption models.

The best of both worlds

As outlined by the discussion paper, Creating a digital roadmap for a circular economy from the European Policy Centre, it is about time that these two developments, Digitalisation and Circular Economy, are aligned to reinforce and ensure their positive impacts. Only if we manage both developments together, we can unleash their positive potential. Digital solutions can really strengthen the circular economy and circular and sustainability principles should be at the heart of digitalization.

On the 10th of October, we are hosting the 5th edition of the Sustainability and Innovation Conference series in collaboration with Huawei. This year we will focus on the topic of Digitalisation and Circular Economy to discuss how these two developments can be aligned to a create sustainable economy and society. Find out more and Register here.


For companies interested in a deeper insight into how to move towards circular business models, CSR Europe is organising a web-series and a conference this Autumn, led by the consortium R2π - transition from linear 2 circular.