The greatest challenge of our time is climate change. To counter it, the world must make enormous efforts. In addition to regenerative power generation, it also remains a matter of increasing efficiency and conserving resources.
Circular economy as a model for the future
In 2021, Earth Overshoot Day was on 29 July. On that day, humanity had already consumed as many resources as the earth can replenish in a year. This scarcity of resources is leading companies to focus on the circular economy as the economic model of the future, because it helps companies conserve resources while increasing profits.
In this future circular world, materials are part of the cycle and energy comes from renewable sources.
The circular economy changes processes and affects products and business models.
There are already pioneering industries such as automobiles. At IAA in Munich, BMW presented the BMW i Vision Circular, a concept for more sustainable car design that eliminates composites and adhesives because they make the recycling of end-of-life cars difficult to impossible. The BMW i Vision Circular can be dismantled down to the last part and returned to the material cycle. This approach shows that the circular economy is not just about shredding materials, but also about thinking and planning in a circular way early in the design and production stages.
Depending on the industry and markets, companies take very different approaches to sourcing, producing, using and disposing of their materials.
A look at the value chain and company processes can open up new and innovative approaches.
One example is the EIBA pilot project. Remanufacturing, i.e., reprocessing used (industrial) products, is an important part of the circular economy. Industrial products returned from the market must be reliably identified and evaluated. The EIBA project developed an AI-based system that identifies and evaluates end-of-life parts, but so far, companies often lack the incentives and expertise to return corresponding parts and materials. This is where C-ECO's business model comes in: It develops services that evaluate soon-to-be reprocessed parts in a structured way. The biggest challenge is to ensure the same standards and evaluation benchmarks for the individual parts globally.
At HANNOVER MESSE, companies show which products, solutions and technologies are currently available for successfully entering the circular economy.
Salzgitter AG establishes "Circular Economy" as a corporate goal
Climate neutrality is transforming industrial value chains
SAP - accelerating the transition to a circular economy
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