Einleitung Fokus-Thema Kreislaufwirtschaft
The more people live on earth, the greater the demand for resources, the mountains of waste and the emission of climate gases are likely to become. In the future, it will no longer be enough to make raw material extraction and material processing more efficient. Circular economy must become the basis of economic activity. Mechanical and plant engineering is indispensable for this.
The figures speak for themselves: global prosperity is growing and the number of people living in abject poverty is falling. On the downside, global consumption of raw materials almost tripled between 1970 and 2017 and will almost double again by 2060, according to the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). Raw materials are processed into consumer goods, clothing, building materials and electronics. However, in the current economic model, the laboriously produced products and thus the raw materials end up as waste in landfills, are incinerated or are thrown away in an uncontrolled manner. Digging them out of landfills ("urban mining") makes no sense. It is much better to preserve the value of products, materials and raw materials for as long as possible and to minimize the generation of waste - to initiate material cycles instead of "consuming" resources. That is circular economy.
Schlaglicht 1: Kreislaufwirtschaft
How digitization can boost the circular economy
Circular economy means connecting and closing material flows and data flows. In the process, digital solutions create new conditions and opportunities for new value creation in circular business models.
Opportunities of digitization
Circular economy shows that with the help of digitization, existing information gaps can be overcome, enabling more informed decisions than before. In addition, new markets with concrete use cases in mechanical engineering can emerge. At the same time, there may be rebound effects that do not make every digitization measure a sensible decision in the interest of sustainability.
Schlaglicht Zitat Kreislaufwirtschaft