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Circular Economy

Preserve resources - the solution is circular economy

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.

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Schlaglicht 1: Kreislaufwirtschaft

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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

"The maker community has developed Do-It-Yourself into a cult - making the implementation of new ideas, the design and construction of innovative products a social trend. Ideal for the circular economy: sustainability, repair, knowledge and verve come together here in the most fertile ground."

Dr. Dirk Rossberg, Managing Director, UnternehmerTUM MakerSpace GmbH, Garching

Schlaglicht Artikelteaser_Kreislaufwirtschaft

EU research program on production

The new EU research framework program "Horizon Europe" will most likely include a public-private partnership on the topic of production. On the research agenda of "Made in Europe" are classic themes such as Industry 4.0 and future production processes, but also hot topics such as circular economy, artificial intelligence and climate protection.

Schlaglicht Zahl_Kreislaufwirtschaft

147

billion euros

of added value was generated in 2016 by circular economy activities in the context of repairs, reuse and recycling.

Quelle: © VDMA

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