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Unlocking the potential of Circular Economy

Explore the potential of the circular economy to minimize waste, conserve natural resources, and combat climate change. Learn more about technology-driven solutions.

Meri-Sofia Riva / April 22, 2024

Earth Day is celebrated annually on 22 April to highlight the importance of environmental protection and sustainability. The wildlife and environment around us are vast, diverse and definitely worth celebrating. What is your favorite thing about the Earth?

Unfortunately, our appreciation for the wildlife around us is not always apparent. As a society, our infrastructures, processes and economy are built so that wildlife does not get accounted for as it should. The circular economy offers a solution to this problem by providing a production and consumption model designed to extend the life cycles of products and materials to minimize the amount of generated waste and the need for virgin natural resources.

According to the non-profit circular economy research organization Ellen MacArthur Foundation, emissions originate from non-renewable energy (55%) and various production processes of goods (45%). The circular economy can directly enable the decrease of these emissions, meaning the circular economy can also be a major tool in combating, and theoretically, ending human impact on climate change.

The circular economy transition is an unequivocally landmark change in the way companies operate and circular economy solutions are bound to be as unique and countless as the companies innovating them are. However, no matter what the need for circular economy solutions may be, one thing is certain - technology can provide a priceless value to solution implementation.

Let’s take a look at some common examples:

  1. IoT (Internet of Things) enables companies to monitor products and machines in real-time allowing for predictive maintenance and thus, extending the lifecycle of products.
  2. Data solutions - Comprehensive data solutions aid with supply chain transparency and traceability, which are extremely important when it comes to making informed decisions as a consumer. Additionally, well documented supply chain data helps companies and individuals know how to properly dispose of products and materials and whether materials are suitable to be used again for new purposes.
  3. AI - Artificial intelligence is such a buzzword these days, but that is not all it has to be! AI can be efficiently utilized throughout the various stages of a product’s life cycle, including design, use and recycling.
  4. Digital platforms can be used for a variety of purposes from sharing to collaborating, enabling a broad implementation of circular processes that involve users and stakeholders at different stages and levels.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the ways we can employ technology to advance circular economy processes and operations. When it comes to technological and digital innovation, only the sky is the limit!

It is April 12, 2024 as this blog text is being written - otherwise a typical spring day in Finland, but there is something noteworthy about the date. Today marks Finland’s day of overconsumption—in other words, the day that natural resources allotted for the entire year would run out if everyone in the world consumed natural resources at the same rate that Finns consume them.

How can we enhance the circular economy and extend the day of overconsumption further into the year? How can we be better together?

Meri-Sofia Riva
Circular Economy Consultant, Tietoevry Create


Meri-Sofia Riva

Circular Economy Consultant, Tietoevry Create

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