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(How) can service design and digitalization be used to transition to the circular economy?

: Scholz, Ronja; Malila, Saija; Vihma, Markus; Marwede, Max; Cygert, Karolina

Fulltext (PDF; - Gesamter Tagungsband)

Schneider-Ramelow, Martin ; Fraunhofer-Institut für Zuverlässigkeit und Mikrointegration -IZM-, Berlin; TU Berlin:
International Congress "Electronics Goes Green 2020+". Proceedings : The Story of Daisy, Alexa and Greta, September 1, 2020, Berlin, Germany, virtual
Stuttgart: Fraunhofer Verlag, 2020
ISBN: 978-3-8396-1659-8
International Congress "Electronics Goes Green 2020+" <2020, Online>
Conference Paper, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IZM ()

While eco-design for products according to closed loop life-cycle principles is a pre-requisite to achieve full circularity of material flows, it might not be sufficient to meet the targeted resource consumption on a global scale. In the context of Circular Economy, new possibilities around digital solutions and services are discussed as great step towards achieving a globally sustainable economy based on the principle of circularity as they can create synergies and sufficiency in resource consumption more effectively. Moreover, by allowing to keep track of products over their entire life cycle(s) and exchange data amongst all stakeholders they allow for constant incremental improvement and adjustment. It is a striking fact that although technical development happens at an unprecedented speed, and new, disrupting or improving operations are technically feasible, we only see little ideas - see products - reaching markets. In order to understand the driving and limiting factors for transitioning towards circular business models, we interviewed experts in the Baltic Sea region about their experiences. We asked them about their needs as well as visions and outlooks they have to implementing sustainable business solutions for a digital CE. The qualitative interviews were analysed to retrieve re-occurring challenges, understand practical solutions and underlying opportunities as well know-how deficiencies. From the findings, we expect to be able to develop tools that will on an operational level help designers to integrate sustainability in their work process and on a strategic level support the development of sustainable business innovation through service design.