Moving in circles: Logistics as key enabler for a circular economy
Future challenges in logistics and supply chain management. White paper
The principle of the Circular Economy is to keep raw materials as long as possible within the economic cycle generally free from waste and emission. To do so, end-of-life products and materials must be kept at the highest possible level of value creation according to their original use. To realize such a circular way of economy adapted logistics concepts to coordinate both material and information flow are inevitable - beside approaches to product design for recycling and new business models. Developments of digitization, Industry 4.0 and Internet of Things offer solutions that have not yet been applied to a large extend. However, possible disadvantages of Circular Economy like rebound effects and increased demand for resources by deploying digital technologies must be taken into consideration. Due of its strong integration into the processes of production, use and waste management logistics in particular has to contribute to a sustainable economy. This whitepaper introduces logistical trends supporting the transformation towards a Circular Economy. The focus of the whitepaper is on the materials cycles of the technosphere consisting of non-renewable resources.