• 16 April 2021

    Asian circularity: is it possible?

    By Francesco Chesi English version Asia hosts 60% of the world’s population (4.65bn out of 7.8bn) and this number is set to increase by 12% before 2040. In 2010, the Asian Development Bank, the organ in charge of addressing poverty and inducing sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific, stated that seven economies (China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, and Thailand) had a combined total population of 3.1 billion (78 per cent of Asia) and a GDP of $14.2 trillion (87 per cent of Asia).  The report ‘Asia 2050: Realizing the Asian Century’ states that these seven economies alone will account for 45 per cent of global GDP and adds: ‘Long before 2050, Asia will surpass North America and Europe as the largest energy-consuming block therefore Asian countries’ economic growth will heavily depend on improving the efficiency of natural resource use and winning the global race to a low carbon future.” Now that we have defined the numbers and the sense of urgency for the adoption of the circular economy, Ms Adrienna Zsakay (CEO at Circular Economy Asia) asks THE question: ‘’Is the circular economy achievable in Asia?’’ Planet earth’s fulcrum Her article for The Economist Sustainability Summit that took place on the 15th of November 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, questions the implications that the circular economy could have on society, employment, international trade, and SMEs. The foundation of the circular economy is based on the concept that having products last longer will be good for us as it not only saves us money, but it also may create jobs in the future. Yet, the statistics in Asia do not bear this out. In a comparison between the UK and India for the Household Appliance Repair industry, the UK sees a growth whilst India sees a decline. This may...
  • By Giovanna Matrone English Version When during Christmas vacations I told my father I was getting enthusiastic about Circular Economy he started laughing. He is a 73 years old electronic engineer. He is passionate about any new technology innovation but quite skeptical about new business models linked to new generation values. Honestly – at that moment I was a little disappointed. Then, I started thinking about his reaction. Especially about why he showed himself cynical. As often happens, I found the answer working on another topic. In the same period, indeed, I was deepening concepts about cognitive biases for a study on Diversity and Inclusion. These biases are systematic patterns of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment and decisions. So, I asked myself: is there any link between Circular Economy and biases? The answer is yes. Actually, not many studies have been found, but among those few, the most try to empirically demonstrate that consumers often behave far from traditional patterns of rationality, as influenced by cognitive biases. If this is valid for the relationship between consumer and product, emerging studies are demonstrating this “irrational” link exists also toward the acceptance of new business models, despite ethical values involved. From this perspective, it becomes imperative to explore, understand and overcome these barriers to allow the implementation of innovative models aimed to support the Circular Economy in creating value for customers, societies, and companies. The possibility for individuals to form and express their identity is key to enable acceptance of products and models. In their positions and decisions, people are influenced by their own values and beliefs, born from a specific set of factors, linked to psychology and personal experience, social environment, and culture. Individual and social factors The individual factors are those deeply reflecting the values of people. Psychological mechanisms, habits, attitudes are just a few among them. People are strongly willing to...
  • 2 April 2021

    Towards a Circular Food System

    By Giovanni Colombo, Senior Public Affairs Manager at EIT Food – from ReThink 2020 English Version EIT Food is one of the eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities created by the EU under the umbrella of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and is building an ecosystem to generate innovative solutions to make the food system more circular and bring these solutions to the market.  The “Circular Food Systems” is one of the six Focus Areas. EIT Food, as Europe’s leading food initiative, is working to make the food system more sustainable, healthy, and trusted.  It works in synergy with Europe’s leading agri-food companies, research institutes, universities, and startups to transform the food system and tackle some of the big societal challenges such as food waste. In the EU, around 88 million tonnes of food waste are generated annually, which represents 20% of food production and it is estimated that this could feed 200 million people. The production and disposal of this food waste generate 170 million tonnes of CO2 which accounts for 6% of greenhouse gas emissions of the European Union. The global cost is 870 billion euros. Today, the reduction of food waste is an opportunity because it could help to close the gap between the food needed to feed the planet in 2050 and the food that was available in 2010 by more than 20%. This has been recognized also by the UN SDGs target n° 12.3 which asks us to halve the food waste by 2030. In the European context, food waste covers food loss and food waste and it occurs at all stages of the value chain. Even though in Europe food waste occurs mostly at the consumption level, synergic efforts should be addressing the problem of food waste at all stages of the value chain. Colombo...
  • 26 March 2021

    Lac2Lab: redeveloping the milk

    By Luca Bertolasi English Version Lac2Lab is a start-up currently under the constitution, whose project started in 2019. The team is made up of 4 co-founders, with different backgrounds: Paride Acierno and Luca Bertolasi for the economic-business area, Lorenzo Ippolito, and Arianna Palladini for the R&D and production area. Cell cultures are a laboratory technique that aims to reproduce biological phenomena through the growth of certain cell lines within laboratory slides, in a controlled artificial environment. The growth and proliferation of cells are guaranteed through nutrition, given by the FBS (Fetal Bovine Serum), which has various problems concerning the ethical, economic, and qualitative sphere. First, FBS is produced by killing bovine fetuses, and about 2 million of them are killed each year. Furthermore, the FBS has a considerable cost, and the cheaper variants are produced in South America, where herd control isn’t comparable to Italian standards. An ethical and sustainable product The purpose of Lac2Lab is therefore to place on the market a substitute product for FBS, totally ethical towards animals, obtained by reusing a material that would otherwise be wasted: cow’s milk. Indeed, approximately 116 million tons of milk and dairy products are wasted every year around the world. An in-depth analysis of the dairy market was conducted, in particular by examining the relationships between producer, distributor, and the final consumer. This analysis highlighted how to milk waste is an intrinsic problem in the supply chain. The Lac2Lab product is born from the requalification of expired or expiring cow’s milk, no longer destined for food consumption, to be used in Life Science technologies. This guarantees production based on a circular and sustainable economy. The whey, suitably transformed through original processes and replacing the FBS within the cell cultures, also reduces the distances between the additive manufacturer and users: the...
  • 19 March 2021

    Circularity from Farm to Fork

    By Francesco Cagnola English Version Once you get to know the functioning of the food system, it is possible to realize that the global dimensions and the complexity of the relationships between the stakeholders involved in this field have become extremely difficult to understand and analyze. Furthermore, paying attention to the transition required for a more sustainable food system that is in harmony with nature, it is clear that this is an environmental as well as an economic-social problem. In order to succeed in this paradigm shift, it is important that this complexity is understood as much as possible by everyone. Although it is a fundamental aspect, the management of organic waste is only one of the necessary actions to be implemented: to reach lasting benefits over time it is necessary to deal with reduction and reuse, as well as focus on recycling processes. On the other hand, understanding the system at the micro level – individual consumers and/or individual companies, meso level – industrial poles, and macro level – city, region, nation, is difficult for everyone. The same is true when trying to understand the management of some thorny situations – or trade-offs – that must be faced during the transition to sustainable systems (for example, the debate regarding the production gap of biological techniques, which have a lower production at equal size cultivated with respect to industrial techniques). Three principles for a circular food system Below, in an attempt to clarify the complexities mentioned above, we refer to the 3 principles introduced by the Ellen McArthur Foundation, and we will follow the path that leads from the producer to the consumer. The latter is explicitly mentioned in the title of the new EU strategy (“From Farm to Fork”, that is “From Farm to Fork”), but few of the non-experts...
  • 12 March 2021

    Top IT trends for a circular economy

    By Aleksandra Kekkonen English Version Today both fields of IT development and circular economy are in the highest interest. A circular economy promises a balanced and sustainable future in a clean and flourish way with well-designed and energy-efficient assets for all stakeholders. IT field in its turn drives economic development, brings science fiction projections in life, and saves (to some extent) the world from Covid consequences making distant work and business processes reality. For sure, all the popular tech trends like AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning), IoT (Internet of Things), Big Data, edge computing, robotic process automation, and others come to ease our lives. But how those two fields overlap and what influence IT has for circular economy implementation?  First of all, IT field definition should be considered to be more specific in formulations: Information Technology (IT) is the use of computers to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data or information. Necessary types of IT services include hardware & software, network Infrastructure (a company’s network infrastructure would typically include its internet connectivity and internal networking between computers and other devices (such as printers), mobile device management, cloud computing, and cybersecurity». Digital technologies play an important role in establishing real-time information exchanges among users, machines, and management systems. These technologies are intrinsically customer-focused and provide the information and connections needed to maintain a relationship far beyond the point of sale. Remote visibility and control of assets are especially critical for the Product as a Service, Sharing Platforms, and Product Life Extension business models. By altering the way businesses and consumers interact with physical and digital assets and enabling dematerialization, digital technologies can transform value chains, so they are decoupled from the need for additional resources for growth. Hybrid technology is partly digital and partly engineering. It can establish a unique type of control over assets and material flows. It allows a company to digitally identify...
  • 11 March 2021

    Hacking The City | Design a Circular Future

    Comunicato stampa Versione Italiana Studenti universitari, neo-laureati e dottorandi avranno l’opportunità di prendere parte alla progettazione della città circolare del futuro durante il primo hackathon italiano sull’Economia Circolare. L’evento si terrà il 23 aprile dalle 9.30 alle 19.00 e il 24 aprile dalle 10.00 alle 13.00 e successivamente dalle 16.30 alle 17.30. Tondo – organizzazione no-profit internazionale operante nel settore dell’economia circolare – è lieta di annunciare il suo primo hackathon, realizzato in collaborazione con il Circular Economy Lab di Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center e Cariplo Factory e con il patrocinio di Fondazione Cariplo. L’hackathon, rivolto a studenti universitari, neolaureati e dottorandi di tutta Italia, vedrà come protagonista la città circolare del futuro. Con il 70% della popolazione che diventerà urbana entro il 2050, le città sono il punto di partenza per trasformare l’attuale sistema economico e sociale verso un modello circolare per un futuro più sostenibile, green ed inclusivo.  L’evento, che sarà realizzato interamente online, è stato infatti pensato per ideare e sostenere progettualità innovative e circolari, coinvolgendo i principali atenei italiani ed alcune delle maggiori aziende operanti in Italia su quest’ambito. “La recente crisi pandemica ha messo in evidenza la crisi di alcuni modelli tradizionali per la creazione del valore a favore di alcuni nuovi paradigmi, fra cui sicuramente l’economia circolare” – commenta Carlo Mango, Direttore Area Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica di Fondazione Cariplo. – “Come Fondazione Cariplo siamo impegnati da tempo nello sviluppo di conoscenze e competenze in questo campo e, proprio per questa ragione, siamo felici di sostenere Hacking the City, iniziativa che punta a generare idee innovative in ottica circolare all’interno del sistema urbano, contesto destinato a essere sempre più centrale nell’ambito di una crescita sostenibile”. Otto sono le macro-aree individuate, all’interno delle quali sono state definite delle challenge grazie al coinvolgimento di partner industriali. Si tratta di Salvatore Ferragamo per l’area Consumer Goods, Esselunga per l’area Food, Arup per l’area Design, Cisco per l’area...
  • 5 March 2021

    Interview with Ccrave

    By Elia Bidut English Version Ccrave, a Portuguese circular content and commerce platform Ccrave is a circular content and commerce platform, born thanks to the efforts of Vincent Van Dessel and Liina Edun. Ccrave is a start-up based in Lisbon that has recently participated in Rise for Impact, a 3 months acceleration program and one of the best impact accelerators in Portugal. Ccrave secured its seed funding and is taking off in 2021.  We had the chance to speak to Vincent about the experience of starting a new circular venture and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on CCrave. Vincent, what has been the main difficulty in setting up a new company in the circular economy field? Circular economy is still a pioneering concept and relatively unknown for end consumers but also for businesses. We will only succeed at this systemic change by connecting all the dots in the circular ecosystem. Identifying all relevant stakeholders and building a circular ecosystem with brands, material producers, circular experts, and European circular organizations has been my main task for the last one and a half year. It’s a never-ending journey. Finding the right co-founders was another big challenge as we always aim to have circular advocates as team members. We managed to attract people with a previous successful career path in linear business ventures to shift to a promising circular one, like our new Head of Digital, Beatriz. As a circular business venture that aims to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, you need to walk your talk and lead by example. Therefore to be credible we have to apply circular principles in the core of our company as much as possible. Hosting our website on a green platform, carbon-neutral logistics where possible, sourcing the right products – our vision is there...
  • 26 February 2021

    Circular Economy in rural areas

    By Jim MacNeil, Tondo Associate English Version Exploring circular economy in rural areas The use of real-world laboratories to experiment with alternative design, business models and economies While cities present unique challenges in transitioning to the circular economy, rural regions also face their own set of challenges in doing so. Mountains have always provided vital natural resources, social and economic services to communities. Mountain regions are primarily known for their tourism and concentrations of tertiary sector economies, which represent the main sources of income for many rural communities and has become the quick solution to increase the GDP of depopulating communities, a common trend of many mountain regions over the last half-century. In order to have resilient economies able to withstand unexpected and devastating events, firstly, there should be a certain degree of diversity where a system is not so reliant on one industry, and secondly, the system should be flexible in order to adapt to new modes of operating and respond adequately to these events. Circular systems, like natural systems, are intended to be collaborative. Therefore, as a society we also need a change in mindset away from the competitive nature of capitalist economies. In order to do this, businesses and communities should demonstrate the benefits of adapting a new collaborative approach. MonViso Institute (MVI) is an example of how rural actors are taking advantage of their geographical location not only as a centre of experimentation – providing students and visitors inspiration and tools for change, but also in their ability to be self-sufficient, which rural areas have as an advantage over their urban counterparts. MonViso Institute – Demonstrating Circular Solutions Nestled in the Po Valley at 1500 metres a.s.l. in the municipality of Ostana (Piedmont), Tobias Luthe and his group of researchers, designers and entrepreneurs are experimenting with...
  • 16 February 2021

    Tondo Lab

    Versione Italiano Il clima sta cambiando e tali cambiamenti stanno avendo forti impatti su biodiversità, ecosistemi, nonché sulla salute e sul benessere umano. Limitare l’aumento della temperatura globale ad 1.5°C è un obiettivo che deve essere raggiunto per contenere i possibili disastri ambientali, quali forti precipitazioni, prolungati periodi di siccità o i rischi associati allo stress idrico. Il report del 2018 del Panel Intergovernativo sul Cambiamento Climatico (IPCC) dimostra che l’aumento della temperatura globale di 2°C al di sopra dei livelli preindustriali porterebbe a conseguenze devastanti. Per contenere i rischi legati all’aumento delle temperature è richiesto uno sforzo collettivo che acceleri le azioni di contrasto del cambiamento climatico. E’ infatti necessario integrare in maniera consistente il percorso verso un’economia circolare, passo fondamentale verso il raggiungimento degli obiettivi climatici. L’economia circolare offre una risposta sistemica alla crisi climatica riducendo le emissioni e aumentando la resilienza. I vantaggi derivanti da questo cambio di paradigma, inoltre, comprendono il raggiungimento di altri obiettivi come la creazione di città più vivibili, la re-distribuzione della ricchezza e lo stimolo all’innovazione.  All’interno del Green Deal europeo è stato infatti realizzato anche un piano d’azione per l’Economia Circolare. Il piano presenta nuove iniziative lungo tutto il ciclo di vita dei prodotti al fine di modernizzare e trasformare la nostra economia nel rispetto dell’ambiente. Affrontare quindi la sfida del passaggio verso una società ad impatto ambientale zero sarà cruciale nei prossimi anni di ricostruzione dell’economia post-Covid: ci sarà una crescente attenzione alla valutazione della circolarità delle aziende e alle aziende sarà chiesto di trovare modi innovativi per contribuire attivamente all’implementazione dell’economia circolare. Partendo da queste constatazioni, il team di Tondo ha deciso di creare Tondo lab, con l’obiettivo di accelerare la trasformazione delle aziende in un’ottica circolare. Tondo lab semplifica i percorsi di queste verso l’economia circolare affinando la...
  • 12 February 2021

    CE and Lithium-ion Batteries

    English Version By Alessandro Innocenti, Tondo Associate and PhD student at Helmholtz Institute Ulm A Circular Future for Energy Storage The lithium-ion battery is the key technology that is allowing the widespread adoption of electric vehicles,portable electronic devices, and renewable energy storage.Every year, an increasing number of batteries are put into the market: we passed from an installed capacity of 200 GWh of 2014 to more than 700 GWh in 2019, with a forecast of about 8000 GWh by 2030. This also means that more and more batteries will have to be retired every year after their use in one of the mentioned applications. In fact, lithium-ion batteries must be replaced after a certain time, since they show a decrease of the performances caused by inevitable chemical degradation reactions. Spent batteries can be directly sent to recycling for the material recovery, but the economic sustainability of lithium-ion battery recycling strongly depends on the presence of precious metals as cobalt (which is getting phased out for its toxicity) and nickel inside. This is the preferred route for the batteries used in consumer electronics and personal mobility systems, which are usually quite small and with a lower quality if compared to other possible applications. In fact, stricter requirements for batteries are present in the electric vehicle industry, because of the high standards in terms of autonomy and of power set by the manufacturers to be competitive with classic vehicles. Moreover, these standards must be assured for a long time, since no one wants that after one year or two from the purchase, the electric car makes 10-20% less kilometres with each “refill”. In the industry, the common threshold for the end of life of a lithium-ion battery is when it retains 80% of the initial capacity or power. The actual time needed...
  • By Francesco Chesi English version Asia hosts 60% of the world’s population (4.65bn out of 7.8bn) and this number is set to increase by 12% before 2040. In 2010, the Asian Development Bank, the organ in charge of addressing poverty and inducing sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific, stated that seven economies (China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, and Thailand) had a combined total population of 3.1 billion (78 per cent of Asia) and a GDP of $14.2 trillion (87 per cent of Asia).  The report ‘Asia 2050: Realizing the Asian Century’ states that these seven economies alone will account for 45 per cent of global GDP and adds: ‘Long before 2050, Asia will surpass North America and Europe as the largest energy-consuming block therefore Asian countries’ economic growth will heavily depend on improving the efficiency of natural resource use and winning the global race to a low carbon future.” Now that we have defined the numbers and the sense of urgency for the adoption of the circular economy, Ms Adrienna Zsakay (CEO at Circular Economy Asia) asks THE question: ‘’Is the circular economy achievable in Asia?’’ Planet earth’s fulcrum Her article for The Economist Sustainability Summit that took place on the 15th of November 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, questions the implications that the circular economy could have on society, employment, international trade, and SMEs. The foundation of the circular economy is based on the concept that having products last longer will be good for us as it not only saves us money, but it also may create jobs in the future. Yet, the statistics in Asia do not bear this out. In a comparison between the UK and India for the Household Appliance Repair industry, the UK sees a growth whilst India sees a decline. This may...
  • By Giovanna Matrone English Version When during Christmas vacations I told my father I was getting enthusiastic about Circular Economy he started laughing. He is a 73 years old electronic engineer. He is passionate about any new technology innovation but quite skeptical about new business models linked to new generation values. Honestly – at that moment I was a little disappointed. Then, I started thinking about his reaction. Especially about why he showed himself cynical. As often happens, I found the answer working on another topic. In the same period, indeed, I was deepening concepts about cognitive biases for a study on Diversity and Inclusion. These biases are systematic patterns of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment and decisions. So, I asked myself: is there any link between Circular Economy and biases? The answer is yes. Actually, not many studies have been found, but among those few, the most try to empirically demonstrate that consumers often behave far from traditional patterns of rationality, as influenced by cognitive biases. If this is valid for the relationship between consumer and product, emerging studies are demonstrating this “irrational” link exists also toward the acceptance of new business models, despite ethical values involved. From this perspective, it becomes imperative to explore, understand and overcome these barriers to allow the implementation of innovative models aimed to support the Circular Economy in creating value for customers, societies, and companies. The possibility for individuals to form and express their identity is key to enable acceptance of products and models. In their positions and decisions, people are influenced by their own values and beliefs, born from a specific set of factors, linked to psychology and personal experience, social environment, and culture. Individual and social factors The individual factors are those deeply reflecting the values of people. Psychological mechanisms, habits, attitudes are just a few among them. People are strongly willing to...
  • By Giovanni Colombo, Senior Public Affairs Manager at EIT Food – from ReThink 2020 English Version EIT Food is one of the eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities created by the EU under the umbrella of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and is building an ecosystem to generate innovative solutions to make the food system more circular and bring these solutions to the market.  The “Circular Food Systems” is one of the six Focus Areas. EIT Food, as Europe’s leading food initiative, is working to make the food system more sustainable, healthy, and trusted.  It works in synergy with Europe’s leading agri-food companies, research institutes, universities, and startups to transform the food system and tackle some of the big societal challenges such as food waste. In the EU, around 88 million tonnes of food waste are generated annually, which represents 20% of food production and it is estimated that this could feed 200 million people. The production and disposal of this food waste generate 170 million tonnes of CO2 which accounts for 6% of greenhouse gas emissions of the European Union. The global cost is 870 billion euros. Today, the reduction of food waste is an opportunity because it could help to close the gap between the food needed to feed the planet in 2050 and the food that was available in 2010 by more than 20%. This has been recognized also by the UN SDGs target n° 12.3 which asks us to halve the food waste by 2030. In the European context, food waste covers food loss and food waste and it occurs at all stages of the value chain. Even though in Europe food waste occurs mostly at the consumption level, synergic efforts should be addressing the problem of food waste at all stages of the value chain. Colombo...
  • By Luca Bertolasi English Version Lac2Lab is a start-up currently under the constitution, whose project started in 2019. The team is made up of 4 co-founders, with different backgrounds: Paride Acierno and Luca Bertolasi for the economic-business area, Lorenzo Ippolito, and Arianna Palladini for the R&D and production area. Cell cultures are a laboratory technique that aims to reproduce biological phenomena through the growth of certain cell lines within laboratory slides, in a controlled artificial environment. The growth and proliferation of cells are guaranteed through nutrition, given by the FBS (Fetal Bovine Serum), which has various problems concerning the ethical, economic, and qualitative sphere. First, FBS is produced by killing bovine fetuses, and about 2 million of them are killed each year. Furthermore, the FBS has a considerable cost, and the cheaper variants are produced in South America, where herd control isn’t comparable to Italian standards. An ethical and sustainable product The purpose of Lac2Lab is therefore to place on the market a substitute product for FBS, totally ethical towards animals, obtained by reusing a material that would otherwise be wasted: cow’s milk. Indeed, approximately 116 million tons of milk and dairy products are wasted every year around the world. An in-depth analysis of the dairy market was conducted, in particular by examining the relationships between producer, distributor, and the final consumer. This analysis highlighted how to milk waste is an intrinsic problem in the supply chain. The Lac2Lab product is born from the requalification of expired or expiring cow’s milk, no longer destined for food consumption, to be used in Life Science technologies. This guarantees production based on a circular and sustainable economy. The whey, suitably transformed through original processes and replacing the FBS within the cell cultures, also reduces the distances between the additive manufacturer and users: the...
  • 19 March 2021

    Circularity from Farm to Fork

    By Francesco Cagnola English Version Once you get to know the functioning of the food system, it is possible to realize that the global dimensions and the complexity of the relationships between the stakeholders involved in this field have become extremely difficult to understand and analyze. Furthermore, paying attention to the transition required for a more sustainable food system that is in harmony with nature, it is clear that this is an environmental as well as an economic-social problem. In order to succeed in this paradigm shift, it is important that this complexity is understood as much as possible by everyone. Although it is a fundamental aspect, the management of organic waste is only one of the necessary actions to be implemented: to reach lasting benefits over time it is necessary to deal with reduction and reuse, as well as focus on recycling processes. On the other hand, understanding the system at the micro level – individual consumers and/or individual companies, meso level – industrial poles, and macro level – city, region, nation, is difficult for everyone. The same is true when trying to understand the management of some thorny situations – or trade-offs – that must be faced during the transition to sustainable systems (for example, the debate regarding the production gap of biological techniques, which have a lower production at equal size cultivated with respect to industrial techniques). Three principles for a circular food system Below, in an attempt to clarify the complexities mentioned above, we refer to the 3 principles introduced by the Ellen McArthur Foundation, and we will follow the path that leads from the producer to the consumer. The latter is explicitly mentioned in the title of the new EU strategy (“From Farm to Fork”, that is “From Farm to Fork”), but few of the non-experts...
  • By Aleksandra Kekkonen English Version Today both fields of IT development and circular economy are in the highest interest. A circular economy promises a balanced and sustainable future in a clean and flourish way with well-designed and energy-efficient assets for all stakeholders. IT field in its turn drives economic development, brings science fiction projections in life, and saves (to some extent) the world from Covid consequences making distant work and business processes reality. For sure, all the popular tech trends like AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning), IoT (Internet of Things), Big Data, edge computing, robotic process automation, and others come to ease our lives. But how those two fields overlap and what influence IT has for circular economy implementation?  First of all, IT field definition should be considered to be more specific in formulations: Information Technology (IT) is the use of computers to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data or information. Necessary types of IT services include hardware & software, network Infrastructure (a company’s network infrastructure would typically include its internet connectivity and internal networking between computers and other devices (such as printers), mobile device management, cloud computing, and cybersecurity». Digital technologies play an important role in establishing real-time information exchanges among users, machines, and management systems. These technologies are intrinsically customer-focused and provide the information and connections needed to maintain a relationship far beyond the point of sale. Remote visibility and control of assets are especially critical for the Product as a Service, Sharing Platforms, and Product Life Extension business models. By altering the way businesses and consumers interact with physical and digital assets and enabling dematerialization, digital technologies can transform value chains, so they are decoupled from the need for additional resources for growth. Hybrid technology is partly digital and partly engineering. It can establish a unique type of control over assets and material flows. It allows a company to digitally identify...
  • Comunicato stampa Versione Italiana Studenti universitari, neo-laureati e dottorandi avranno l’opportunità di prendere parte alla progettazione della città circolare del futuro durante il primo hackathon italiano sull’Economia Circolare. L’evento si terrà il 23 aprile dalle 9.30 alle 19.00 e il 24 aprile dalle 10.00 alle 13.00 e successivamente dalle 16.30 alle 17.30. Tondo – organizzazione no-profit internazionale operante nel settore dell’economia circolare – è lieta di annunciare il suo primo hackathon, realizzato in collaborazione con il Circular Economy Lab di Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center e Cariplo Factory e con il patrocinio di Fondazione Cariplo. L’hackathon, rivolto a studenti universitari, neolaureati e dottorandi di tutta Italia, vedrà come protagonista la città circolare del futuro. Con il 70% della popolazione che diventerà urbana entro il 2050, le città sono il punto di partenza per trasformare l’attuale sistema economico e sociale verso un modello circolare per un futuro più sostenibile, green ed inclusivo.  L’evento, che sarà realizzato interamente online, è stato infatti pensato per ideare e sostenere progettualità innovative e circolari, coinvolgendo i principali atenei italiani ed alcune delle maggiori aziende operanti in Italia su quest’ambito. “La recente crisi pandemica ha messo in evidenza la crisi di alcuni modelli tradizionali per la creazione del valore a favore di alcuni nuovi paradigmi, fra cui sicuramente l’economia circolare” – commenta Carlo Mango, Direttore Area Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica di Fondazione Cariplo. – “Come Fondazione Cariplo siamo impegnati da tempo nello sviluppo di conoscenze e competenze in questo campo e, proprio per questa ragione, siamo felici di sostenere Hacking the City, iniziativa che punta a generare idee innovative in ottica circolare all’interno del sistema urbano, contesto destinato a essere sempre più centrale nell’ambito di una crescita sostenibile”. Otto sono le macro-aree individuate, all’interno delle quali sono state definite delle challenge grazie al coinvolgimento di partner industriali. Si tratta di Salvatore Ferragamo per l’area Consumer Goods, Esselunga per l’area Food, Arup per l’area Design, Cisco per l’area...
  • 5 March 2021

    Interview with Ccrave

    By Elia Bidut English Version Ccrave, a Portuguese circular content and commerce platform Ccrave is a circular content and commerce platform, born thanks to the efforts of Vincent Van Dessel and Liina Edun. Ccrave is a start-up based in Lisbon that has recently participated in Rise for Impact, a 3 months acceleration program and one of the best impact accelerators in Portugal. Ccrave secured its seed funding and is taking off in 2021.  We had the chance to speak to Vincent about the experience of starting a new circular venture and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on CCrave. Vincent, what has been the main difficulty in setting up a new company in the circular economy field? Circular economy is still a pioneering concept and relatively unknown for end consumers but also for businesses. We will only succeed at this systemic change by connecting all the dots in the circular ecosystem. Identifying all relevant stakeholders and building a circular ecosystem with brands, material producers, circular experts, and European circular organizations has been my main task for the last one and a half year. It’s a never-ending journey. Finding the right co-founders was another big challenge as we always aim to have circular advocates as team members. We managed to attract people with a previous successful career path in linear business ventures to shift to a promising circular one, like our new Head of Digital, Beatriz. As a circular business venture that aims to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, you need to walk your talk and lead by example. Therefore to be credible we have to apply circular principles in the core of our company as much as possible. Hosting our website on a green platform, carbon-neutral logistics where possible, sourcing the right products – our vision is there...
  • 26 February 2021

    Circular Economy in rural areas

    By Jim MacNeil, Tondo Associate English Version Exploring circular economy in rural areas The use of real-world laboratories to experiment with alternative design, business models and economies While cities present unique challenges in transitioning to the circular economy, rural regions also face their own set of challenges in doing so. Mountains have always provided vital natural resources, social and economic services to communities. Mountain regions are primarily known for their tourism and concentrations of tertiary sector economies, which represent the main sources of income for many rural communities and has become the quick solution to increase the GDP of depopulating communities, a common trend of many mountain regions over the last half-century. In order to have resilient economies able to withstand unexpected and devastating events, firstly, there should be a certain degree of diversity where a system is not so reliant on one industry, and secondly, the system should be flexible in order to adapt to new modes of operating and respond adequately to these events. Circular systems, like natural systems, are intended to be collaborative. Therefore, as a society we also need a change in mindset away from the competitive nature of capitalist economies. In order to do this, businesses and communities should demonstrate the benefits of adapting a new collaborative approach. MonViso Institute (MVI) is an example of how rural actors are taking advantage of their geographical location not only as a centre of experimentation – providing students and visitors inspiration and tools for change, but also in their ability to be self-sufficient, which rural areas have as an advantage over their urban counterparts. MonViso Institute – Demonstrating Circular Solutions Nestled in the Po Valley at 1500 metres a.s.l. in the municipality of Ostana (Piedmont), Tobias Luthe and his group of researchers, designers and entrepreneurs are experimenting with...
  • 16 February 2021

    Tondo Lab

    Versione Italiano Il clima sta cambiando e tali cambiamenti stanno avendo forti impatti su biodiversità, ecosistemi, nonché sulla salute e sul benessere umano. Limitare l’aumento della temperatura globale ad 1.5°C è un obiettivo che deve essere raggiunto per contenere i possibili disastri ambientali, quali forti precipitazioni, prolungati periodi di siccità o i rischi associati allo stress idrico. Il report del 2018 del Panel Intergovernativo sul Cambiamento Climatico (IPCC) dimostra che l’aumento della temperatura globale di 2°C al di sopra dei livelli preindustriali porterebbe a conseguenze devastanti. Per contenere i rischi legati all’aumento delle temperature è richiesto uno sforzo collettivo che acceleri le azioni di contrasto del cambiamento climatico. E’ infatti necessario integrare in maniera consistente il percorso verso un’economia circolare, passo fondamentale verso il raggiungimento degli obiettivi climatici. L’economia circolare offre una risposta sistemica alla crisi climatica riducendo le emissioni e aumentando la resilienza. I vantaggi derivanti da questo cambio di paradigma, inoltre, comprendono il raggiungimento di altri obiettivi come la creazione di città più vivibili, la re-distribuzione della ricchezza e lo stimolo all’innovazione.  All’interno del Green Deal europeo è stato infatti realizzato anche un piano d’azione per l’Economia Circolare. Il piano presenta nuove iniziative lungo tutto il ciclo di vita dei prodotti al fine di modernizzare e trasformare la nostra economia nel rispetto dell’ambiente. Affrontare quindi la sfida del passaggio verso una società ad impatto ambientale zero sarà cruciale nei prossimi anni di ricostruzione dell’economia post-Covid: ci sarà una crescente attenzione alla valutazione della circolarità delle aziende e alle aziende sarà chiesto di trovare modi innovativi per contribuire attivamente all’implementazione dell’economia circolare. Partendo da queste constatazioni, il team di Tondo ha deciso di creare Tondo lab, con l’obiettivo di accelerare la trasformazione delle aziende in un’ottica circolare. Tondo lab semplifica i percorsi di queste verso l’economia circolare affinando la...
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