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What is a Circular Economy?

By 12 March, 2019 September 30th, 2019 No Comments

The new economic model gaining ground.

Guest post: Leanne Kemp, Queensland Chief Entrepreneur

 

The economy is shifting from a “take, make and dispose” model to a more circular approach that involves the regenerative use of materials.

Known as a circular economy, it offers significant opportunities to boost economic growth, job creation, and innovation – and Brisbane is holding the baton firmly in its hands in the race to COP25!

Waste to Wealth, a book published by Accenture in 2015, projected that as much as $4.5 trillion in economic value could be created by the year 2030 through encouraging corporate leaders to “go circular” and rethink their business models in ways that eliminate waste.

Technology is enabling new approaches to the circular economy, which involves the reuse of materials in order to eliminate waste and benefit the environment.

The Internet of Things, for example, which enables the online connectivity of large numbers of devices, can provide remote, continuous monitoring of the use of natural resources (during a harvest, or amid production at a factory) in order to better eliminate waste.

The Internet of Things can also enable business models that involve renting or leasing cars or appliances (rather than selling them), and remotely monitoring their condition – thereby potentially eliminating the need to discard and replace old items that stop working due to poor upkeep. The technology can also help governments facilitate circular approaches.

Barcelona, for example, has used the Internet of Things to improve energy efficiency through the deployment of smart meters to monitor consumption in targeted parts of the city. Barcelona also uses the technology to monitor waste collection and optimise collection routes with the use of smart bins. Lampposts in Barcelona also make use of the Internet of Things, by sensing when there are no pedestrians nearby and automatically dimming their lights.

Brisbane is leaping from the racing blocks with its hands firmly on the baton in the circular economy race. Find out more at QODE Brisbane!