How the Circular Economy and Technology Can Give You Better Profits and Reduce Waste

Our landfills grow, and so do the piles of plastic in the ocean. Maybe we’ll end up like Wall-E sooner than later? Enter the circular economy.

Sustainability and waste reduction are terms tossed around for years. These terms take on urgency when countries such as China refuse to deal with other countries’ cast-offs. The pressure to reuse, recycle, and repair increases.

It’s not possible, expensive, or not scalable? On the contrary, many companies using digital technologies find the opposite: they’re profiting.

Mobile technology enhances access to many types of business information and helps lower waste. Streamlining scheduling and routing in logistics operations reduces fuel waste. Mobile technology use in warehouse operations cuts paper and packaging refuse and promotes inventory turnover.

Let’s talk M2M. Not a candy; instead, it stands for machine to machine. The ability of equipment to report their operating status continually to monitoring equipment back at the office reduces repair and service costs. Not only are catastrophic breakdowns averted, but energy-intensive field service visits diminished.

Dematerialization is no longer a term found only in science fiction. The replacement of a physical item such as a book with a digital version, an e-book, continues to transform industries. Although wreaking havoc on several industries, it reduces energy usage and waste.

Access to big data gives businesses benefitting from the circular economy, the information they need to succeed. The circular economy depends on product use, not sales, to make a profit. A ton of number-crunching is required to find and exploit hidden product use demand.

 

Author: Kris Keppeler, a writer who finds technology fascinating and loves humor. She writes for Crossing Genres on Medium.com and Does This Happen to You? on Channillo. Award-winning podcast producer who enjoys telling stories. Follow her @KrisKKAria on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

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