More sustainable approaches to production and consumption
An EU-funded project aims to develop and implement a circular economy approach for products and services which will get consumers more involved in design and production, supports sustainable consumption, increases recycling and reuse, and cuts waste.
© gerasimov174 #262946677, source: adobe.stock.com 2019
The EU-funded CIRC4LIFE project is developing three new circular economy business models to underpin new services with novel features. The aim is to bring end-users closer to design and production phases, develop a products and services eco-points system to support sustainable consumption (including cash incentives for consumers), and co-creation/delivery involving multi-stakeholders and eco-information which is traceable throughout value and supply chains.
The co-creation of products and services model analyses consumers preferences and predicts their needs by data mining online product reviews and evaluation of product specifications and prototypes. This will lead to the implementation of more sustainable production methods, shorter supply chains and the creation of new products and services.
CIRC4LIFE is also developing a vendor-neutral and open-source-based information logistical infrastructure to support these new circular business models. This will support resource and impact accounting, the collection of market signals and neutral statistics, as well as supporting trustworthy traceability throughout the value and supply chains.
The project team is using demonstrators to test the economic and environmental feasibility of the models and exploit EU eco-innovative solutions in electrical and electronic equipment, and farming and agri-food. The aim is to engage numerous stakeholders in effective ways such as living labs, professional/business networks and societies.
Furthermore, CIRC4LIFE is helping end-users to be actively involved in developing, testing and implementing these circular economy models by awareness raising and knowledge sharing. This includes making product eco-information available to end-users, a consumer eco-credits award scheme, an internet-based system for recycling end-of-life products, and information sharing on different materials, practices and experiences gained while developing business processes and tools.
Moreover, the projects eco-innovative models have the potential to impact on the design of new sustainable products and services by creating new markets, shortening supply chains, reducing consumption of resources and materials, and the recovery of raw materials.
The experience gained in CIRC4LIFE is contributing to cross-cutting policy recommendations on the circular economy and event organisation while building networks will help the project to disseminate its outcomes.