The Verge 16, a conference and expo focusing on the technologies and systems that accelerate sustainability solutions in a climate constrained world, featured the Circular Economy as one of its tracks this year.
Companies like Nike and Google are applying the circular economy to their operations. Nike remanufactures material from used sneakers while Google reuses its old hardware in new data centers. According to Barbara Grady, Senior Writer at the GreenBiz Group:
“In a perfect circular economy, resources mined from the earth would be reused over and over, while biological resources would be used as long as possible and then returned to the earth in a biologically sound way.”
A main takeaway from the conference was that IoT is ripe for facilitating the circular economy in the manufacturing and resource recovery processes.
“Because IoT technology allows “things” to communicate with each other and share information about their location, functionality and working condition through sensors which beam information to central databases housed in the cloud, systems can be designed to trace the use of a material from when it was first used in manufacturing a product to its fate in product disassembly, recovery and reuse.”