Tagitsmart Meeting on Product Passport: Linking the digital and circular economy agenda

Linking the digital and circular economy agenda
Informal policy dialogue (Meeting to be held under the Chatham House rule)

Partners from the TagItSmart Consortium
Representatives from the Estonian EU Presidency
Representatives from DG Connect, DG Environment, DG Growth
Experts from innovative projects on circular economy making use of IoT

Date: Thursday, 26 October 2017 Time: 14:00 – 17:00
Location: Brussels   Venue: European Environmental Bureau (EEB)
Address: Boulevard de Waterloo 34, Meeting Room 5th floor
Moderator: Rob van Kranenburg, TagItSmart Ecosystem Manager

Businesses can maximise value from the resources they already own by turning waste into wealth, and circulating products and materials in closed loops, first smaller (reuse), then larger (recycling). Hence the name – circular economy – for a new economic model that benefits businesses and citizens, while also regenerating natural resources so that this win-win-win cycle can be sustained.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the key enabler: IoT and circular economy are both about a complete system reinvention, and they are both about smart, informed management of assets. Pioneer companies used circular design already before the digital era but now with the use of IoT technology the game changes entirely: it creates the data- and feedback-rich systems that allow circular designs and business models to thrive.

Today we have the expertise on the technologies to make circular manufacturing and recycling "internet-ready". But we need to improve our common understanding of the central role of information flows in enabling the material flows throughout the economy. What is new – and proposed here – is to look beyond the narrow sectoral solution. The systemic "closed-loop" thinking has to be integrated into the mainstream IoT understanding of the entire value chain.

• Bring together DG CONNECT, DG ENV and DG GROW colleagues to develop a conversation around an IoT-enabled Circular Economy
• Get interest from different (even if converging) industries (telecom, IT, service industries…)
• Identify those exemplary organisations that 'think' and 'work' horizontally (i.e. against the vertical nature of most IoT developments today)
• Promote a dialogue on the complementarity/ synergies between IoT & the Circular Economy
• Include the Blockchain paradigm into discussions on object tracking and tracing
• Engage with partners from innovative projects, reuse and environmental organisations

Guiding questions
• How can we find common building blocks that integrate a vision on Digitization for the Circular Economy?
• Can the product passport be such a building block? What is the new model for a digital, dynamic, real-time information sharing and labelling approach?

Possible impacts and synergies
• Enhance a digital society with online purchasing and procurement;
• Improve possibly market surveillance;
• Trigger a sound competition between products through immediate comparisons based on CE-related information;
• Build on/enhance effectiveness cf. existing instruments such as EU Ecolabel or Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria”.

Draft agenda
14:00  Welcome and introduction

What TagItSmart is about, Internet of Things
Objectives for the informal policy debate and Tour de Table
Rob van Kranenburg, TagItSmart

14:20 Part 1: The policy perspective

Setting the scene: Why information sharing is essential for promoting a circular economy
Carsten Wachholz, European Environment Bureau (EEB)

How are current policies supporting the link between digitisation and circular economy?
4 short inputs (5 minutes each) provided by
• DG Environment: Hugo-Maria Schally or Pierre Henry, Unit Sustainable production, products and consumption
• DG Connect: Nikos Isaris, Deputy Head of Unit Future Networks – Internet of Things
• DG Growth: Magnus Gislev, Policy Officer, Unit Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials
• Federal government of Belgium: Bram Soenen

Questions for discussion:
• Where are the most relevant gaps in the current IoT and CE agenda?
• What needs to be addressed more prominently by future policies?

15:05 Inspiration from digital technologies and projects

Setting the scene: What are the buzz words about? How can they enable a circular economy?
Rob van Kranenburg, TagItSmart

4 short inputs provided by
• TagItSmart: Sture Udd, Srdjan Krco, Ivan Gonzalez and Rob van Kranenburg (15 minutes)
• Reuse: David Franquesa Giro (5 minutes)
• GS1: Sophie Le Pallec (5 minutes)
• Piprate Ltd: Stan Nazarenko (5 minutes)

Questions for discussion:
• Wha t are the current drivers towards further individualization of products?
• How can these be leveraged towards a European data strategy on ecosystems of products?

15:45 What could be the building blocks for a digital-enabled circular economy?

4 parallel table discussions – 4 Hosts – Participants can change tables after 25 minutes
We encourage each group to come up with own ideas that they find worthwhile discussing.

Questions for discussion:
• There are no technical quick fixes. Technology and Internet of Things can however play a productive role as enabler and facilitator between different policy domains. What needs to be done towards further integration?
• What should be the next steps after this meeting?
• What is the low hanging fruit that you see in your domain?

Hosts need to prepare a few bullet points for reporting back to the whole group afterwards.

16:30  Summary and conclusions

Short presentations from the 4 tables (5 minutes each)
What were the key ideas being discussed? How can we leverage on potential impacts and synergies between the digital and circular economy?

What does it mean for the work of the Estonian EU Presidency on promoting eco-innovations for a circular economy? Final remarks, observations, and recommendations.
Ado Lõhmus, Deputy Secretary General, Estonian Environmental Ministry

17:00 Meeting ends

Rob van Kranenburg, TagItSmart, Founder of Council, IoT Thinktank

Carsten Wachholz, Senior Policy Officer for Resource Conservation and Product Policy,
European Environmental Bureau (EEB), carsten.wachholz@eeb.org

more iot news