AI to accelerate the transition to circular economy

In their report published in the Davos forum last January, the Ellen McArthur Foundation and Google highlight the importance of the circular economy to decouple growth and consumption of finite resources. The economic potential is enormous: $1.8 trillion in net profits by 2030, generated by creating new jobs, stimulating innovation and generating significant environmental benefits, among other things.

The report focuses on the intersection of the two major trends of the circular economy and artificial intelligence, identifying three types of value creation opportunities in the field of eco-design, circular business models, and circular infrastructure and logistics.

In the long term, AI could be applied to the complex task of rethinking value chains and logistics by optimizing reverse logistics for all types of sectors. Industrial take-back systems, for example, allow companies to recover their material at the end of its life. They reduce the cost of purchasing raw materials, guarantee a very reassuring supply stability for investors, while guaranteeing 100% recycled and recyclable products.

Many topics still need to be explored for a successful and sustainable use of this technology for the circular economy. The accessibility of a large amount of high-quality data, while guaranteeing security and respect for privacy, are examples of issues that need to be clarified.

Finally, the report points out that the transition to a circular economy cannot be achieved by one company alone; it requires a large ecosystem of trusted partners working hand in hand.

Upcyclea’s vision

Upcyclea was created in 2016 with the same vision, ahead of its time. Generating a new economy that is profitable and sustainable because it is more respectful of the environment may seem like a sweet dream to many. The complexity of supply chains, the diversity of materials around us, the current limits of recycling are all obstacles that prevent us from designing a completely circular world today. But that was without counting on Artificial Intelligence applied to the demanding vision of the Cradle To Cradle. This is why Upcyclea acquired the French leader in circular economy, EPEA France, in 2019.

Upcyclea’s Resource Management offer uses the power of artificial intelligence through its myUpcyclea platform to build industrial partnerships and create resilient and profitable ecosystems. We are the creators of ecosystems, of inter-company relations. But the transition to a circular economy also requires a transformation of the company, which is why we provide the necessary human support to create these new collaborations.

Since this vision, simple reuse is no longer enough. Industrial marketplaces cannot meet a demanding demand: quality, availability, reliability of supplies, cannot be ensured by one-off purchases that are often not characterized.

This is why our algorithms also take into account the most innovative material transformers. We call this “upcycling”. Unlike recycling, which reduces the value and quality of products, we strive to maintain this value as much as possible: make concrete with concrete, carpet or fishing net with carpet, flat glass with flat glass. In both open and closed loops, resources retain their full potential, their residual value, and never become waste. Responsible purchasing then makes it possible to drive ecosystems through demand, an essential starting point for the circular economy.

Be great, Be Circular.