Engineers are badly needed to solve climate change, not just with renewable energy but also designing products in a much smarter way

24/09/2019
Blog_engineersneeded

Eurostep learned a lot about Circular Economy in an EU funded project called ResCoM. Our role was to evaluate the use of a ISO standard called PLCS, Product Life Cycle Support, and demonstrate how to use it in the context of Circular Economy with our software ShareAspace.

This morning I bumped into a tweet by Fastcompany, an article called “3 ways companies can start embracing the circular economy” and it triggered this blog post. This article is quoting a recent report from Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a pioneer and leader in Circular Economy. EMF was a partner in the ResCoM project. Making and using food, clothes, cars, buildings, and other products causes 45% of our emissions. To solve climate change, we need to rethink how we make things. There are other aspect too like the fact that raw material is not an endless source, in fact we are seeing many issues all over the world with shortage of raw material with problems following including political conflicts.

Diagram of a circular economy

New business models like car-sharing services are invented and launched and it makes a lot of sense to address the fact that cars spend the majority of the time parked. Let’s hope these new business models become a real win-win for producers and consumers with another winner in our planet.

But the fact is still we end up with a lot of “waste”, to be recycled, burned or as landfill. Landfill is sometimes a relevant word but it many cases it should be seen as a resource pool, waiting to be mined at a later stage. Used smartphones, computer and IT stuff is a great source for valuable material already today so no wonder if the telecom operator gladly takes your used phone back. We need to be looking at “waste” as the starting point for another circle in the Circular Economy. A company that is at the end of “the line” in linear economy is Ragn-Sells, a true enabler for the Circular Economy. But they need help from all smart engineers to make it possible for them to do their job in a better way. Engineers have been doing it for complex engineering stuff with systems and life cycle management and we can of course do it for any product, also consumer products in complex system of systems.

Graham Aid from Ragn-Sells is a speaker at the conference PLM Road Map and PDT in Paris, November 13-14. Ragn-Sells promote Circular Economy on their home page (in Swedish). Take part of PLM Road Map and PDT, discuss how the PLM community can be part of building the New Business Models and Value Chains. Check this video from Ragn-Sells.

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