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Policy Dialogue
Digitalisation for a circular economy: A driver for European Green Deal

Tuesday, 17 March 2020


Christoph Luykx
Orgalim – Europe’s Technology Industries
Ilias Iakovidis
Adviser for Societal Challenges, DG Communications Networks, Content & Technology, European Commission
Jocelyn Blériot
Executive Lead Institutions, Governments & Cities, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Marius Vaščega
Head of Cabinet of Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries
Sira Saccani
Theme Director, Sustainable Production Systems, EIT Climate-KIC
Stefan Sipka
Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre


Annika Hedberg
Head of the Sustainable Prosperity for Europe Programme, EPC

This on-line Policy Dialogue explored how digitalisation can enable the transition to a sustainable circular economy, including the role of EU instruments. It marked the final event of the EPC Task Force on a ‘Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy’ and the launch of the project’s final publication: The circular economy: Going digital.

Based on the project’s findings, Stefan Šipka, EPC Policy Analyst, outlined that digitalisation can support the circular economy by: 1) improving knowledge, connections and information sharing 2) making business models, products and processes more circular and 3) strengthening the roles of citizens and consumers. The EU needs to steer the process by conducting a digital review of the sustainability transition and a sustainability review of the circular economy transition.

Speakers recognised existing opportunities and stressed the need to ensure that information is shared with the right people and linked to products e.g. via a digital product passport. A proper architecture and governance is needed to ensure both data sharing and data protection coupled with further investments in the digital infrastructure, and research and innovation. Digitalisation can help achieve climate neutrality and foster dematarialisation. There is also a clear business case as data and digitally-enabled solutions can support industrial modernisation and customisation of products and services.

There was general agreement that the EU needs to strengthen its role as a leader regarding the twin transition (sustainability and digital transformation). The European Commission’s work on these areas is now more coherent and coordinated, and Ilias Iakovidis, Adviser for Societal Challenges in the Commissions DG CNECT, thanked the EPC for leading the way on aligning the two agendas.

The EPC would like to thank the Partners - Aalto University and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
(members of Helsinki EU Office), Central Denmark region, EIT Climate-KIC, the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, Estonian Environment Investment Centre, HP, Orgalim – Europe’s Technology Industries, the province of Limburg and UL, Fondazione Cariplo and Cariplo Factory - for their support for the ‘Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy’ project.

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