Circular Economy, Latest News

Blockchain to accelerate the shift to a circular economy

Netherlands-based blockchain start-up Circularise is changing the course of data sharing, certification access, as well as product and material oversight with its communication system, which companies can use for virtually endless range of product value chains.

Circularise system enables manufacturers, suppliers and recyclers in the value chain to share data in a secure way, get an oversight of the whereabouts of products and raw materials, get certifications, and to plan logistics and recycling activities for specific materials.

It is estimated that a circular economy can unlock US$4.5 trillion worth of economic growth in the coming decade. But its success heavily depends on more transparency and communication in supply chains.

The importance of communication among all economic actors – product designers, manufacturing industries, product distributors, the repair and reuse sector, and recycling and disposal industry cannot be overlooked. Wasted time, money and resources ae just some of the issues that companies face because of bad communication.

Other outcomes include PR nightmares and missed opportunities for innovation, while efficient communication creates transparency and trust, and contributes to sustainable business. Hence, many companies nowadays want to share data to become more transparent, but also stay in control of what exactly they share.

Providing a system where all stakeholders can be held accountable for their actions, audit results can be published and shared, and information can be exchanged in a flexible way, is key.

Circularise is approaching this issue in a unique way, by using blockchain technology and zero-knowledge proof – allowing relevant stakeholders to come together and have direct access to any critical information they might need.

Circularise communications protocol allows any stakeholder to add information and communicate about individual physical objects (products, parts, materials and so forth) in such a way that:

  • Users remain the owner of their data, even if they do not own the object anymore.
  • Users decide whether they share the data and if so, with whom.
  • Trusting a central party is not required.

Since 2017, Circularise has been working with multiple partners in the framework of H2020 C-SERVEES project backed by the European Union. Together, these parties are developing a solution that aims to boost a resource-efficient circular economy in the electrical and electronic sector through the potential synergies of two major revolutions – the circular economy and Industry 4.0.

Circularise has already conducted several successful pilot programs with the recycling plant in Italy and a furniture manufacturer in the Netherlands. In 2019, Circularise will be rolling out a number of new projects with partners from the fashion/textile and beverage industries.

Circularise has had many successes including:

  • Approximately $1 million raised from several bodies of the European Union.
  • Successful pilots with the recycling plant in Italy and a manufacturer in the Netherlands.
  • Partnering with over 18 organisations.
  • Numerous awards including EIT Awards, LAUNCH Innovator, Connekt Affiliation Awards, YES!Delft Startups Best Financial Case.