Circular Strategies Enabled by the Internet of Things: Opportunities, Implementation Challenges, and Environmental Impact

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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Abstract

The concept of a ‘Circular Economy’ (CE) has been gaining traction in business, policy, and academia. It envisions an economy powered by renewable energy in which the value of products and materials are preserved for as long as possible. ‘Design for Circular Economy’ is emerging as a research field as well as a branch of sustainable design practice. Design strategies for the CE include energy and material efficiency, increased utilization, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling.

As more and more products are equipped with digital functionalities and connected to the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), new opportunities arise for circular and sustainable design. However, research at the intersection between IoT and CE is still in an early phase and companies are only starting to explorewhat is possible. There is still a lack of research-based design guidance for companies aiming to use IoT to support ‘circular strategies’. In particular, little is known about the actual environmental impact of IoTenabled circular strategies.

This thesis sets out to study how companies can use IoT to support circular strategies. By doing so, the aim is to provide guidance to companies who want to design and implement circular products and services. Focus is placed on understanding the opportunities for companies, as well as the implementation challenges and environmental impact of IoT-enabled circular strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Balkenende, A.R., Supervisor
  • Jamsin, E., Advisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date24 Feb 2021
Print ISBNs978-94-6366-369-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Circular Economy
  • Digitalization
  • Circular Business Models
  • Sustainable ICT
  • Condition-Based Maintenance
  • Life Cycle Assessment

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