Nowadays, high expectations are set for a digitally enabled circular economy (CE), to enhance resource efficiency. Tracing, tracking, and storing information is most important for this. In this paper, the application of Internet of Things (IoT) and Distributed Ledger Technology (Blockchain) are hence discussed by presenting the case of professional Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) in Italy. Within the context of CE, prevention of electronic waste (WEEE) is extremely relevant as it is a fast-growing waste stream, and the products contain environmentally damaging substances as well as valuable and rare materials. The use of a proper combination of IoT and blockchain can help the producers to keep control on products until EEE end-of-life, while promoting CE strategies and supporting decision-making. Based on the outcomes of five interviews conducted in 2019 to companies of the EEE sector, potential improvements in the EEE end-of-use management are discussed. After providing the definition of requirements for both the technical solution and its testing are provided, three solution variations and the related business models are created and presented, as well as considerations on their environmental and economic impacts. The study shows how digital technologies can support the appropriate and circular management of EEE products and WEEE.

Using Internet of Things and Distributed Ledger Technology for Digital Circular Economy Enablement: The Case of Electronic Equipment

Magrini, Chiara
Primo
;
Bellini, Alberto;Paolini, Enrico;Bonoli, Alessandra
2021

Abstract

Nowadays, high expectations are set for a digitally enabled circular economy (CE), to enhance resource efficiency. Tracing, tracking, and storing information is most important for this. In this paper, the application of Internet of Things (IoT) and Distributed Ledger Technology (Blockchain) are hence discussed by presenting the case of professional Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) in Italy. Within the context of CE, prevention of electronic waste (WEEE) is extremely relevant as it is a fast-growing waste stream, and the products contain environmentally damaging substances as well as valuable and rare materials. The use of a proper combination of IoT and blockchain can help the producers to keep control on products until EEE end-of-life, while promoting CE strategies and supporting decision-making. Based on the outcomes of five interviews conducted in 2019 to companies of the EEE sector, potential improvements in the EEE end-of-use management are discussed. After providing the definition of requirements for both the technical solution and its testing are provided, three solution variations and the related business models are created and presented, as well as considerations on their environmental and economic impacts. The study shows how digital technologies can support the appropriate and circular management of EEE products and WEEE.
2021
Magrini, Chiara; Nicolas, Jana; Berg, Holger; Bellini, Alberto; Paolini, Enrico; Vincenti, Nazarena; Campadello, Luca; Bonoli, Alessandra
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
sustainability-13-04982.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipo: Versione (PDF) editoriale
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 1.89 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.89 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/819547
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 34
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 29
social impact