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Circular Economy

How to make your logistics the center of the circular economy

Reading time: 18 minutes
For a long time, logistics was all about one thing: the destination. But in the circular economy, the destination is just the beginning.

New rules and regulations highlight how the circular economy is shaping the future of the supply chain. The Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, consumer rights to return products for recycling or repair, and the future digital product passport are broadly redefining the purpose and direction of logistics.

For manufacturers, retailers, and logistics service providers alike: Processes previously focused on shipping, storage, and logistics services are converging into an industrial circular economy that also encompasses reuse, recycling, and related services.

What does this mean in practice? Logistics is becoming even more complex, costly, and compartmentalized. But it’s also gaining a new purpose: Logistics is becoming the very heart of the circular economy with its digital tools and its inherent role as a hub for data and processes.

What you need to seize this opportunity

Recycle, repair, reuse, refurbish, remanufacture: The circular economy must fulfill a vast range of functions and be perfectly synced for the cycle to remain stable.

What does it mean for existing personnel, storage, and transport resources when additional capacities are needed to return and refurbish products? How will costs and revenues develop as new logistics centers are established and new services are offered?

One thing is clear: The circular economy will only magnify the flood of data that supply chainers need to steer into the right channels as traditional shipping data is augmented by details on the product’s manufacturing process, recycling stage, or use history. This means a wealth of new product data that is then augmented, processed, or shared as needed.

Infrastructure, functionality, scalability: how to make things run smoothly from the get-go

With the right software solution, the costs of setting up a nerve center for the circular economy are entirely manageable. Everything can be mapped out in advance: infrastructure, functionality, scalability.

Siemens Digital Logistics gives you all the tools you need for an efficient and transparent circular economy—from the sustainable extraction of raw materials to proper recycling—tracking the entire product lifecycle and all its value-added stages.

Learn how to find a well-rounded solution for the circular economy in our whitepaper “The Circular Economy”—available for download here.