The future is circular. The transport and logistics services sector is ready to embrace the challenge of the circular economy. Playing a role in this are a focus on big data, cultural considerations, a regional approach and the role of the government. The authors of this article, Han van Kleef, associate lecturer at the Hogeschool Inholland (University of Applied Sciences) and Giovanni Douven,
research fellow at Inholland (both with the lectorate Learning and Development in Organisations), undertook a practically oriented study of how companies can innovate in a circular economy. What have they discovered to date?
Societal task: towards a more circular economy
Sustainability has been on the (inter)national agenda for a long time. Every day it becomes more obvious that the somber predictions in the Club of Rome report ‘The Limits to Growth’ are becoming reality. There is increasing pressure on countries, companies, governments and citizens to take action. The EU has developed a policy with respect to the circular economy entitled ‘Closing the Loop’. The Cabinet has formulated the ambitious ‘A Circular Economy in The Netherlands by 2050’ in the ‘Government-wide Programme for a Circular Economy’. The social partners
and many other organisations have endorsed this ambition in the National Raw Materials Agreement. This transition touches upon what we, as a society, would like to be rid of: linear economic enterprises. Major changes can be expected in this area for the sector transport and logistics.
Knowledge networks and the demand for knowledge platforms
On 18 April 2017 the authors of the National Raw Materials Agreement organised a national meeting with representatives of societal organisations, governments and companies. Two important outcomes are of interest to us: firstly that a regional approach for the realisation of a circular economy is important. Many products leave the region so tracking and expertise in the area of Big Data is required to be able to monitor these raw materials. In addition platforms are necessary to study issues, share knowledge and realise innovations in business and education.
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