A thorough transition to a circular economy in terms of production seems necessary in order to manage the effects of climate change. In other words, the raw material of tomorrow is today’s output. The European Green Deal and the Climate Protection Act 2021 are fully consistent with maintaining natural resources and materials in cycles without using new ones. To ensure that the transition is effective and that industry, as well as designers from a variety of sectors and industries, can orient themselves to precise requirements, norms and standards are required. The Circular Economy Standardisation Roadmap is useful in this situation. The document was created by the Association of German Engineers (VDI), the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies in DIN and VDE (DKE), and the German Institute for Standardization (DIN). The roadmap outlines the obstacles that businesses must overcome to adopt the circular economy as well as the standards that must be met. More than 550 professionals from business, science, government, and civil society contributed to its creation, which was funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMUV).
Standards must be established so that businesses, developers, designers, and customers may assess the quality of materials, goods, and processes. The roadmap addresses seven major areas that correspond to the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan’s focal points: Batteries, packaging, plastics, textiles, business models and management, electrical engineering, information and communication technologies (ICT), digitalisation, and buildings and communities. Which rules and requirements need to be established in the future can be determined based on the current situation. Reusable system specifications, uniform reusable packaging, standards for secondary raw material quality, and the notion of product longevity all come into play. Additionally, five concerns that touch all of the key points have been highlighted as cross-cutting issues: sustainability assessment, lifetime extension, digital product passport (DPP), recyclable materials, and waste management. The roadmap’s conclusions now need to be put into practice.
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