COVID-19 has laid bare the fragility of an increasingly interconnected global economy. The disruption to normal work patterns and the need for social distancing has brought productivity in many industries and facilities to a standstill. Current estimates place the losses caused by the economic slowdown at approximately $3 trillion. The key to avoiding similar disruptions in the future and ensuring a more sustainable future economy is resilience achieved through much greater levels of digitalisation. Remote operations, automation, data analytics, and artificial intelligence help keep business operations moving without close-proximity human interaction. This reality positions digitalisation as a centerpiece of a resilient future.
The growth and maturation of digitalisation, driven by the need for economic resilience, will open up latent demand and opportunities in the circular economy. Digitalisation furthers the ability to identify, track, accelerate, and scale efficiency improvements. These capabilities advance circular economy initiatives by bringing together stakeholders in the value chain and uncovering valuable relationships. This again positions digitalisation as a core component for a green recovery and the deployment of innovative solutions to increase productivity and efficiency within the framework of sustainable principles.
The current pandemic can serve as a reset button but should also be used as an opportunity to accelerate the focus on sustainable development goals with the help of the circular economy business model as a key lever of digital transformation.