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Circular Wonderings is an exploration of the role of digital, software and technology in the Circular Economy. Exploration is the key word here. I write regularly, reflecting on my current thoughts and research. Expect typos, incomplete thoughts, varied rambling topics and (hopefully) a journey towards clearer understanding and insight. Subscribe here to join my journey.

Circular Software supply chain example

Linear software is not circular [1].

In the last post we defined circular software as, that which enables, encourages, accelerates and enhances a transition to circularity [2].

We then looked at an example of Circular Software focused on asset reuse.

Another scenario where linear software is preventing the move to circularity is across the complex supply chains for manufacturing. Here the process is optimised to enable the maximum flow of physical materials at the exclusion of all else.

It is the "at the exclusion of all else" part which is the issue here. Ignoring the impacts and potential value in "waste" and the the costs of "externalities" are obvious examples of the end result.

There are multiple fields of software tools and expertise on how to get the largest volume of products from one place to the next link in the chain. Each link on the chain has limited visibility beyond the links immediately adjacent. And its a long chain!

This lack of visibility has become a feature. Many of the links in any supply chain needs to protect it's knowledge and perhaps even its existence in order to protect it's place in the chain.

In that context, many of the process and most of the software tools are operating in a way to actively discourage circularity.

Circularise is one example of a business working to bring circular software to change this. They are one of a new breed of startups offering the potential to transform the supply chain.

"By digitising materials on blockchain Circularise is able to create a digital thread through the whole supply chain, enabling material traceability, assuring law compliance, mitigating risks across the supply chain and enabling organisations to create new revenue streams, avoid greenwashing, make validated claims about their materials and products" [3]