Can a digital circular economy help us reduce C02 emissions to zero?

Post Covid 19, with the corollary of the Ukrainian crisis, has accelerated European environmental policies towards the energy transition, sustainability and the use of clean energy sources: independence from coal and any fossil fuel.

Objectives also highlighted by our country in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, where the allocation of almost 60 billion is foreseen for the ecological transition, which wants to radically intervene on Italy’s environmental position, more than necessary if you think about the fine that we have. was imposed by the European Court of Justice for high nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions.

At the same time, the PNRR for the digital transition and connectivity received the approval of the European Commission which approved the almost 50 billion euros of the Italian plan.

Can emissions therefore also be reduced through a digital circular economy?

One of the objectives declared during COP26 is to reduce emissions to zero by 2050 with a significant reduction as early as 2030.

But how is it possible to achieve this noble and virtuous goal?

The important thing is to enter a circular economic perspective.

Circular economy that can be developed, managed and made transparent and shared with digital tools.

So the key point is how to harmonize the ecological and digital transition and interpret them as fundamental elements of the one global goal: Net Zero.

Widech CEO Giacomo Ortolano made it the vision of his innovative entrepreneurial adventure: “There is no energy transition without digital transition: in fact, we need tools that enable an” integrated circular economy “and that govern its objectives and complexity”.

Dr. Long Chen, Chairman of the Alibaba Sustainability Steering Committee, can help give us some pointers on how to do this.

Digital circular economy: what is it all about?

As Chen reports, it is in the concept of the circular economy that great hopes are placed for reducing emissions.

When we talk about the circular economy, we are not referring to a simple economic model but to a new paradigm of thought.

A change in the way we live and consume.

In the linear model of economy, which has long been rooted in our culture, the life cycle of a consumer good ends when the product, used for a certain period of time, is destined for disposal.

In a circular economy model, however, this is fed back into the wheel of the economy.

A step that can take place by including the product in its entirety, or a part of it.

However, how can we encourage the transition to this new economic model, given the consumption habits that are now rooted in our lives?

Digital circular economy with sharing platforms

A turning point is represented by digital tools, such as Alibaba Group’s sharing platforms.

Essential tools that have had a profound impact on our consumption habits, so much so as to constitute, if accompanied by good governance and awareness, a fundamental element for the transition to a digital circular economy.

More and more people, thanks to these platforms, are embracing a circular digital economy model by trading products on different online platforms such as Alibaba’s Idle Fish.

Furniture, clothes and electronic products, which with a linear economy would become waste, are reintroduced into the market, destined for new use or traded for goods of similar value.

How to reduce emissions? The advantages of a digital circular economy

But how could the use of these sharing platforms help in achieving the zero emissions target by 2050?

Let’s see together the main advantages of these tools:

Reduction of waste, waste and production and, consequently, also of CO2 emissions.
Extending the life cycle of various items and increasing local trade, with markets and charity shops returning to activity.
Great possibilities for growth and expansion of these platforms: both from the point of view of active users on certain spaces and of habits about our lifestyle. A taste of the widespread diffusion of these tools is already represented by the rapid spread of transport apps and food ordering at home.
As reported by the Luohan Academy, a policy and information aimed at linking the circular economy with digital tools could help free our GDP from production focused on fossil fuels, reaching the desired 0 emissions target by 2050. .

Digital circular economy: a joint effort is needed for zero emissions

It is precisely on this last point that we should insist.

The digital circular economy will never be able to contribute to achieving the zero emissions target by 2050 without good support from global ecological policies.

These will have to implement appropriate financing and economic measures as well as appropriate technologies, backed by solid scientific studies.

The sector must be integrated with information that makes people aware of consumption habits useful for our planet.

Potential to develop

As Long Chen reports, Alibaba’s second-hand market, founded in 2014, has more than twenty million users who exchange an enormous amount of products every day, with a method that fights waste and reduces emissions.

All this potential risks reducing its impact if it is not encouraged and supported by a joint effort.

Above all, from scientific studies that help us lower CO2 emissions while maintaining a growing GDP.

The role of cloud computing in the digital circular economy for zero emissions

All sharing platforms use Cloud computing systems.

These systems are presented as very ecological tools with a high capacity of data and resource management, they bring about the adoption of cutting-edge technologies for hardware cooling and the use of renewable energy.

The same idea of scalability and purchase of space according to one’s needs, on which all Cloud Computing technology is based, indicates the desire to fight waste and rationally measure resources.

Chen reports that cloud computing contributed to energy savings of 6% in 2010.

However, technologies also prove useful in making users aware of the virtuosity of certain consumption habits: for example, by providing data on how many emissions are being reduced thanks to the sharing of products.

Good governance for zero emissions

Everything we have said so far would be of little use without a good global policy that helps promote the digital circular economy.

According to Chen, politics could substantially help us on three fronts:

  • Data protection: a solid protocol is needed for the protection of sensitive data so that users can safely use the sharing platforms.
  • Proactive economy: a joint economic effort is needed between shareholders, markets, organizations and government bodies. Programs such as Alibaba’s Carbon Neutrality are organized in order to encourage a synergistic and supranational political effort in the goal of reducing emissions and freeing them from fossil fuels.
  • Global awareness: the climate emergency remains a global problem for which a cooperation mechanism between all the countries of the world must be activated.

Widech SpA point of view Widech SpA point of view

Also with respect to this issue, the point of view of Widech SpA and its CEO Giacomo Ortolano is very clear.

Avoiding the ideological risk that permeates the debate on ecological transition, and the “technological nationalism” that very often offers a distorted vision of the subject, Widech SpA presents itself with a national and European platform based on reliable technologies, algorithms and scientific tools , researched and developed in Italy, for the measurement of data from a quantitative and qualitative point of view.

Strong in the belief that the ecological transition can only be achieved through the use of digital tools, Widech SpA provides sophisticated data and phenomena analysis software. Artificial intelligence devices to help build a digital circular economy.

Recalling Giacomo Ortolano’s motto, which effectively expresses our company’s mission: “What cannot be measured does not exist”.