AI offers $217bn circular economy

A report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, published in collaboration with Google and with analytical support from McKinsey & Company, estimates that artificial intelligence (AI) could accelerate the transition towards a circular economy, offering substantial improvements in three main areas: product design, operations, and infrastructure optimisation.

Examining the application of AI in two value chains: food, and consumer electronics. The potential value unlocked by AI in helping design out waste in a circular economy for food is predicted to be up to $127bn a year in 2030. For consumer electronics, the equivalent figure is up to $90bn.

The report is one of three recent reports the Foundation has produced.

A report on the circular economy in cities covers the circular economy in housing, mobility, and products, serving as a guide to planning and design. It is predicted that by 2050, three-quarters of the global population will be living in urban centres, and in order to create urban environments that are not detrimental to the environment, significant thought will need to be given to the creation of cities that can be circular in their use of resources. The project has been developed together with Arup and is supported by the MAVA Foundation.

Finally, a report on cities and circular economy for food explores the benefits of the transition to a regenerative food system. With analytical support from SYSTEMIQ, the research outlines a vision underpinned by circular economy principles, where food production improves rather than degrades the environment and where people have access to healthy and nutritious food.

Ellen MacArthur reports.

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