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Circular Economy (CE) and the Battery Industry

Circular Economy - Explained by Battery Network - www.Battery.network
Circular Economy – Explained by Battery Network – www.Battery.network

The Great Circular Economy of Batteries in 2022

The idea of a Circular Economy (CE) is gaining momentum in politics and industry. It is one of the pillars of the Global Green Deal and an important approach to resource and energy efficiency and combating climate change toward Netzero. In this respect, the trend toward the circular economy will continue to strengthen in the coming years – in Europe and the US, but also worldwide.

The transformation to a circular economy has  a positive impact on the national value: increased employment and reduced global emissions.

Introduction Circular Economy

What are the requirements that need to be manage? What business opportunities arise from this? This study sheds light on

the potentials and challenges on this topic. The latter result, on the one hand, from the technological limits of circularity, on the other hand from the question of cost-effectiveness.

The transformation toward a circular economy (CE) will only succeed if it is brought it is brought into line with the industrial competitiveness of many countries as a manufacturing location. Macroeconomically it opens up opportunities for higher value creation and more employment. The substitution of imported raw materials with reused raw materials also contributes to global savings in carbon dioxide (CO2) -emissions. At the enterprise level, a more circular a more circular economy gives rise to new fields of innovation and commerce are emerging.

This Article provides an outlook on the potential business models and highlights the development capabilities along the value chain. The macroeconomic effects are assessed using a model-based simulation based on expert estimates of the substitutability of the most important primary of the most important primary raw materials by secondary (recycled) raw materials.

Take Home Messages (Circular Economy)

A more circular economy has positive effects on value creation

and employment in many countries. It is estimated that by 2035 an additional gross value added of over 30 billion US dollars per year is achievable, as well as an employment growth of 350,000

jobs. This will be accompanied by a reduced dependence on imports of key raw materials and supplies.

– The environmental effects from savings of raw materials are also considerable. This results in positive effects on carbon dioxide emissions. We estimate that a total of

11 million metric tons of these emissions

can be saved per year. However, the savings along the global supply chains are offset by increased

emissions in some countries, which are caused by the the domestic reprocessing of secondary raw materials, which replaces imports.

– Realizing the macroeconomic potential requires both technological innovations and new developments in entrepreneurial business models. The Countries’s innovative capability in the technological field is high in a some regions comparison, but in a global comparison the gap to the leading group in Asia is large.

 At the entrepreneurial level the circular economy varies depending on the sector, business model and material, business model and material, but in practice there are a large number of innovative approaches. However, a large number of innovative approaches can be seen in practice.

– The challenges companies face, for example, are in the area of technology and business models. At the entrepreneurial level

the circular economy varies depending on the sector, business model and material,

business model and material, but in practice there are a large number of innovative approaches. However, a large number of innovative approaches can be seen in practice.

– The challenges faced by companies face relate to a clear

Understanding the Circular Economy, moving away from the linear business model, material return flows, building circular ecosystems, the role of CO2

-pricing, digital transformation and financing opportunities for the circular

Economy, and the management

Requirements of the Circular Economy

This is a concept that is only just emerging in some

is only just emerging in some sectors and is still being developed in many details. An academic study has

recently analyzed 114 different definitions of the

Circular Economy.1

 At its core

is about a new model that replaces the linear approach in production and consumption, i.e., a move away from

the one-time use and subsequent disposal of goods with correspondingly high resource inputs. In a

linear economy, resource consumption increases in parallel with growth. In

In contrast, the basic idea of the Circular Economy is to divert economic growth from the consumption of primary resources (raw materials, fuels and biomaterials).

(raw materials, fuels and biomaterials).

to decouple. Production consumes

significantly less primary raw materials and

thus conserves natural resources.

The circular economy pursues several

goals. Firstly, the proportion of primary raw materials used is to be reduced by replacing them with

recycled raw materials (secondary raw materials)

substituted. On the other hand

the useful life of products and thus their

thus extend their service life. The

Circular Economy goes well beyond the

economy, which focuses on the recycling aspect.

aspect of recycling. Instead, it focuses on the entire life cycle of raw materials and products.

view. In a perfect circular economy, all waste, effluents and materials would remain in closed

materials would remain in closed material cycles. This is likely to be the case due to

the unavoidable technological and material

limitations inherent in the system, this is likely to remain an unattainable goal and can only be achieved in approximation.

 

The focus on the entire life cycle

requires a new approach to its

essential stages – design, production,

use and reuse of products. In a Circular Economy, products – and thus raw materials – are

are ideally designed and constructed

design and construction for the longest possible

life, reuse and recycling.

recycling. The use should

be as efficient as possible, for example

through sharing economy approaches. At the end

of their service life, the products should be

reused or retrofitted

or be returned as easily as possible to the

(raw) material cycle as easily as possible.

possible. This means that the path to a

economy requires the design of product and service

design of product and service systems.

1. use of raw materials

Use of primary raw materials (and energy) as low as possible

(and energy) (for example substitution of primary by secondary metals, use of biogenic raw materials or renewable energies)

2. product design

Consideration of durability, remanufacturing, repairability, and waste prevention in the

design and construction of a product (for example

(for example, electronic devices with easily replaceable

batteries or lightweight construction)

3. manufacturing and distribution

Optimization of material (and energy) efficiency in

production, storage and transport (for example

reusable packaging or online portals, the

distribution logistics including climate-neutral provision).

4. use

Focus on longer and more frequent use of products (for example, car sharing in the automotive industry or “second life” of traction batteries as stationary energy storage devices).

5. collection

Sorting and feeding for (raw) material reuse (for example

(raw) material reuse (for example

recycling of textiles, recycling of

PET bottles or taking back electronic equipment)

6. reuse and recycling

(Re-)feeding into the economic cycle (for example melting down of

mixed plastic waste into new plastic

plastic raw materials or battery recycling)

7. material losses

Discharge of residual materials whose

recycling is not technically possible or

is not economically viable

The value chains of the Circular

economy can be designed locally or across regions. For

different material flows and products

different sizes of value chains are necessary or sensible in a circular system.

 

The idea of a Circular Economy (CE) is gaining momentum in politics and industry. It is one of the pillars of the Global Green Deal and an important approach to resource and energy efficiency and combating climate change toward Netzero. In this respect, the trend toward the circular economy will continue to strengthen in the coming years – in Europe and the US, but also worldwide.

The transformation to a circular economy has  a positive impact on the national value: increased employment and reduced global emissions.

Introduction

What are the requirements that need to be manage? What business opportunities arise from this? This study sheds light on

the potentials and challenges on this topic. The latter result, on the one hand, from the technological limits of circularity, on the other hand from the question of cost-effectiveness.

The transformation toward a circular economy (CE) will only succeed if it is brought it is brought into line with the industrial competitiveness of many countries as a manufacturing location. Macroeconomically it opens up opportunities for higher value creation and more employment. The substitution of imported raw materials with reused raw materials also contributes to global savings in carbon dioxide (CO2) -emissions. At the enterprise level, a more circular a more circular economy gives rise to new fields of innovation and commerce are emerging.

This Article provides an outlook on the potential business models and highlights the development capabilities along the value chain. The macroeconomic effects are assessed using a model-based simulation based on expert estimates of the substitutability of the most important primary of the most important primary raw materials by secondary (recycled) raw materials.

Take Home Messages (Circular Economy)

A more circular economy has positive effects on value creation

and employment in many countries. It is estimated that by 2035 an additional gross value added of over 30 billion US dollars per year is achievable, as well as an employment growth of 350,000

jobs. This will be accompanied by a reduced dependence on imports of key raw materials and supplies.

– The environmental effects from savings of raw materials are also considerable. This results in positive effects on carbon dioxide emissions. We estimate that a total of

11 million metric tons of these emissions

can be saved per year. However, the savings along the global supply chains are offset by increased

emissions in some countries, which are caused by the the domestic reprocessing of secondary raw materials, which replaces imports.

– Realizing the macroeconomic potential requires both technological innovations and new developments in entrepreneurial business models. The Countries’s innovative capability in the technological field is high in a some regions comparison, but in a global comparison the gap to the leading group in Asia is large.

 At the entrepreneurial level the circular economy varies depending on the sector, business model and material, business model and material, but in practice there are a large number of innovative approaches. However, a large number of innovative approaches can be seen in practice.

– The challenges companies face, for example, are in the area of technology and business models. At the entrepreneurial level

the circular economy varies depending on the sector, business model and material,

business model and material, but in practice there are a large number of innovative approaches. However, a large number of innovative approaches can be seen in practice.

– The challenges faced by companies face relate to a clear

Understanding the Circular Economy, moving away from the linear business model, material return flows, building circular ecosystems, the role of CO2

-pricing, digital transformation and financing opportunities for the circular

Economy, and the management

Requirements of the Circular Economy

This is a concept that is only just emerging in some

is only just emerging in some sectors and is still being developed in many details. An academic study has

recently analyzed 114 different definitions of the

Circular Economy.1

 At its core

is about a new model that replaces the linear approach in production and consumption, i.e., a move away from

the one-time use and subsequent disposal of goods with correspondingly high resource inputs. In a

linear economy, resource consumption increases in parallel with growth. In

In contrast, the basic idea of the Circular Economy is to divert economic growth from the consumption of primary resources (raw materials, fuels and biomaterials).

(raw materials, fuels and biomaterials).

to decouple. Production consumes

significantly less primary raw materials and

thus conserves natural resources.

The circular economy pursues several

goals. Firstly, the proportion of primary raw materials used is to be reduced by replacing them with

recycled raw materials (secondary raw materials)

substituted. On the other hand

the useful life of products and thus their

thus extend their service life. The

Circular Economy goes well beyond the

economy, which focuses on the recycling aspect.

aspect of recycling. Instead, it focuses on the entire life cycle of raw materials and products.

view. In a perfect circular economy, all waste, effluents and materials would remain in closed

materials would remain in closed material cycles. This is likely to be the case due to

the unavoidable technological and material

limitations inherent in the system, this is likely to remain an unattainable goal and can only be achieved in approximation.

realizable.

The focus on the entire life cycle

requires a new approach to its

essential stages – design, production,

use and reuse of products. In a Circular Economy, products – and thus raw materials – are

are ideally designed and constructed

design and construction for the longest possible

life, reuse and recycling.

recycling. The use should

be as efficient as possible, for example

through sharing economy approaches. At the end

of their service life, the products should be

reused or retrofitted

or be returned as easily as possible to the

(raw) material cycle as easily as possible.

possible. This means that the path to a

economy requires the design of product and service

design of product and service systems.

1. use of raw materials

Use of primary raw materials (and energy) as low as possible

(and energy) (for example substitution of primary by secondary metals, use of biogenic raw materials or renewable energies)

2. product design

Consideration of durability, remanufacturing, repairability, and waste prevention in the

design and construction of a product (for example

(for example, electronic devices with easily replaceable

batteries or lightweight construction)

3. manufacturing and distribution

Optimization of material (and energy) efficiency in

production, storage and transport (for example

reusable packaging or online portals, the

distribution logistics including climate-neutral provision).

4. use

Focus on longer and more frequent use of products (for example, car sharing in the automotive industry or “second life” of traction batteries as stationary energy storage devices).

5. collection

Sorting and feeding for (raw) material reuse (for example

(raw) material reuse (for example

recycling of textiles, recycling of

PET bottles or taking back electronic equipment)

6. reuse and recycling

(Re-)feeding into the economic cycle (for example melting down of

mixed plastic waste into new plastic

plastic raw materials or battery recycling)

7. material losses

Discharge of residual materials whose

recycling is not technically possible or

is not economically viable

The value chains of the Circular

economy can be designed locally or across regions. For

different material flows and products

different sizes of value chains are necessary or sensible in a circular system.

Circular economy and the demand

for raw materials

The global consumption of raw materials and its

implications for the environment, security of supply and supply chains are among the main drivers of the circular economy.

Economy. At the same time, technological developments in mobility are increasing,

in the decarbonization of energy-intensive

industries, and advancing digitalization are increasing demand for, among other things

Battery metals, rare earths, copper,

aluminum and silicon.

Over the last 50 years, global demand for

demand for resources has risen steadily and has

quadrupled from 25 to over 100 billion tons

per year (see Figure 2).

The growth of the global economy is

reflected in the consumption of raw materials

reflected even more clearly than in energy consumption.

Forecasts predict that the

global demand for raw materials will increase

conditions, global demand for raw materials will triple by 2050

compared to the year 2000.3

Of the resources used, 40 percent are

40 percent of the resources used are fossil or biogenic

fuels and 60 percent mineral or organic raw materials (see Figure 3).

Figure 3).

So far, only a rather small part of the

resources are reused and returned to economic cycles. In

Germany, the average is

12 percent, while in Europe and worldwide the

the recycling rate is

9 percent. Accordingly

91 percent of raw materials are extracted

are extracted directly from the earth. Depending on the

Today’s recycling rates vary greatly depending on the type of raw material. Metals, for

metals, for example, are much easier to recycle than polymers.

The road to the circular economy

The circular economy promises advantages in several respects.

– Economically, demand for raw materials can be met and import dependence reduced. If fewer

raw materials are imported, but secondary raw materials are processed locally,

the domestic gross value added increases. However, this is accompanied by a

reduction in economic output in the

the previous supplier countries.

– In environmental terms, this leads to lower resource use and potentially to lower emissions.

lower emissions. It should be

to be noted here is that transport and

processes also require energy and, in some cases, new raw materials such as additives and

additives. The increasing

environmental awareness of consumers

favors the development of the circular

Economy.

– New innovation opportunities that

opened up by the circular economy

offer scope for new business models. The increasing digitalization

of supply chains and logistics can

waste management, for example

management, while predictive analytics can identify weak points in the supply chain and

and minimize the use of resources.

minimize the use of resources. In this area

Germany has a high capacity for innovation in this area, as chapter 2 shows.

The transformation towards a circular

economy poses challenges for companies

challenges, especially in the following areas.

– Competitiveness: The conversion

of production processes, the introduction of new materials and potentially

higher prices for secondary raw materials

are associated with rising costs.

Currently, many circular products are not yet

competitive, as primary raw materials are often

raw materials are often cheaper than secondary

cheaper than secondary raw materials. In addition, the

business models requires high initial investments. This

higher prices for the end customer and thus impedes the acceptance of such products.

of such products.7

 Another obstacle

is the lack of financing or incentives to finance circular business models.

incentives to finance circular business models, both in the public and private sectors.8

private sector.8

– Technological-physical

Limitations: The processing of secondary raw materials can cause higher economic and possibly even higher

even higher energy costs than primary

than primary raw material extraction. It is therefore

therefore have to be made on a case-by-case basis between the

and material input on the one hand, and recovery from low-concentration

material flows on the other.

In addition, many products manufactured in Germany are destined for global export, which

which makes it more difficult to close material cycles. All this presents many

production sectors with conflicting goals. Also

standards and norms for the quality and

for the quality and material properties of secondary raw materials in order to achieve the

desired performance properties

of the recyclates. For some

materials, such as paper

or plastics, each additional recovery cycle

recovery cycle leads to a loss of material properties and possibly an accumulation of undesirable

an accumulation of undesirable by-products.

by-products. The improved performance of a product is in many cases

accompanied by increasing raw material complexity in the product design. The decomposability or traceability of these

products into their starting materials is

is often made more difficult as a result.

– Regulatory: The regulatory framework is changing: rising CO2

-prices

prices (EU-ETS) and regulatory support for green

investments can create better competitive conditions for the circular economy.

for the circular economy.

However, there are also regulatory

regulatory barriers that need to be corrected – be it in waste legislation, in the use of

of chemicals or in the post-production of spare parts. In addition, there are

regulatory conflicts of interest. The strict

for understandable reasons, support

for food packaging, for example, do not support the simultaneous

do not support the simultaneous effort to

increase the use of secondary raw materials. Comparatively high taxation of labor as opposed to the use of new raw materials leads, especially in

Germany in particular, leads to high costs for the hitherto often labor-intensive business models of the circular economy. This is

for example in the reprocessing

of products is the case.

– Conflicting objectives: The objectives of the Circular

economy, namely higher material intensity, better material use and recycling, are often

and recycling, are often congruent

are often congruent with the goals of greater energy efficiency and the use of

renewable energies. However, conflicts can also arise between these

and other environmental policy goals

may arise. These are briefly explained using the example of

Automobile. A traction battery has lower emissions in the use phase, but a higher

during the use phase, but it uses more energy and

energy and raw materials during production. Synthetic fuels have

have a lower emissions and raw material

raw material footprint in production,

since waste CO2

 is used as a raw material

raw material, but require a great deal of energy

production. Biofuels do have a

a CO2

-bonus for their production

from renewable raw materials, they often

but they are often offset by poorer

emissions during combustion, high use of agricultural land and long transport distances.

transport routes. It

energy and raw material efficiency and the relationship between energy and raw material

energy and raw material use with the

undesirable emissions into the air, water, soil and other environmental and societal

societal effects.

Despite these challenges, it is

not only urgent, but also promising

promising in the long term to leverage the potential

of the circular economy. A

A variety of existing business models and other innovations can accelerate this development.

accelerate this development. The

following chapter deals with the position of

Germany’s position in the circular economy

economy and estimates the potential

macroeconomic potential of a higher degree of circularity.

higher degree of circularity.

Befähigung der Zirkulären Wirtschaft – Herausforderungen und Best Practices

Zusammenfassung

Technological and entrepreneurial innovations are a central lever for making the complexity of the Circular economy and introducing them to the market. market. On the one hand, this involves novel technologies, On the other hand, innovations are needed in the organizations

or in their business models. Both fields are prerequisites for companies to successfully master the challenges on the way to more circularity and to and for the transformation to succeed.

Circular innovation capability

Germany

In the area of technological innovation

Germany’s competitiveness and innovative capacity as an industrial location is high.18 Compared to other European countries, Germany is the best

Germany is in the lead in patent applications

in the field of recycling and secondary materials

more than one third of all European patents (see

patents (see Figure 10).19

However, two restrictions must

have to be made. First, the momentum of German patent applications has slowed.

has slowed down. Secondly, the

global picture shows that the Asian economies are leading in terms of the number of patents

are leading in the number of patents. China, Japan and South Korea

have a large lead here.

The technological prerequisites of

Germany as an industrial location are thus

Germany’s technological prerequisites for the transformation to a circular economy are thus in place, even if they still have room for improvement in a global comparison.

The goal of the Circular Economy is to minimize the

minimize the use of primary raw materials. This can only be achieved if the raw materials used are circulated as indefinitely as possible

and avoiding material losses.

The latter means that, as far as possible

materials should not be burned or dumped, or even released into the environment in an uncontrolled

environment, as these are otherwise irretrievably lost and have to be replaced with new

primary raw materials.

However, it will never be possible to fully

can never be completely closed

and, above all, economic growth and

consumption growth will continue to require a corresponding input of primary raw materials.

A way out could be found here in new

concepts of use, digital substitutes

or other alternatives. It should also be

should also be noted that some materials such as concrete

such as concrete and steel, can have enormously long

application. Therefore

storage effect may still require the use of

the use of primary raw materials.

to be used.

The main reason why raw materials

are lost is primarily where

where, after use, the products are no longer

solid materials, raw materials or waste materials after use, but can be

or waste materials after use, but are

leave the material cycle more or less uncontrolled in wastewater or exhaust gases.

leave the material cycle. Detergents and cleaning agents,

cosmetics, care products, toiletries,

pharmaceuticals, feed or food additives, fertilizers or pesticides, and many other everyday products are typical examples of

are typical examples of products that can hardly be recovered and recycled after use.

collected and recycled after use.

and recycled. Only sewage sludge

and filter dusts may still be suitable for material recycling (e.g. phosphorus recovery from

(for example, phosphorus recovery from

sewage sludge).

Thus, due to economic growth and material losses through

wastewater and exhaust gases, a circular economy will continue to require the use of a

specific share (15-50 percent depending on the

substance and application)21 of primary raw materials will still be necessary.

In order to reduce the use of primary raw materials

a circular economy, there are three basic

three basic product design and/or business model

product design and/or business model innovation levers:

1. reduce material intensity and/or material use in

in production

2. maximize material use through higher durability

and/or utility intensity

3. recycle materials after the product use phase

recycle

The keys to a successful Circular Economy are a circular product design and/or an innovative business model that addresses the requirements for

use, production and distribution

collection and recycling

and optimizes them as a whole.

Innovative business models and

circular product design are

key factors in enabling a circular

Economy.

1. material intensity and/or material input

in production

Reducing material intensity, i.e. the specific raw material input,

is a very direct and effective measure. Lightweight construction is a typical example,

of how material and, as a rule, also

energy consumption can be significantly reduced and

and often also the performance in the use phase can be increased.

This is particularly true for mobile applications (for example, vehicle construction, laptops,

sports equipment) and moving product parts

(for example wind turbines, household appliances,

medical technology, packaging, compact

consumer goods).

Another very direct measure is the avoidance or at least the

reduce production waste, for example

3D printing instead of conventional

material-removing processes. If this is

not possible due to the number of units, product

size of the product or for other reasons

or other reasons, the production waste should be

production waste should be recycled as directly as possible into the production process (for example, reuse of carbon fibers in vehicle production). Here there is usually also a

material homogeneity is usually also given.

When selecting the materials to be used and the

suppliers, the resource efficiency of the purchased material and the supplier should be

and of the supplier should be kept in mind and

evaluate. In addition to the basic

distinction between primary and

secondary raw materials, it is also important to

differences depending on the source of supply and

supplier. As with the very

greenhouse gas footprints, raw material inputs are often very different.

very different. Whether lithium is mined in China or in Australia, or is

Australia or from salars (salt deserts) in Latin

Latin America, whether a titanium dioxide white pigment is produced by the sulfate or chloride

or chloride process, depending on the starting ore, or whether a plastic is produced from coal, oil, natural gas or biomass,

from coal, crude oil, natural gas or biomass

has a major influence on the resource

resource intensity. Thus, already by

process and supplier selection

and suppliers, significantly improved raw material efficiency can often be achieved.

However, in the case of secondary raw materials, it is always necessary to

always to keep an eye on the overall efficiency

be kept in mind. Theoretically, small, local product

product cycles are preferable, in which the

the material properties are retained as simply as possible. In practice

practice, however, this is often difficult to achieve

because collection, separation and sorting processes are too

processes are too complex, spatial distances are too

distances are too great and a critical mass of

of secondary raw materials cannot be achieved.

cannot be achieved.

2. maximize material utilization through higher longevity and/or utility intensity.

maximize

Higher longevity is the obvious

aspect of extending the useful life of products, delaying the time for a new

the time to buy a new product and thus

the time for a new product purchase and thus also

reduced. This can be achieved above all

the use of more durable materials and

materials and product designs and

by making defective parts easier to repair and replace. The objection that increasingly obsolete products are then in use

can be countered by

by providing for “updatability” to the current

state of the art, if necessary also digitally (e.g. “Over the

Air” updates and services from mobility providers).

In part, however, manufacturers’ and customers’ interest in long-lived products is also low. One reason for this is that

material needs change over time and products reflect not only basic needs but also social status, demands and, above all, age.

and above all the respective age. 20-, 40- or

60-year-olds today have different

mobility, living, communication, nutrition

communication, nutrition and health, and thus also for the products and services they consume.

and services they consume.

What is promising here is the more intensive

products by sharing them with like-minded

sharing them with like-minded people (for example, car sharing) or designing products with multiple benefits. This multiple benefit can be simultaneous or staggered.

or staggered. Drive batteries for electric vehicles are an example of this. In addition to

in addition to their main use in powering vehicles, they can be used in a further phase of use as energy storage units for local

energy generation or peak load buffers in a

in a smart electricity grid.

3. substances after final use

recycle

After the use phase, the main focus is on

is material recycling. The aim

is to maintain the material properties of the

of the product or its components as far

as far as possible and reasonable (e.g. secondary

(e.g. secondary metals, glass, paper and cardboard, mixed

and cardboard, mixed or sorted

plastics = regranulates as in the recycling of

of PET bottles).

In many cases, however, this is not possible

or does not make sense, in which case raw material recycling is used.

hydrolysis or solvolysis to obtain the monomer structure

monomer structure (for example

polyamide 6 and glass fiber recycling) or

by hydrogenation or gasification again

Chemical raw materials for new plastics

(for example, chemcycling).

If this does not prove useful either

recycling is another option for keeping the materials in the

another option for keeping the materials in the cycle (e.g.

(for example, waste pyrolysis and green hydrogen).

green hydrogen). Green synthesis gas can then be used directly or via

methanol to produce chemical raw materials again.

again from green synthesis gas.

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External Link (Ref):

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/de/Documents/risk/Zirkul%C3%A4re%20Wirtschaft%20Studie_Deloitte%20und%20BDI.pdf

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_economy

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kreislaufwirtschaft