The current linear economy model is highly unsustainable and vulnerable to economic shocks from the disruption of resources, as seen in the Covid-19 pandemic. For stability and sustainability, a systemic transformation towards a circular electronics value chain is vital. In this shift towards circularity, digital technologies can support transparency, efficiency, ease and accountability in existing economic systems.
The thought paper explores the current applicability and scope of digital technologies in enabling the transition to a circular electronics value chain. The paper maps out major digitalization trends and highlights use cases of digital technologies across the electronics value chain, ranging from simple digital platforms and Uber-style mobile collection applications, to AI-enabled e-waste recognition and blockchain-based materials tracking. Such examples are drawn from both established and emerging digital solutions, while case studies provide a deeper look into real-world applications of digital technologies across the electronics value chain.