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Clean technologies is one of the priority sectors in Luxembourg’s data-driven innovation strategy, which also includes a circular economy dimension. Launched by the Ministry of the Economy in 2018, the PCDS project combines the country’s data expertise with its ambition to enhance cleantech. “No product is circular in itself unless it is at the centre of an appropriate business model. In order to achieve this, circular data needs to be available,” says Christian Tock, Director Sustainable Technologies at the Ministry of the Economy.

No product is circular in itself unless it is at the centre of an appropriate business model.

The aim of the PCDS initiative is to develop an international industry standard that provides a regulated framework for circular data on products and the type of end of use cycle for which they have been designed: reuse, reparation, recycling or use as a material bank for new products. It covers the whole value chain, from raw materials to finished products and from the use phase to re-usage and recycling. This standardised information can easily be shared by manufacturers in all sectors, from construction to packaging, textiles and consumer goods. The data sheets are open to all and complement existing circular economy platforms.

International standard for circularity data

There are currently a number of platforms with their own proprietary formats for communicating circularity data, which means that manufacturers have to adjust the content and format of their product data for each new platform. The lack of data coherence is also a major issue for regulators and certifiers who are trying to compared product data. Transforming the PCDS into an ISO standard is therefore a huge step forward in the efforts to have one consistent system that can be used across all industries and countries.

With all the economic players involved, we can, with this solution as the basis, support a paradigm shift towards a more circular future that is more respectful of resources.

“The ISO decision paves the way for our PCDS initiative to become an international standard for the declaration, audit and exchange of the circular properties of products,” comments Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot. “With all the economic players involved, we can, with this solution as the basis, support a paradigm shift towards a more circular future that is more respectful of resources.”

Major breakthrough for data exchange

Companies will easily be able to interface the PCDS standard with their own systems, thereby saving both time and money. “This is a major breakthrough in providing reliable and easy-to-exchange data,” Dr Tock points out.

The ISO 59040 – PCDS project has been added to the work programme of the ISO / TC323 technical committee on the circular economy which is coordinated by the French standardisation association, Association française de normalisation (AFNOR). The committee will use the pilot version of the PCDS – available for review and free downloading – as the starting point for developing the standard.

 

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