Transformation to a Circular Economy

Resource-efficient processes and products in a circular economy

Ever shorter product life cycles and increasingly resource-intensive consumption patterns are shaping our everyday lives. The result: rising resource consumption and higher emissions - with increasingly negative consequences for people and the environment.

The Circular Economy offers a promising opportunity to address sustainability from an economic, ecological and social perspective. The growing momentum of regulatory measures triggered by the European Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan of the EU Commission requires comprehensive change processes from companies in all sectors. Intelligent product design and innovative business models can keep raw materials and products in high quality circulation and reduce raw material consumption and waste. Early adaptation of circular value creation logics promises competitive advantages, as trends from changes in legislation and customer needs can be identified and implemented at an early stage.

Holistic sustainability consulting

To be able to use the full potential of a circular economy, companies must develop systemic solutions for their products and business models. Fraunhofer UMSICHT offers a holistic consulting with a high level of technological expertise by bundling competencies in the area of material and product development, ecological and economic assessment, and the implementation of innovative product solutions in circular company-specific business models on the market. Thus, linear value chains are successfully transformed into sustainable value cycles.

From life cycle assessments over business model and product innovations to a Circular Economy

Regardless of your company's previous experience and knowledge of circular products and business models, we work with you to take the path to a Circular Economy. We record the status quo, analyze product and business processes, e.g. in the form of a life cycle assessment, and support you in business model and product innovation. We accompany you in the technological and organizational implementation and validation of corresponding business models.

Depending on the strategy chosen, we can use analysis and simulation tools to estimate the impact of the measures developed on their environmental footprint in the early stages of the transformation process.

The transformation is independent of material groups. As part of the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Circular Plastics Economy CCPE, we have in-depth expertise in the particularly diverse and demanding field of plastics, including (bio)plastics, additives used for this purpose, compounding, and material and chemical recycling.

Custom-tailored strategy

Would you like to know how your processes and products can be made
circular and future-proof? We would be happy to develop your scientifically based individual strategy for the Circular Economy together with you.

Contact our experts for a non-binding meeting!  

Reference projects



Plastics packaging with recycled

In the KIOptipack innovation lab AI applications for the sustainable design and processing of plastic packaging are being investigated.  



Circular Economy in the automotive industry

In the "EKODA" project, researchers are exploring alternative utilization routes, levers and barriers to the circular economy, working on acceptance in practice, and developing business models to reuse, rather than recycle, used automotive components.



EU transformation to more plastics recycling

In the international research and demonstration project Syschemiq, 21 consortium partners from five EU countries plan to facilitate the systemic transition to a plastics circular economy in cities, regions and their associations.



Making plastic packaging recyclable

In the projekt "MoNova" Fraunhofer UMSICHT is developing a monomaterial film based on polyolefins together with three other Fraunhofer institutes. By limiting the use to a single polymer type , the films can be recycled and become raw materials again for new packaging. This creates a material cycle.



Utilization of carbon dioxide in slags

In the "NuKoS" research project, slags from steel production are to be processed for further use with the aid of CO2. The aim is to use the slags to produce higher-value products for the construction, plastics and paper industries. The slags are to be used to produce higher-value products for the construction, plastics, cement and paper industries, for example.



Intermediates from spent coffee grounds

The "InKa" project develops and evaluates recycling options for spent coffee grounds from the catering and commercial sectors.  


Resource-efficient industrial parks

Less resources, more competitiveness

Fraunhofer UMSICHT developed and tested concepts for energy supply, waste management, rainwater management, land use and mobility at ten selected industrial sites.


Fraunhofer Charter

Sovereign Value Cycles

Fraunhofer is working with a total of 14 institutes to develop a Fraunhofer Charter, which sets the guidelines for an R&D roadmap for research into sovereign value cycles, a new production and consumption concept.