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Topolytics and SAP to Help Develop Recycling Strategies

Michael Behr

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recycling waste management

The two partners will work with the Scottish Government to demonstrate how AI could help develop a circular economy.

Edinburgh-based data analytics group Topolytics and international business software group SAP will analyse data from a range of partners to create recycling and waste management strategies.

Their COP26 Waste Insights Project will use data gathered from co-innovation partners, including BrewDog, Coca-Cola European Partners, and DS Smith. The data feed into Scotland’s Waste and Resources Map – a live view of material flows from, through and out of Scotland.

This will help government, investors, waste managers, consumer industries and startups define strategic priorities and build national recycling infrastructure where it is needed most.

“Our ambition is to make the world’s waste visible, verifiable and valuable,” said Topolytics CEO Michael Groves. “This starts with really understanding what is happening in the waste system – which is complex and opaque.

“Our work with SAP and its customers is generating insights into the many pathways and outcomes for their production and post-consumer waste. This drives resource and cost efficiencies, enhances their reporting and can support their circular economy goals.”

The two companies will also participate in an AI showcase with the Scottish Government’s circular economy agency Zero Waste Scotland. They will demonstrate how new technologies can spot where waste materials can be recaptured and how the transition to a circular economy can be accelerated.

In turn, the co-innovation partners see what happens to industrial and post-consumer packaging waste. They can then find ways to recover more of these materials, enable resource efficiencies, and identify cost savings on waste prevention.

BrewDog co-founder Martin Dickie commented: “As part of our Net Zero Carbon plan we are driving waste out of our business and finding ways to maximise the use of by-products and packaging.

“Measuring carbon impact across our supply chains is also vital – including that of our brewery, distribution and retail waste. The starting point is understanding what happens to the material that is handled by our recycling and waste management partners.

“Working with SAP and Topolytics is giving us a clear view on where this material goes and, importantly, what happens to it – in real time. The resulting insights feed into our zero waste plan and supports our drive to be completely transparent and open in everything that we do.”

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By using the data from its three co-innovation partners, the project has already delivered its first prototype, which has created a ‘WasteMap®’ that demonstrates producer responsibility and enhances environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) reporting on resources, materials and waste.

“Ninety-one per cent of material resources are lost into landfill or leaked into the environment after consumption,” said Head of Sustainable Business Innovation at SAP EMEA North Stephen Jamieson.

“We see a real opportunity to bring together the biggest global brands across a variety of industries using insights and data intelligence to understand the impact of materials throughout their lifecycle and create a more sustainable future.

“We want to use this opportunity to demonstrate how innovative technologies can help bring together business, government and NGOs to tackle climate change and turn waste into a valuable resource, to support recovery rates and provide access to new revenue streams.”

Michael Behr

Senior Staff Writer

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