CE.20.015 – Enabling Systems Integration, Circularity and Inclusive Design for a Lower-Carbon Intense and more Sustainable Agri-Food Sector in NL

Route: Circular economy

Cluster question: 009 How can we make better use of the carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous cycles?

The agri-food sector in The Netherlands is one of the most advanced in the world. Yet, the challenges for change are enormous. The need to adapt to changing climate conditions, while lowering emissions in nitrogen, CO2 and phosphorus is pressuring the sector and sets important questions on its management systems. Even more, agri-food and forestry systems are crucial to provide the carbon needed to replace fossil-based products and fuels, through the bio-economy concept.

A more resilient and sustainable agri-food sector (resource-efficient, low carbon-intensity, reduced environmental impacts, use of renewable energy, with energy and resources independence) seems best to be achieved through the application of concepts and principles of both Circular Economy and Systems Integration. Circular Economy can improve resource-efficiency, environmental impacts, and energy and resources independence; while Systems Integration can help to achieve structural interactions and flow loops (materials and energy) at higher sectorial levels. This combination (Circular Economy and Systems Integration) interlinks three major systems: water supply and management, energy generation and management, and manufacture of goods (i.e. chemical industry).

Implementation of this transition can only be achieved with central involvement of agri-food producers/farmers, and all other stakeholders in the circular value systems (at all scales) to provide a full understanding, characterization, development and implementation of any measure to improve circularity and allow systems integration. Stakeholders’ opinions, interests, and concerns together with their underlying values should be taken into account when designing for circular systems and integration strategies. Our growing experience built on inclusive design for agri-food value chains will provide the basis for this project were we will apply the value sensitive design concept to generate technological solutions that consider their moral values as a fundamental aspect of design.


Circularity in Agri-Food, Inclusive Design, Low-Carbon Agri-Food, Sustainability quantification, Systems integration, Value Sensitive Design


Organisation Delft University of Technology (TUD)
Name Prof. dr. P. (Petra) Osseweijer
E-mail P.Osseweijer@tudelft.nl
Website https://www.tudelft.nl/tnw/over-faculteit/afdelingen/biotechnology/research-sections/biotechnology-and-society/patricia-osseweijer-group/