3rd PLATE Conference
Cooperation of Technische Universität Berlin and Fraunhofer IZM 2019

The 3rd international PLATE conference (Product Lifetimes and the Environment) addresses product lifetimes in the context of sustainability. While discussions on product lifetimes have been going on for a number of years, the topic has come to the forefront of current (political, scientific & societal) debates due to its interconnectedness with a number of recent prominent movements , such as the  circular economy, ecodesign and collaborative consumption. The conference encompasses these topics – whether they relate directly or indirectly to issues of product lifetimes and the environment – and is open to all product types, consumption, and production sectors and applications.

More than 200 participants from around the world met in Berlin from 18-20 September, 2019 for the 3rd Product Lifetimes and the Environment (PLATE) conference. As usual, the event, this time organized by Fraunhofer IZM in cooperation with Technische Universität Berlin, offered a strong scientific programme with 3 keynote speeches, 105 oral and 19 poster presentations arranged in 5 parallel tracks, and 11 workshops.

The biennial conference brought together academics, industry, civil society as well as policy makers and dealt with product lifetimes in the context of sustainability. Participants’ contributions focused predominantly on sustainable practices in the development, production, use, reuse and recycling of products from various fields like electronics, textiles, furniture, vehicles, etc. Particularly popular topics in 2019 were current trends in the circular economy, ecodesign and collaborative consumption.

A true highlight of the conference were the hands-on workshops taking place on Thursday and Friday morning. 11 workshops representing 11 different approaches to making products more sustainable or judging their sustainability: from “Proactive Obsolescence Management” and “The Sustainable Smartphone of the Future” to strategies for prolonging fashion products’ lifetime and “Testing for Premature Obsolescence”, there was something interesting for everyone to be found!

The welcome reception on the first day and the networking dinner on the second day were very well attended and provided a chance to network and discuss the day’s presentations and insights in a more relaxed setting. On the first evening there was an exhibition at which various NGOs and initiatives presented their work. We would like to thank all keynote presenters, speakers, session chairs, committee members and exhibitor