University of Limerick
Jerome_et_al_2021_Testing_product_level_indicators_for_a_more_circular_economy.pdf (360.96 kB)

Testing product-level indicators for a more circular economy

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conference contribution
posted on 2021-06-17, 08:46 authored by Adeline Jerome, Harald Helander, Maria Ljunggren, Matty Janssen
Product level indicators can be essential for companies to guide and monitor the transition towards a more circular economy (CE). In particular, CE indicators focusing on physical resource flows are needed for informing businesses on the environmental performance of their product portfolio. Many of those indicators have been suggested but a robust assessment framework has yet to be developed. Previous reviews highlighted the limited range of CE strategies covered by one indicator at a time and recommended the use of a set of indicators to ensure comprehensive assessments. Furthermore, many existing indicators have only been tested individually on few and simple products. The aim of this study is to examine the extent to which existing product-level circularity indicators are applicable to real case studies with different combinations of CE strategies. Starting from a review of the literature to identify resource-flow based indicators suitable for product-level assessment, 36 indicators are applied to three real case studies. Challenges linked to a high level of detail in product systems implementing CE strategies were encountered when applying communicated methodologies and analysing the quantitative results from the 31 indicators that were successfully applied. This paper suggests selecting both comprehensive indicators and a range of single-focus indicators to ensure an understanding of the systemic consequences of implementing CE strategies. The results also demonstrate the importance of a clear understanding of what is measured and what is missed by a given selection of CE indicators for informed decision-making



4th PLATE 2021 Virtual Conference, 26-28 May 2021;



Other Funding information

The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research



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