The objective of the Circularity Indicators Project is to provide indicators to estimate the circularity of products and businesses.
The diagram below shows the material flows taken into account to arrive at the Material Circularity Indicator of a product.
The Material Circularity Indicator (MCI) gives a value between 0 and 1 where higher values indicate a higher circularity. The following inputs are used to calculate the MCI:
- Input in the production process: How much input is coming from virgin and recycled materials and reused components?
- Utility during use phase: How long and intensely is the product used compared to an industry average product of similar type? This takes into account increased durability of products, but also repair/ maintenance and shared consumption business models.
- Destination after use: How much material goes into landfill (or energy recovery), how much is collected for recycling, which components are collected for reuse?
- Efficiency of recycling: How efficient are the recycling processes used to produce recycled input and to recycle material after use?
Together with the methodology, the project developed a commercially-available web-based tool for businesses to track their progress in ensuring that their products fit a circular economy based business model.
Were users can either import, build and edit bills of materials for products or designs through a web app or they can work within a CAD system. In either case, users can run reports that analyse bills of materials in order to assess product risk and guide design decisions:
The developed Circularity Indicators are particularly intended for use in product design, but could also be used in internal reporting or for procurement and investment decisions.
More information: Ellen MacArthur Foundation