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Product-level inherent circularity and its relationship to environmental impact
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, System setup and Service Innovation.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2554-2300
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, System setup and Service Innovation.
IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Sweden.
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, System setup and Service Innovation.
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2020 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 260, article id 121096Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Circular Economy scholarship has developed multiple metrics for assessing product-level circularity. To date, however, many product-level indicators either conflate circularity and environmental impact, or have been validated using a very limited sample of products. This study applies a single metric, “C”, to a sample of 18 products in the Swedish marketplace, and compares their C-scores with scores for lifecycle assessment (LCA). LCA scores for sample products are normalized by LCA scores of very similar reference products, allowing for comparison of LCAs across different product varieties. A test for correlation between products’ C-scores and LCA ratios reveals a strong, significant, and inverse association between levels of circularity and products’ relative environmental impact. The results offer evidence that products whose economic value is composed of relatively more recirculated material have a relatively low impact on the environment. Future research will benefit from applying similar tests to a broader variety of products and developing tools to expedite the accurate measurement of circularity and lifecycle impacts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd , 2020. Vol. 260, article id 121096
Keywords [en]
Circular economy, Circularity, Circularity metrics, Inherent circularity, Economics, Environmental impact, Accurate measurement, Economic values, Life-cycle assessments, Lifecycle impacts, Life cycle
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-44688DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.121096Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85082009643OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-44688DiVA, id: diva2:1417818
Note

Funding details: Energimyndigheten; Funding details: Svenska Forskningrådet Formas; Funding details: Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, MMW, 2015.0045, P42909-2; Funding text 1: The paper and related study was funded by the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation in the project Measuring Business Model Circularity for Increased Resource Productivity ( MMW, 2015.0045 ), with extra support from the related Re:Source project Measuring Product Circularity for Increased Resource Productivity (P42909-2) and RISE Climate opportunity accelerator. Re:Source funding was achieved with the support of Vinnova , the Swedish Energy Agency , and Formas .

Available from: 2020-03-30 Created: 2020-03-30 Last updated: 2020-03-30Bibliographically approved

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