TU.2.E || Tools, Metrics and Labels for a Circular Economy

Saidani, Michael; Le Pochat, Stéphane; Monteil, Aude; Yannou, Bernard; Garcia, Jade; Osset, Philippe

Deploying the right circularity indicators (c-indicators) is key to both assess and improve the performance of products, companies, and regions in a circular economy (CE) perspective. Building on the initial taxonomy of CE indicators by Saidani et al. (2019), this project extends the identification of sets of c-indicators to more than 100. Statistical trends and critical analysis on these c-indicators are given. In the primary study, each set of c-indicators was categorized under ten features. Working with a think tank of CE experts from major French industrial companies, five new features have been added to better characterize a set of c-indicators to its practical use in an industrial context. These new features are: (i) CE spheres considered, (ii) life cycle stages covered, (iii) the availability of use cases, (iv) the popularity, and (v) transparency. Adopting a systemic and lifestyle approach is crucial to define or select an ad hoc set of circularity indicators, as the circularity performance of systems is influenced by their design (pre-life), usage (life), and end-of-life options or capabilities. On this basis, a set of ten complementary c-indicators is particularly proposed, covering a wider spectrum of the CE paradigm, including material flow, energy flow, impact, design, or corporate-based indicators, just to name a few In practice, to support decision-makers in industry (e.g., managers, engineers, product leaders, designers) compute and deploy properly these c-indicators, a newly and highly visual factsheet for c-indicators is developed, including notably the purpose and working principle of the indicator, an illustration of its formula(s), the inputs/data required, as well as an example of use case, if any. Last but not least, discussion on the articulation, positioning, and potential complementarity or conflict (trade-offs) between c-indicators and LCA-based indicators are made, through different scenarios and illustrative examples.