MO.3.E || Life Cycle Metrics in Sustainable Finance and Business

Andersen, Birgitte Holt; Komkova, Anastasija

Drawing on the findings and insights from two on-going research projects: WOOL2LOOP and URBCON, we have developed a model to assess the circular economic potential while using secondary raw materials (SRMs) to partly or fully substitute OPC (Ordinary Portland cement) within building materials and construction industry. Applying our Circular Economy model (CEM), we have assessed the business model at each step of the value circle from sourcing, pre-treatment, production, sales, use-phase to end-of-life. At each step of the value circle we describe the baseline, the intervention itself, the costs and benefits flows identified as a result of introducing the intervention, as well as the externalities addressed and potential barriers preventing the business case to un-fold. While WOOL2LOOP are focusing on the usage of mineral wool waste, URBCON has a broader scope on different industrial residuals and waste streams suitable for the production of geopolymer cement. Our analysis shows that pre-treatment costs of the various SRMs, future supply and geographical availability of SRMs, constitute critical factors to the overall business case for using SRMs. On the demand side, the main critical factors identified relates to building standards and resistance to change within the construction sector itself. However, there are also very strong macro trends encouraging by different means the various stakeholders to shift towards climate-neutral production and consumption. The paper concludes by discussing different scenarios for the evolution of new value chains and industry structures likely to happen in a post circular economy reality.