Library

The library contains a wealth of information on the circular economy for use by policy makers and analysts conducting impact assessments. For more information on impact assessments and the EU's Better Regulation Agenda, please click here.

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    Measuring circular economy strategies through index methods: A critical analysis

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Valerio Elia, Maria Grazia Gnoni, Fabiana Tornese

    Source: 

    Department of Innovation Engineering, University of Salento

    Year: 

    2015

    "In the last years, the circular economy (CE) paradigm is being widely explored by researchers and institutions as a possible path to increase the sustainability of our economic system. Reuse, repair and recycling are becoming crucial activities in many sectors. At the same time, companies are showing an increasing interest for this new economic model. However, the state of the art shows that a deep research on CE assessment and indicators is still lacking, in particular on the micro level. This work tries to fill this gap, first analyzing the current literature on CE assessment, then...

    Life cycle impact assessment of beverage packing systems: focus on the collection of post-consumer bottles

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Balint Simon, Mourad Ben Amor, Rita Rita Földényi

    Year: 

    2015

    "Choice of packaging material has a significant contribution to the overall impact of beverage value chain. Collection of post-consumer packaging materials is often controlled by national or regional regulation, which have to be based on sound considerations. Therefore, stakeholders alongside the packaging value chain need for supporting information to select environmentally sound packaging and define own policy. To meet comprehensiveness, five different packaging materials were examined during their whole life cycle. Due to the potentially direct impact of collection system on the human...

    Limitations of the waste hierarchy for achieving absolute reductions in material throughput

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    S. Van Ewijk, J.A. Stegemann

    Source: 

    Year: 

    2016

    "Dematerialization can serve as a measurable and straightforward strategy for sustainability and requires changes in management of material inputs and waste outputs of the economy. Currently, waste management is strongly inspired by the waste hierarchy, an influential philosophy in waste and resource management that prioritizes practices ranging from waste prevention to landfill. Despite the inclusion and prioritization of prevention in the hierarchy, the positive contribution of the application of the waste hierarchy to dematerializing the economy is not inevitable, nor has it been...

    Some pervasive challenges to sustainability by design of electronic products - a conceptual discussion

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Rafael Laurenti, Rajib Sinha, Jagdeep Singh, Björn Frostell

    Source: 

    Year: 

    2015

    "Sustainability should encompass responsibility for unintended environmental consequences of modern developments. This study examined some pervasive challenges to sustainability by design of electronic products, namely: (i) product and consumption redundancies; (i) embodied environmental and social impacts occurring distant in time and space from the point of consumption; and (iii) production and consumption dynamics. This analysis identified essential developments in certain areas that can assist design practice in preventing unintended environmental consequences. These were: (1)...

    The Role of Additive Manufacturing in Improving Resource Efficiency and Sustainability

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Mélanie Despeisse, Simon Ford

    Year: 

    2015

    "Additive manufacturing is heralded as a revolutionary process technology. While it has yet to cause a dramatic transformation of the manufacturing system, there are early signs of how the characteristics of this novel production process can improve resource efficiency and other sustainability aspects. In this paper, we draw on examples from a wide range of products and industries to understand the role of additive manufacturing in sustainable industrial systems. We identify four main areas in which the adoption of additive manufacturing is leading to improved resource efficiency: (1)...

    CIRC-PACK

    Type of evidence: 

    Year: 

    2017

    "CIRC-PACK project aims at more sustainable, efficient, competitive, less fossil fuel dependence, integrated and interconnected plastic packaging value chain. To this end, three case studies will work in developing, testing and validating better system-wide economic and environmental outcomes by i) decoupling the chain from fossil feedstocks, (ii) reducing the negative environmental impact of plastic packaging; and (iii) creating an effective after-use plastics economy. All in all, the work will be supported by non-technological analysis and advanced methodological analysis (including...

    Conceptualizing the circular economy: An analysis of 114 definitions

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Julian Kirchherr, Denise Reike, Marko Hekkert

    Source: 

    Utrecht University

    Year: 

    2017

    "The circular economy concept has gained momentum both among scholars and practitioners. However, critics claim that it means many different things to different people. This paper provides further evidence for these critics. The aim of this paper is to create transparency regarding the current understandings of the circular economy concept. For this purpose, we have gathered 114 circular economy definitions which were coded on 17 dimensions. Our findings indicate that the circular economy is most frequently depicted as a combination of reduce, reuse and recycle activities, whereas it is...

    Sustainable homeservices? Toward household services that enhance ecological, social and economic sustainability

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Minna Halme, Christine Jasch, Michael Scharp

    Source: 

    Helsinki School of Economics, IOW, Institute for Environmental Management and Economics, IZT, Institute for Future Studies and Technology Assessment

    Year: 

    2004

    If the material artefact remains in the ownership of the producer then there is a financial incentive to direct innovatory activities to produce more durable goods and the producer has responsibility for disposal. A smaller stock of products is needed to satisfy demand and if customers use these sequentially intensity of use increases as does the probability of a higher service yield before the product becomes outdated due to outdated technological characteristics, e.g. fashion. *In result orientated services, producers use their competencies to ensure the correct use of material artefacts...

    Product services for a resource efficient and circular economy--a review

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Arnold Tucker

    Source: 

    Natherlands Organisation for Applied Sceintific Research TNO; Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Institute of Environemental Sciences, Leiden University

    Year: 

    2013

    "Since the 1990s, Product Service Systems (PSS) have been heralded as one of the most effective instruments for moving society towards a resource-efficient, circular economy and creating a much-needed ‘resource revolution’. This paper reviews the literature on PSS in the last decade and compares the findings with those from an earlier review in this journal in 2006. Close to 300 relevant papers were identified, over 140 of which have been referenced in this review. Research in the field of PSS has become more prolific, with the output of refereed papers quadrupling since 2000, while on...

    Product-service systems: a literature review on integrated products and services

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Fernanda Hänsch Beuren, Marcelo Gitirana Gomes Ferreira, Paulo A. Cauchick Miguel

    Source: 

    Production and System Engineering Department, Federal University of Santa Catarina

    Year: 

    2013

    "Academic and business interests in the product-service system have risen significantly in recent years. The product-service system represents a competitive opportunity for many companies as they seek to reduce consumption by altering how their products are used by providing services. To further establish this field, the objective of this paper is to present a literature review on the product-service system, including 149 papers published from 2006 to 2010. The review discusses specific features of the product-service system as well as the benefits and drawbacks that the literature has...

    Spreading the rooftop revolution: What policies enable solar-as-a-service

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Harold Overholm

    Source: 

    University of Cambridge Institute for Manfacturing

    Year: 

    2015

    Overholm explains the concept of third party ownership solar firms, where customers pay for solar as a service. Firms maintain ownership of panels, maintain them, install them, and navigate the legal and logistical obstacles of individual renewable energy, while customers pay a contractual fee. Barriers to entry as well as supportive and constricting policies are explained.

    New Life of the Building Materials- Recycle, Reuse and Recovery

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    W.Y. Ng, C.K. Chau

    Year: 

    2015

    "Bulk of construction wastes generated through the dismantling process in a building redevelopment project creates many environment problems. Greater efforts are needed to put on the End-Of-Life (EOL) of building materials. Recycling, reusing and recovering of demolished wastes can either help relieve the landfill capacity or ‘regain’ some energy from existing building materials in order to reduce the embodied energy use for in the next new built building. This paper proposes to use ‘energy saving potential’ to quantify the amount of energy at the EOL phase that can be made usable in the...

    Design for change and circularity - accommodating circular material & product flows in construction

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    R.J. Geldermans

    Year: 

    2016

    "Circular building concepts, as proposed within e.g. Circular Economy and Cradle-to-Cradle frameworks, imply radical changes for the construction sector. Cradle-to-Cradle® in particular has put forward the idea of buildings as material banks, radically altering the way material flows need to be managed. The notion of material banks (temporary storage of materials that comprise the building assemblies) sheds new light on the value of building materials and products, and how to maintain and restore this. The basics are straightforward: high quality, pure material use and anticipated material...