New Indicators ‘Acircularity’ and ‘Resource Efficiency Account’ to Evaluate the Efforts of Eco-Design in Circular Economy
Kohmei Halada*,, Kiyotaka Tahara**, and Mitsutaka Matsumoto**
*Sustainability Design Institute (SusDI)
5-2-34 Matsushiro, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0035, Japan
**National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Japan
This study proposes new indicator, Resource Efficiency Account (REA). REA represents the effects of eco-design efforts in achieving a circular system. The key concept of REA is “acircularity.” “Acircularity” is the distance to the ideal circular system to be achieved. REA is given as material efficiency (service per total value of constituent materials) divided by acircularity. Acircularity is the sum of the value of resources that the techno-sphere demands from the eco-sphere, and the value of resources that are dissipated within the techno-sphere. If an utterly circular state is reached, the acircularity value is zero. Additionally, this study proposes a new method to quantify the decline of the quality of scrap provided to the market as a decline in the value of the material to calculate the dissipation. The calculation focuses on the control level of impurities in scrap. The validity of these indicators is discussed using an automobile case. Differences in the current circulation level, eco-design for recycling, and refurbishment efforts can be quantitatively evaluated using REA and acircularity.
-  H. S. Kristensen and M. A. Mosgaard, “A review of micro level indicators for a circular economy – moving away from the three dimensions of sustainability?,” J. Clean. Prod., Vol.243, 118531, 2020.
-  C. Zhang, W. Chen, and M. Ruth, “Measuring Material Efficiency: A Review of the Historical Evolution of Indicators, Methodologies and Findings,” Resour., Conserv. Recy., Vol.132, pp. 79-92, 2018.
-  E. Hertwich, R. Lifset, S. Pauliuk, N. Heeren, S. Ali, Q. Tu, F. Ardente, P. Berrill, T. Fishman, K. Kanaoka, and J. Kulczycka, “Resource efficiency and climate change: Material efficiency strategies for a low-carbon future,” United Nations Environment Programme, doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3542680, 2020.
-  P. de Sa and J. Korinek, “Resource efficiency, the circular economy, sustainable materials management and trade in metals and minerals,” OECD Trade Policy Papers, No.245, OECD Publishing, 2021.
-  M. Saidani, B. Yannou, Y. Leroy, F. Cluzel, and A. Kendall, “A taxonomy of circular economy indicators,,” J. Clean. Prod., Vol.207, pp. 542-559, doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.10.014, 2019.
-  H. Helander, “How to monitor environmental pressures of a circular economy,” J. Ind. Ecol., Vol.23, Issue 5, pp. 1278-1291, 2019.
-  M. Kravchenko, T. C. McAloone, and D. C. Pigosso, “Implications of developing a tool for sustainability screening of circular economy initiatives,” Procedia CIRP, Vol.80, pp. 625-630, 2019.
-  T. E. Graedel, J. Allwood, J. P. Birat, B. K. Reck, S. F. Sibley, G. Sonnemann, M. Buchert, and C. Hageluken, “Recycling Rates of Metals – A Status Report,” UNEP Int. Panel for Sustainable Resource Management, 2011. https://wedocs.unep.org/20.500.11822/8702 [Accessed April 19, 2022]
-  M. Haupt, C. Vadenbo, and S. Hellweg, “Do we have the right performance indicators for the circular economy?: insight into the Swiss waste management system,” J. Ind. Ecol., Vol.21, No.3, pp. 615-627, 2017.
-  World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), “Circular Transition Indicators (CTI),” 2020. https://www.wbcsd.org/Programs/Circular-Economy/Metrics-Measurement/Circular-transition-indicators [Accessed April 19, 2022]
-  F. Ardente, F. Mathieux, and L. Talens Peirò, “Environmental footprint and material efficiency support for product policy. Report on benefits and impacts/costs of options for different potential material efficiency requirements for electronic displays,” JRC Scientific and Policy Report, doi: 10.2788/28569, 2013.
-  Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), “Circularity indicators an approach to measuring circularity,” 2015. https://ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/material-circularity-indicator [Accessed April 19, 2022]
-  M. Linder, S. Sarasini, and P. van Loon, “A Metric for Quantifying Product-Level Circularity,” J. Ind. Ecol., Vol.21, pp. 545-558, 2017.
-  J. G.Vogtländer, H. C. Brezet, and C. F. Hendriks, “A New LCA-Based Calculation Model to Determine the Sustainability of Products and Services,” Int. J. LCA, Vol.5, No.6, 2000, 1999.
-  F. D. Maio and P. C. Rem, “A Robust Indicator for Promoting Circular Economy through Recycling,” J. Environ. Prot., Vol.6, pp. 1095-1104, 2015.
-  S. Huysman, J. D. Schaepmeester, K. Ragaert, J. Dewulf, and S. D. Meester, “Performance indicators for a circular economy: A case study on post-industrial plastic waste,” Resour. Conserv. Recy., Vol.120, pp. 46-54, 2017.
-  F. D. Maio, P. C. Rem, K. Baldé, and M. Polder, “Measuring resource efficiency and circular economy: A market value approach,” Resour. Conserv. Recy., Vol.122, pp. 163-171, 2017.
-  Division of Sustainable development in UN department of Economic and Social Affairs, Consumption and Production Patterns, 2003. https://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/sdissues/consumption/cpp1224m9.htm [Accessed April 19, 2022]
-  A. Adrianse, S. Bringezu, A. Hammond, Y. Moriguchi, E. Rodenburg, D. Rogich, and H. Schütz, “Resource Flows: the material basis of industrial economics,” World Resource Institute, 1997.
-  H. Stiller, “Material intensity of advanced composite materials: results of asudy for the Verbundwerkstofflabor Bremen e.V,” Wuppertal Papers, 1999.
-  K. Halada, K. Ijima, N. Katagiri, and T. Okura, “An Approximate Estimation of Total Material Requirement of Metals,” J. Japan Inst. Metals, Vol.65, No.7, pp. 564-570, 2001.
-  E. Yamasue, R. Minamino, I. Daigo, H. Okumura, and K. N. Ishihara, “Evaluation of Total Materials Requirement for the Recycling of Elements and Materials (Urban Ore TMR) from End-of-Life Electric Home Appliances,” Mater. Trans., Vol.50, No.9, pp. 2165-2172, 2009.
-  T. Sonderegger, M. Berger, R. Alvarenga, V. Bach, A. Cimprich, J. Dewulf, R. Frischknecht, J. Guinée, C. Helbig, T. Huppertz, O. Jolliet et al., “Mineral resources in life cycle impact assessment – part I: a critical review of existing methods,” Int. J. Life Cycle Assess., Vol.25, No.4, pp. 784-797, 2020.
-  L. van Oers, J. B. Guinée, R. Heijungs, R. Schulze, R. A. F. Alvarengam, J. Dewulf, J. Drielsma, D. Sanjuan-Delmás, T. C. Kampmann, G. Bark, A. G. Uriarte, P. Menger, M. Lindblom, L. Alcon, M. S. Ramos, and J. M. E. Torres, “Top-down characterization of resource use in LCA: from problem definition of resource use to operational characterization factors for dissipation of elements to the environment,” Int. J. Life Cycle Assess., Vol.25, pp. 2255-2273, 2020.
-  L. Zampor and S. Sala, “Feasibility study to implement resource dissipation in LCA,” JRC Technical Report, Joint Research Center 2017.
-  M. Stewart and B. Weidema, “A consistent framework for assessing the impacts from resource use – A focus on resource functionality,” Int. J. Life Cycle Assess., Vol.10, No.4, pp. 240-247, 2005.
-  R. Frischknecht, “Impact assessment of abiotic resources: the role of borrowing and dissipative resource use,” LCA Forum 55, 2014. http://www.lcaforum.ch/portals/0/df55/DF55-05%20Frischknecht.pdf [Accessed April 19, 2022]
-  C. Vadenbo, J. Rørbech, M. Haupt, and R. Frischknecht, “Abiotic resources: new impact assessment approaches in view of resource efficiency and resource criticality,” 55th Discussion Forum on Life Cycle Assessment, 2014.
-  L. Ciacci, B. K. Reck, N. T. Nassar, and T. E. Graedel, “Lost by design,” Environ. Sci. Technol., Vol.49, pp. 9443-9451, 2015.
-  T. Zimmermann, “Uncovering the fate of critical metals: Tracking dissipative losses along the product life cycle,” J. Ind. Ecol., Vol.21, Issue 5, pp. 1198-1211, 2017.
-  F. Figge, A. S. Thorpe, P. Givry, L. Canning, and E. Franklin-Johnson, “Longevity and circularity as indicators of eco-efficient resource use in the circular economy,” Ecol. Econ., Vol.150, pp. 297-306, 2018.
-  S. Klose and S. Pauliuk, “Quantifying longevity and circularity of copper for different resource efficiency policies at the material and product levels.” J. Ind. Ecol., Vol.25, No.4, pp. 979-993, 2021.
-  G. Moraga, S. Huysveld, S. D. Meester, and J. Dewulf, “Resource efficiency indicators to assess circular economy strategies: a case study on four materials in laptops,” Resour. Conserv. Recycl., Vol.178, 106099, 2022.
-  Toyota Tsusho, “Report of Industrial Products Commercialization Business by Advanced Sorting and Compounding of Mixed Plastics,” Ministry of the Environment Japan, 2016. https://www.env.go.jp/recycle/car/pdfs/h27_report01_mat08.pdf [Accessed April 19, 2022]
-  Material Economics, “Preserving Value in EU Industrial Materials – A value perspective on the use of steel, plastics and aluminium,” 2021. https://materialeconomics.com/latest-updates/preserving-value-in-eu-industrial-materials [Accessed April 19, 2022]
-  Japan government, Input Output table. https://www.soumu.go.jp/toukei_toukatsu/data/io/index.htm [Accessed April 19, 2022]
-  F. E. K. Sato and T. Nakata, “Energy Consumption Analysis for Vehicle Production through a Material Flow Approach,” Energies, Vol.13, No.9, 2396, doi: 10.3390/en13092396, 2020.
-  AIST, “Introduction of LCA evaluation software that evaluates material changes of automobile parts,” Aluminum Association Technical Committee document, 2005.
-  Industrial Structure Council Industrial Technology Environment Subcommittee Waste / Recycling Subcommittee Automobile Recycling Working Group / Central Environment Council Recycling Society Subcommittee Automobile Recycling Special Committee 35th Joint Meeting Explanatory Material Attachment 2 2011-2013 Automobile Recycling Advanced cooperation business Guidelines for recovery business of precious metals, etc., 2014 (in Japanese). https://www.meti.go.jp/shingikai/sankoshin/sangyo_gijutsu/haikibutsu_recycle/jidosha_wg/pdf/035_b03_02.pdf [Accessed April 19, 2022]
-  Yamasue Laboratory, “Database for Specific TMR.” http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/yamasue/tmr/index_en.html [Accessed April 19, 2022]
-  K. Halada et al., “Resource-end-mass, NIMS material environment data collection 8,” 2004.
-  V. Jenets, “Optimization of resin recycling system from ASR, report for Nissan global,” 2019. https://www.nissan-global.com/JP/ENVIRONMENT/A_RECYCLE/R_FEE/SAISHIGEN/2017/PDF/report_asr_recovery_resin_recycle_process.pdf [Accessed April 19, 2022]
This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internationa License.