WP01 – Sustainability Impact Assessment for Circular Economy

How does one determine if a circular solution is better in terms of environmental performance, social innovation and business benefits than a linear one? And how to account for systemic effects when the impact of one aspect has to increase to reduce the impact of the overall system? Furthermore: how can this information be used in decisionmaking processes regarding business model and product (re)design? This work package addresses these questions by conceptualising, developing, validating and implementing a framework to assess circular solutions.

This work package can affect the following aspects of your business:

• Business model, material selection & product development, packaging, logistics & through life operations, resource recovery & more value from waste.

Meaningful sustainability impact assessment can only be made by adopting a life cycle perspective. As such, it is necessary to look at the impact generated across all aspects of your business, from material sourcing to manufacturing and from logistics to end-of-life or disposal.

 

>>WHAT YOU GET

Participating in this work package will provide you with insight into what and where the current impacts of your business are in terms of relevant environmental, social and business indicators. This will help you identify circular improvement opportunities. Moreover, this assessment methodology will distinguish between different circular economy strategies such as reuse, recycling and remanufacturing and will be suitable for both biological and non-biological materials. This, together with the adoption of a life cycle perspective, will allow you to compare different improvement scenarios. It also supports optimisation of existing circular systems and sound decision making in your innovation, planning and implementation processes and ensures that your solution has the best possible foundation from a sustainability perspective.

In short, this work package provides you with:

• Insight into your business’ current environmental, social and business impact areas;

• Insight into the sustainability improvement opportunities circular economy offers;

• Insight into the performance of different improvement opportunities.

 

>>WHAT YOU GIVE

To be able to assist you with assessing your circular system or proposed innovation, our researchers will need to understand your Product design, your manufacturing processes and have an overview of activities in your value chain that have a potential sustainability impact. Depending on the context of your company and what data is already available, our researchers will collect, compile and analyse relevant data. We will work with you to ensure confidentiality of sensitive information, whilst optimising the framework development process.

In other words, our researchers need:

• Access to existing sustainability related data;

• In collaboration with you, collect relevant qualitative and quantitative data;

• To test different tools and methods and discuss with you the most beneficial ways of presenting the sustainability screening results, to ensure early influence in your decision making.