Circularity Indicators: An approach to measuring circularity
The Material Circularity Indicator (MCI) tool, which is part of a broader ‘Circular Indicators Project’ developed by The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Granta Design, allows companies to identify additional, circular value from their products and materials, and mitigate risks from material price volatility and material supply. Integrated with the MI:Product Intelligence package, MCI enables users to analyse and evaluate a range of environmental, regulatory, and supply chain risks for their designs and products.
MCI measures how restorative the material flows of a product, which can be aggregated up to product portfolio, and even further up to company level. Complementary indicators allow additional impacts and risks to be taken into account. The indicators may be used by product designers, as well as for internal reporting, procurement decisions, and the evaluation or rating of companies.
Inputting material data into the MCI formula allows the participating company to review products to rigorously measure the circularity of material flows for selected products, with the option to aggregate for product portfolios, and up to company level. Ultimately, carrying out the methodology enable the company to support decision making on tradeoffs between circularity and the economic, environmental, and societal objectives on product design and materials procurement.
The co.project group is expanded the MCI methodology to include biological materials and addressed some of the challenges associated with combinations of biological and technical materials. The group is also addressing some of the risk-based complementary metrics for biological materials.
Together with the methodology, the project has contributed to the development of a commercially-available web-based tool that will provide businesses with the means to track their progress and ensure that their products fit a circular economyA systems solution framework that tackles global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution. It is based on three principles, driven by design: eliminate waste and pollution, circulate products and materials (at their highest value), and regenerate nature. based business model.
The Circularity Indicators tool has been developed by Granta Design, and integrated with the MI:Product Intelligence package, which enables users to analyse and evaluate a range of environmental, regulatory, and supply chain risks for their designs and products.
With MI:Product Intelligence, users can either import, build and edit bills of materials for products or designs through an easy-to-use web app, MI:BoM Analyzer, or they can work within a CAD system. In either case, users can run reports that analyse bills of materials in order to assess product risk and guide design decisions. As a result of the Project, a new Circularity Report, based on the methodology referred to above, is available in the web app. The Circularity Report analyses environmental, regulatory and supply chain risks alongside the Material Circularity Indicator.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
The project was executed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation together with Granta Design, the world leader in materials information technology. It has been co-funded by the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union.
As part of the project, the methodology was tested by a group of leading European businesses with real product data to ensure its robustness and relevance economy-wide. In addition, several other stakeholders from investors, regulators, consultancies, and universities were involved in the project through virtual and in-person workshops to help refine the developed measurement approach.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. We develop and promote the idea of a circular economy, and work with business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
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