The Circularity Indicators Project provides companies with a methodology and tools to assess how well a product or company performs in the context of a circular economy, allowing companies to estimate how advanced they are on their journey from linear to circular.
Companies increasingly see opportunity in circular economy business models, which allow them to capture additional value from their products and materials, and mitigate risks from material price volatility and material supply.
The developed indicators consist of the Material Circularity Indicator, measuring how restorative the material flows of a product or company are, and complementary indicators that 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.
The full Circularity Indicators methodology, together with a project overview report and a collection of non-technical case studies, are available for download below. In addition, an Excel-based model to illustrate the functioning of the methodology at the product level, and a spreadsheet for aggregation at the company level are provided for convenience.
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 economy 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.
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.