Design of indicators for measuring product performance in the circular economy

Steve Cayzer, Percy Griffiths, Valentina Beghetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
238 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper explores measurement of product performance with respect to circular economy (CE) principles. Potential indicators are assessed with special attention given to questions such as: the variables that should be measured; how these variables should be assessed; and in which format they should be presented. The resulting considerations are used to develop a prototype whose design is informed through feedback from CE experts. The prototype uses a points-based questionnaire which converges into a simple final result with minimum and maximum limits. The selected approach is critically appraised, and its utility for decision-making discussed. The prototype is tested against a product in the chemical processing industry. The strengths include: ease of use; simplicity; speed; and an effective metaphor for the diffusion of CE principles. The limitations include: the opaque and potentially misleading nature of a single metric; superficial engagement with decision-making; and the reliance on context-specific assumptions. Future developments could include refining the approach to encourage deeper reflection, and generalisation of the approach to different industry sectors or sustainability frameworks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-298
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Engineering
Volume10
Issue number4-5
Early online date26 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Circular economy
  • metrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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