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Circular Economy

How to measure circularity?

Measuring circularity is important in order to be able to make weighted choices between processes, products or companies. No generally accepted methodology for measuring circularity has yet emerged. However, there are a large number of tools, such as scans and databases, that map circularity qualitatively or quantitatively. Below a few examples of these tools, which provide a good insight into the circularity of products and processes.

In 2018, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency published a report in Dutch entitled “Circular Economics: What We Want to Know and Can Measure” with a proposal to measure the circularity of the Netherlands. This monitoring system is necessary if the central government is to measure progress towards its ambition to be fully circular by 2050. Read the full report here (in Dutch):

Determine the degree of circularity

A commonly used tool to determine the degree of circularity is the so-called R-ladder. The higher a strategy is on this list (ladder) of circularity strategies, the more circular the strategy is. Various versions of the R-ladder exist, with the version below being used by the Environmental Planning Office (2017):

Tools to measure circularity

Circle Scan (Circle Economy)The Circle Scan provides an insight in the implementation of high quality circular projects. It’s a complete overview of the projectcontext and its chances.

EcoChain (EcoChain B.V.) – EcoChain is an LCA-based software package that allows you as a buyer or entrepreneur to calculate and track the footprint of an entire company (or industry) – LCA from product level to company level. As a buyer, you can use this to select circular products / designs that are easy to reuse, are resource-efficient, and / or contain a lot of recycled material (narrowing and closing the loop)

Metabolic Analyses (Metabolic) – The Metabolic tool tracks the raw materials through the complete supply chain.

Circular IQ (Circular IQ B.V.)Circular IQ is an online platform you, as a buyer, can use to compare products and suppliers based on material use, circular design and circular business operations. You can also benchmark the performance of a company against international standards and monitor progress over a longer period.

Materials passport (Madaster/Turntoo) – Madaster is an online platform that generates material passports for the buildings of affiliated real estate parties, architects, researchers and private individuals. Its used to see which materials are present in an existing building or design. As a buyer you can select circular solutions for assignments in construction, and monitor results. (In Dutch only)

Madaster Circularity Indicator (Madaster/EPEA) – A measuring system regard to the use of materials in cycles.