Tag Archives: circular economy

The Circular Economy: Breakthrough or Distraction?

By | 15th December 2017

Our material footprint is expanding (Wiedmann et al., 2015), in-use stocks are growing (Müller et al., 2013), and so are greenhouse gas emissions from material production, like cement (Andrew, 2017). The rollout of renewable energy and efficient technology hinges on ample supply of a vast array of materials and chemical elements (Graedel et al., 2013),… Read More »

Launching of the CircularSankey web application

By | 11th December 2017

Sankey diagrams are an important visualisation tool but drawing them is a tedious job. There are a number of both freeware and payware tools out there that do the drawing for you but I found none of them convincing or worth paying for. I want a tool that is not too difficult to use saves… Read More »

Growth of in-use stocks: Central obstacle to closing material cycles

By | 13th November 2017

Recycling, re-use, and remanufacturing are central sustainable development strategies. In most cases, they save both: energy and primary resources. There are currently four main indicators to measure the performance of a recycling/re-use/re-manufacturing loop: Costs. In many cases, recycling is not economic, which mostly explains the tremendously high loss rates for many metals (Graedel et al.,… Read More »

The lifetime of materials in the technosphere

By | 29th October 2017

We often hear the claim that metals can be recycled indefinitely often, without loss of quality.*) Unfortunately, this claim is not true and the myth of perfect and indefinite recycling needs to be busted. The reasons are that a) our waste management industries cannot perfectly separate the different metal fractions from the waste streams, so… Read More »

Wanted: Lead Indicators for the Circular Economy in Organizations

By | 22nd October 2017

The circular economy now has a guiding standard for its implementation in organizations. It is called BS 8001:2017 ”Framework for implementing the principles of the circular economy in organizations – Guide” and was recently launched by The British Standards Institution (BSI, 2017a, 2017b). After having read it, I am amazed by the level of ambition… Read More »