A new set of key indicators redefines the goals of circular economy in the building sector

Notas de prensa - 05 Abr 2022

alchemia-nova has published a scientific paper that will help establish effective metrics for assessing the circular economy in a systematic way.

The private and public sectors are starting to set ambitious circularity targets as the ecological transition steps up. But businesses and organisations need ways to accurately measure this circularity and its impacts. And so do policy makers.

This is where alchemia-nova comes in. A HOUSEFUL partner, it has co-authored a study for the selection of Circular Economy indicators for the water-energy-food-ecosystems nexus, published in the peer-reviewed journal “Water”. It will help establish effective metrics for assessing the circular economy in a systematic way.

Currently, there is not a single widely accepted set of circular economy indicators”, says Gaetano Bertino – Msc (D.I) at alchemia-nova. “According to the findings of our paper, regenerative capacity, overall achievable circularity, and the circular index are among the most important driving measures of circularity, followed by circular usage and flow, commodity and waste indices, and so on. These indicators should be at the heart of every circular economy assessment protocol that contributes to the achievement of consequential and economic-related goals”.

For this study, twenty circularity indicators were selected and ranked, based on views and needs of practitioners. The interdependencies of the indicators were considered to determine their importance. For this, an Interpretive Structural Model with six levels of importance was used. In addition, the twenty indicators were also put into four categories based on their driving and dependence power. This was done using MICMAC analysis.

The study indicates that seven indicators play a driving role for circular economy — one of these indicators related to regeneration of natural environment principle, four related to keeping resources in use, and two related to design out negative externalities. The approach can be applied to other sets of indicators as well.

These indicators underpin the HOUSEFUL methodology to assess the circularity for both new builds and refurbishments. The study’s findings will feed into project’s key performance indicators for the circularity of materials, energy, water and socio-economic performance.

Photo by Coline Beulin on Unsplash