Circularity index

Circularity index

The current economy is mainly linear: raw materials are taken from nature and used to make a product. The product is used and at the end of its life is destroyed. In a world with finite resources this economy cannot go on endlessly and requires a different approach. A circular economy on the other hand consists of an economic and industrial model that is self-regenerating. The goal is to develop products from waste and uncouple economic growth from using newly sourced raw materials.

INSIDE/INSIDE shows the circularity index of a product in addition to the environmental costs of an interior product or material. We joined leading international developments for our choice of circularity index, the groundbreaking work by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation developed the Material Circularity Indicator (MCI) that offers insights into material flows for the whole life-cycle of a product. The technique used is known as a Material Flow Analysis (MFA).

The Material Flow Analysis calculates the relation between the amount of primary source materials and the amount of waste (incineration or landfill) and the total mass of a product.

“This relation gives an indication of the raw material used in a product. The more a product contains recycled or re-used materials and the less waste is used the higher the circularity index becomes.”

The Material Circularity Indicator is based on the following six principles:

  1. Sourcing biological materials from sustained sources
  2. Use raw materials from re-used or recycled sources
  3. Use products for longer (by re-using or redistributing)
  4. Re-use components or recycle materials after the use of the product
  5. Use products more intensively (such as through service or sharing models)
  6. Ensure biological materials remain uncontaminated and biologically accessible

For more detailed formulas and definitions consult the documentation available on the Ellen MacArthur Foundation website.

If you want to know more about how to calculate a material circularity indicator and what information is needed read more about the life-cycle assessment method and its procedure.

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