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TitleComparative analysis of micro level indicators for evaluating the progress towards a circular economy
Author(s)Matos, Joana
Martins, Carla I.
Simões, Carla L.
Simões, Ricardo João Ferreira
KeywordsCircular economy
Micro indicators
Sustainability assessment
Issue dateJun-2023
JournalSustainable Production and Consumption
Abstract(s)With the transition from a linear to a more circular economic model, tools are required to monitor the effect of adopted changes, and to assist in further decision-making along time. Within this context, circularity micro- indicators have been proposed by many authors as a fairly simple tool to measure progress towards a more circular economy, at the product or company level. However, these circularity micro-indicators do not follow a standard, vary widely in complexity and approach, and some of them are extremely narrow focused on only a few aspects of the entire product life cycle, hampering their practical adoption by companies. Based on existing literature on categorization and assessment of micro-level indicators, we have further explored a large number of indicators, identifying common features, and highlighting particularly relevant correlations between indicators as we cross-reference different classification schemes. We further assessed their characteristics to assist com- panies in selecting which micro-indicators to adopt in different stages of their product development processes. Results show an unbalance towards indicators focused on environmental and economic dimensions compared to the social dimension, with indicators that incorporate multiple dimensions associated only to end-of-life man- agement and remanufacturing. We conclude also that most indicators that tackle more than a single dimension of sustainability require collecting external data, and that the measure of circularity for a significant number of them is dependent on external conditions (market and legislation) that go beyond the decisions and strategy of the company. This study will further help in the understanding of the practical application of the micro- indicators as well as their adoption by industry, which will promote the transition to a more circular economy.
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:IPC - Artigos em revistas científicas internacionais com arbitragem

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