Measuring the circular economy of a product and of a company are two different and distinct approaches that evaluate circularity from different perspectives. Here are the main differences:
Measurement of the circular economy of a product:
The measurement of the circular economy of a product specifically focuses on evaluating the life cycle of an individual product, considering aspects such as design, production, use, and end-of-life. The indicators used in measuring circular products include factors such as recyclability of materials, recycled content, energy efficiency, resource usage, greenhouse gas emissions, and other product-specific factors. The goal is to create products that maximize resource efficiency, reduce the consumption of virgin materials, and have a reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycle.
Measurement of the circular economy of a company:
The measurement of the circular economy of a company looks at the entire company system, considering the circular approach adopted in resource management, production, and the overall value chain of the company. Indicators used in measuring circular companies include aspects such as the use of renewable energy, waste production and management, adoption of sharing or rental business models, collaboration with suppliers and partners to promote circularity, and other company strategies aimed at reducing overall environmental impact. The goal is to transform the company into an organization that adopts sustainable processes and practices, integrating circular economy principles into all its activities.
In summary, measuring the circular economy of a product focuses on the specific characteristics of that product and its life cycle, while measuring the circular economy of a company looks at the circular approach adopted at the company level, including broader processes, policies, collaborations, and practices. Both approaches are complementary and aim to promote the transition to a more sustainable circular economy.
Note that if a company is active in applying circular strategies, it does not necessarily mean that its products are circular. Similarly, if a product is circular, it does not necessarily mean that the company producing it is circular. This statement is based on Matrec’s experience with projects carried out and ongoing with companies from various sectors.