How to's might be one of the most searched-for terms in Google. So why not create one regarding circular economy? Well, here I suggest 7 steps to know if your company is on the road to circularity based on the suggestions of the specilized literature and the proposal of the top four organizations working on the topic of circularity assessment.
If you follow these you would be able to know if you are on the right track or not (hopefully you are):
1. Products and offerings: Identify the products/offerings of your company.
2. Value: Define your value proposition, delivered through such products/offerings.
3. Processes: Identify all the processes that result in your product/offering.
4. Organization: Establish all the other processes that allow you to deliver your value proposition.
Once you have a clear picture of your organization it is time to ask the tough questions!
5. Circular products/offerings: Regarding your products/offerings, there are 7 things that you should be able to assess: use intensity, hazardousness, circulated inputs, criticality of inputs, locality, restorativeness and ethics.
6. Circular value: In terms of value proposition, it is necessary to calculate the value retention potential you have if you implemented different circular strategies as well as the material intensity of your value proposition.
7. Circular processes: Processes are also important for assessing circularity. To know if they are circular or not, you need to see if they include circular design, use renewable energy, how much waste they generate and what kind of circular inputs do they use.
8. Circular organization: Finally, your organizational aspects need to be evaluated as well. You need to know if circularity is part of your strategy, if you communicate circular principles and values to your stakeholders. In addition to this you have to assess what is your level of collaboration with other actors, your transparency and integrity. Finally, you have to ask yourself if your company contributes to surpassing the planetary boundaries.
These are general indications for conducting a circularity assessment based on the specialized literature, expert opinions and assessment proposals. Specific tools have been developed by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation and Circle Economy for companies to assess their circularity. Other organizations working on the topic are VBDO and Viktoria ICT Swedish. If you are interested, contact them to know more about their initiatives.