Lecture series: Measuring a sustainable circular economy

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The interdisciplinary tandem lecture by Professor Greiff from the Chair of Anthropogenic Material Cycles and Professor Letmathe from the Chair of Management Accounting focused on the measurement of a sustainable circular economy.

First, the definition of the Circular Economy and the so-called R-strategies were discussed:

1. Reduce resource use: Refuse, Rethink, Reduce

2. Keep products in the cycle as long as possible: Refurbish, Reuse, Repair, Remanufacture, Repurpose.

3. Close loops: Recycle, Recover

Afterwards, different indicators and approaches for measuring sustainable and circular economy were explained and discussed. A holistic monitoring system is the basis for achieving goals in the circular economy. In addition to linking individual R-strategies, it is also important to consider the entire life cycle and to network the various actors in different industrial sectors.

Professor Letmathe presented, among other things, a new publication by former Verbund.NRW PhD student Philipp Dräger and his colleagues, which deals with the comparison of circular economy indicators, as well as the application of a selected, adapted indicator to 89 building products from the categories of insulation materials, plastics, metals and mineral building materials. The results of the study indicate an insufficient implementation of circular economy strategies in the German construction industry so far and a great need for a better implementation of circular economy strategies.

Dräger, Philipp; Letmathe, Peter; Reinhart, Linda Julia; Robineck, Florian:

„Measuring Circularity: evaluation of the circularity of construction products using the ÖKOBAUDAT database”.