Measuring the Circular Economy NICER Programme Seminar
Measuring the Circular Economy has been repeatedly ranked as one of the most important topic that the NICER community would like explore, and this was confirmed once again at our sold out ‘Measuring the CE’ event held on Friday 15th October, the first of several events on this topic.
CE-Hub co-directors, Professors Fiona Charnley and Peter Hopkinson were joined by experts in CE modelling and analysis to discuss this multi-dimensional topic. The event explored the challenges of measuring CE at scale – in terms of National Economy and value chain – and discussed the use of national material accounts, biophysical and economic modelling tools, KPIs and a value chain taxonomy to structure complex resource and product flows to guide action, outcome, and system level impact evaluation.
Professor Markus Zils (University of Exeter, CE-Hub, Met4Tech) kicked off the event with an introduction to the CE-Hub Data Observatory – a platform to establish joined-up measures and a core CE taxonomy to enable CE transformation at scale. An example based on Rare Earth Magnets illustrated a way to retain the systemic nature of CE value creation.
In the second session, Professor John Barrett (University of Leeds,) presented the role and application of National Material Accounts and Multi Regional Input-Output modelling to map and quantify national material footprints and emissions. National Materials Accounts can be used to model policy scenarios to reduce resource consumption as well as embodied emissions at resource flow and sectoral scale. Most of the data presented is open source and available through CREDS (links at the end of the article).
Professor Raimund Bleischwitz (UCL, CircularMetal, ICEC-MCM) followed with a discussion on the application of macro-economic modelling, using a variety of data sources including National Material Accounts. Insights from this type of modelling can quantify the economic value of resource use in the economy and has been used in many resource flow related applications, such as the economic impacts of increased steel recycling. Macro-economic approaches can help to measure and quantify employment and economic growth implications of CE policy interventions.
We were then joined by Dr Andy Rees (Welsh Government) who gave the audience an insight into the data requirements for implementing CE Policy monitoring and intervention. Dr Rees discussed the current policies, key performance indicators (KPIs) and targets supporting CE in Wales and what the requirements are to understand and measure progress towards these.
All speakers remained online to take questions from the audience which proved to be insightful and engaging. The content and discussions in the event will contribute to a CE-Hub report on Measuring CE at Scale which will be available to download from our website.
If you wish to rewatch or catch up on the event, recordings of each session are available on the CE-Hub YouTube Channel.
The data presented by Prof. John Barrett are available at: Material Flow data and Resource efficiency strategy information.
The website shown by Dr Andy Rees is MyRecyclingWales.