There is growing international interest in the concept of circular economy as a framework for pursuing sustainable economic growth and human prosperity.
A key aspect of circular economy, well-aligned with current objectives of resource efficiency and resource productivity, is the concept of value-retention within economic production-consumption systems. Value-retention processes, such as remanufacturing, refurbishment, repair and arranging direct reuse, enable, to varying degrees, the retention of value, and in some cases the creation of new value for both the producer and customer, at a reduced environmental impact.
This report connects the potential for resource efficiency, via circular economy and the processes that retain product value within the systems, with a policy-relevant lens. The report is one of the first to quantify the current-state and potential impacts associated with the inclusion of value-retention processes within industrial economic systems. In order to do that the assessment applies the different value-retention processes to a series of products within three industrial sectors and quantifies benefits in relation to the original manufactured product, such as the material requirement, the energy used, the waste as well as the costs and the generation of jobs.
The report also highlights the systemic barriers that may inhibit progressive scale-up including regulatory, market, technology and infrastructure barriers, and how they could be overcome.
To read the report – Re-defining Value – The Manufacturing Revolution: Remanufacturing, Refurbishment, Repair and Direct Reuse in the Circular Economy – Click here
Source: UNEP IRP