Product circularity assessment methodology
Paper in proceedings, 2017
In today’s dynamic economic environment, industry is facing global challenges such as meeting the needs of a growing population, resource scarcity and landfill space shortage. These issues highlight the need for a dramatically more efficient use of natural resources to create social and economic value for society while respecting the carrying capacity limits of the planet. Additive manufacturing technologies provide opportunities to support sustainable manufacturing and the circular economy paradigm. These opportunities can be leveraged throughout the product lifecycle: energy and material consumption reduction in manufacturing, lower material use through maintenance, reuse, remanufacturing and recycling. Despite these benefits being more broadly recognised in recent years, industrial applications are still scarce. This work proposes a quantitative methodology to assess the circularities arising along the lifecycle of a product fabricated with additive manufacturing technologies, thereby supporting the shift to more circular industrial systems and sustainability.