The Proposal of an Environmental Break-Even Point as Assessment Method of Product-Service Systems for Circular Economy
Paper in proceeding, 2018

In this paper we propose a method to assess technology-based product-service systems and help manufacturing companies in decision making with a new indicator: the environmental break-even point (e-BEP), equivalent to the economic indicator applied to environmental performance. A case study is presented to provide a concrete application of the indicator: when designing an optical sorter for electronic waste, the e-BEP revealed how many mobile phones must be either repurposed or recycled for the sorter to offset the system’s environmental impact. The e-BEP shows potential to make CEOs and production managers adopt a product life-cycle thinking in their technology investments.

mobile phones

technology assessment

environmental performance


sustainability assessment

circular economy

Break-even point



Ilaria Giovanna Barletta

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Mélanie Despeisse

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Björn Johansson

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Procedia CIRP

22128271 (ISSN)

Vol. 72 720-725

51st CIRP Conference on Manufacturing Systems, CIRP CMS 2018
Stockholm, Sweden,

RESMAC - Repurposing Smartphone Capabilities

VINNOVA (2017-03242), 2017-11-01 -- 2018-08-31.

Knowledge and technology for more sustainable e-waste recycling (WEEE ID)

VINNOVA (2013-03082), 2013-11-01 -- 2015-12-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Construction Management

Other Environmental Engineering

Environmental Management



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