CIRCONNECT launches tool for companies to calculate their own environmental impact

Expert Café Impact measurement and LCA _ Self Assessment tool v2

The environmental impact of products can now be quickly and easily mapped out for yourself with the new Self Assessment tool for life cycle analysis. SMEs can use it to make better decisions that contribute to a sustainable and circular economy. TNO developed this tool in cooperation with CIRCO and LBP | Sight and supported by the Circular Manufacturing Industry Implementation Program (UPCM). 


Life cycle analysis as a basis for sustainable product strategies

Sustainability is a topic of conversation at many companies. To become more sustainable, it is essential to know the environmental impact of organizations and products. Life cycle analyses offer a solution for this. But these are specialized, expensive and time-consuming. This is often a barrier for companies to start measuring and improving their environmental impact.

TNO, CIRCO and LBP | Sight combined their knowledge and experience in the new Self Assessment tool. With this they make it easy for manufacturing companies, logistics service providers and repair companies to gain insight into their environmental impact. Companies can use the tool to quickly and easily do a basic screening of their products and services. The tool is freely available to everyone. The knowledge partners, supported by the Circular Manufacturing Industry Implementation Program (UPCM), want to get organizations moving in a sustainable and circular way in this way.

Jeannette Levels-Vermeer - CIRCO Expert Team:

By understanding the environmental impact your products make across the life cycle, you can also discover how to improve it. In the tool, for example, you can easily play with material choices and interventions to come up with new more sustainable product strategies.

Understanding the origins of environmental impact

From materials, operations and distribution to use and end-of-life, the tool can model and analyze one or more life phases. This gives you insight into the origin of a product's environmental impact. The Self Assessment tool also allows you to compare different scenarios. For example, you can map the impact of life extension or visualize the difference between two product designs.

A unique feature of the tool is that it is transparent about the data and scenarios used. This makes it immediately clear what is being calculated. In addition, the tool allows you to add your own data.

The results provide concrete solution directions for making product designs more sustainable. Precisely because a life cycle analysis (LCA) is complex, the tool uses simplified representations. This does mean that for a more precise understanding it is still advisable to engage a consultant in the field of LCAs or environmental product declarations.

Knowledge Platform on Circular Design

TNO and CIRCO are part of CIRCONNECT. This is the multi-stakeholder Knowledge Platform on Circular Design in which 15 partners are now affiliated. The goal of CIRCONNECT is to continuously share, enrich and actively distribute the collective knowledge of circular design. With this knowledge, companies and designers can redesign their products and business models.

The Self Assessment tool was presented for the first time during the CIRCONNECT Expert Café Impact Measurement and Life Cycle Analysis. Here the background and operation of the tool was explained. The Expert Café can be watched back via this link.

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