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Title: A pathway to circular economy: Developing a conceptual framework for complex value assessment of resources recovered from waste
Authors: Iacovidou, E
Millward-Hopkins, J
Busch, J
Purnell, P
Velis, CA
Hahladakis, JN
Zwirner, O
Brown, A
Keywords: circular economy;waste management;resource recovery;complex value;sustainability assessment;systems of provision
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Journal of Cleaner Production, 2017, 168: pp. 1279 - 1288
Abstract: © 2017 The Authors - The transition to a circular economy, where the value of resources is preserved in the technosphere, must be supported by policies and operational decision-making based on evidence. Existing methods used to provide this evidence (e.g. LCA, LCSA, CBA) are not robust enough to adequately address the creation and dissipation of systemic and multidimensional value that spans the social, environmental, economic and technical domains. This study proposes a novel, conceptual approach that seeks to assess how complex value is created, destroyed and distributed in resource recovery from waste systems. This approach expands beyond conventional methods of estimating value. It combines scientific and engineering methods with a socio-political narrative grounded in the systems of provision (sop) approach, and provides a comprehensive, analytical framework for making the transition to a resource-efficient future. This framework has the potential to connect bottom-up and top-down approaches in assessing resource recovery from waste systems, and address systemic challenges through transparency and flexibility, while accounting for the dynamic and non-linear nature of commodities flow and infrastructure provision in the overall system. This creates the pathway towards circular economy, and lays the foundations for future advances in computational and assessment methodologies in the field of RRfW.
ISSN: 0959-6526
Appears in Collections:Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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