Circularity Development Program, Blog 2: Quantifying Impact

The second Sprint of the Circularity Development Program focused on exploring where the companies should focus their circularity development to make the most impact. During the sprint, we explored different Circularity measuring practices, KPIs and requirements for circularity development. We heard inspiring examples from H&M's Circularity measurement practices from Ulrika Nordvall Bardh, explored One Click LCA's tool to measure Circularity together with Erik Björn from One Click LCA and learned from the current state of circularity measurements from Vilma Autio and Tuuli Kassi from Ethica.

In this second Circularity Development Program's blog post, we look into measuring impact. ASSA ABLOY's Susanne Lundberg shares her thoughts on quantifying a product's impact.


How can we apply a strategic approach to reduce the environmental impact of our products? By using life-cycle assessment (LCA) methodology we can quantify a product’s existing impact and mitigate this in an effective way.

To minimize our environmental impact, it is essential to reduce the consumption of virgin resourced, curb greenhouse gas emissions and improve resource efficiency through circularity.

To truly understand the environmental consequences of our products or services, it is crucial to analyze their impact from a quantified perspective with a broad view. This provides a better understanding of a product’s life cycle and areas for improvement, such as components’ material types, weight, transportation, or country of origin. Ideally, this assessment should be conducted using LCA methodology early in the innovation process, enabling the identification of critical areas and the implementation of solutions.

You can’t manage what you can’t measure.
- Peter Drucker

As its name suggests, an LCA evaluation covers the product’s whole life cycle from material extraction, manufacturing, usage and disposal. Ideally, the result describes its impact in multiple environmental categories, such as global warming, resource use and acidification potential. Such an approach facilitates effective plans to mitigate these, which may involve modifying a product’s design, manufacturing location or transportation method.

Without using quantified data in the evaluation, the activities carried out by the manufacturer may prove to be inadequate. Examples of this include moving emissions from one end of the value chain to another, or reducing the environmental impact in one area which leads to increasing it in another.

An internationally accepted standard for circular products in construction sector would provide the ideal foundation to mandate a specified reduction in environmental impact from products. The standard could include requirements such as key performance indicators to ensure comparability between companies and to prevent ‘greenwashing.’

By participating in this program with Combient Pure, Vasakronan, KONE and Swegon we aim to take the next step to use resources more efficiently and contribute to a healthier planet. Through these collective efforts, we are working together for a sustainable future.

- Susanne Lundberg, Global Sustainable Products Manager, ASSA ABLOY

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