In this document the concept for the circular economy monitor to be developed in the Policy Research Centre Circular Economy is explained in detail. This concept is the result of combining academic expertise, literature insights, feedback from policy officers and developments at the international scene. It has been discussed with and accepted by an audience of policy, sector and societal stakeholders at a workshop held at June 27, 2018.
The circular economy monitor is essentially composed of three levels:
The central appearance of systems to fulfill needs in the context of circular economy monitoring is relatively new. They do not at all appear in current monitoring frameworks, and are only suggested a few times in literature, especially in the broader context of sustainable consumption. The concrete measurement of such systems has still to be developed. In this sense it is an ambitious choice, but justified by the consulted sources and the opinions of stakeholders. There are a number of clear advantages of this perspective:
Overall, the idea of circular economy is to keep products and materials in use at the highest application level as long as possible while decreasing environmental impacts. The result of the different manifestations of this will be visible in the monitor, and will be set against developments in the fulfillments of societal needs themselves. In this way the role that circular economy will and can play in staying in the safe zone with respect to planetary and societal boundaries will be monitored.