The Material Circularity Indicator (MCI) represents the degree of the material flow's circulatory on a scale of 0 to 1. The higher the score, the more recyclable or circular the product.
The MCI can be a decision-making tool for product designers and buyers to select materials, use it for reporting or to evaluate companies. The assumption here is that the circularity of a company is made up of the individual material circularities of its products.
MCI = 1
To get a result of 1, all the raw materials used would have to come from reused components or recycled materials, without any loss in recycling (100% recycling efficiency). Any waste generated during the production and end of life of the product would also have to be reused or recycled without any loss ("zero waste").
MCI = 0,1
A product with completely linear material flows, where all raw materials come from virgin material and no waste is reused or recycled at all, is valued at 0.1. To achieve a value below 0.1, the benefit of the product would have to be lower than that of an average industrial product (i.e., the product would have to have a shorter life or lower intensity of use). A product with completely linear material flows but with a higher utility than an average industrial product would have an MCI > 0.1.
Companies that want to improve the sustainability of their products or, at first, decide on their current status often use Life Cycle Assessments (LCA). Here, all incoming and outgoing material and energy flows of a product are recorded over its entire life cycle and on this basis the resulting possible environmental effects are derived.
In order to be able to calculate the results of LCAs, it is common to use dedicated software tools such as our GaBi Software. These allow the user to construct detailed models of the life cycle of the product systems they want to examine. There is a great deal of overlap in the data requirements for developing LCA models and for calculating the MCI.
Both require information on mass flows of raw materials and wastes, on whether raw materials are obtained from virgin, recycled or reused sources and on how waste are treated. Taking advantage of this commonality of data, thinkstep has developed the GaBi Circularity Toolkit. This can be applied to GaBi LCA models and requires making some minor adjustments that then allows the MCI to be calculated alongside conventional LCA results. The GaBi Circularity Toolkit lets you apply the power of GaBi’s scenario analysis features to quickly and conveniently calculate MCI results of different alternatives. This is much faster and more reliable than attempting to calculate the MCI in a spreadsheet. In this form it is unique on the market.
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GaBi Circularity Toolkit
Quantify and benchmark the circularity of your products: the GaBi Circularity Toolkit, an add-on to GaBi ts, allows you to implement the Material Circularity Indicator within GaBi LCA models and supports the evaluation of alternative scenarios to identify an environmentally sound circular economy solution.
GaBi Circularity Toolkit
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