Circular economy –
new practical guidelines
By Anne Kirsten Frederiksen & Lena Kristina Carlberg
Circular economy is one of the new buzz words that everybody
has heard about, but only few know exactly how to deal with it.
Most industrial enterprises have not yet evaluated whether they
can see a potential advantage from circular economy or how they
can start working with it.
FOOD METAL Professor Tim McAloone from DTU Mechanical Engineering is head
of several research projects focusing on how to introduce circular
economy into industry. All projects run in close cooperation between
the researchers and industry companies. The aim is to make the results
directly applicable for companies.
One of the projects is named MATChE – Making the Transition to Circular
“The purpose of this project is to develop a method to make it possible
for companies in a simple way to find out if they are ready for circular
economy, and if they are – to give them the right tools to get started
with the transition,” says Tim McAloone.
Ready for circular economy
Part of the project is to develop a “readiness app” with 30 different
questions, which can be answered in around 15 minutes. By answering
the questions, the company will be able to gauge which areas of its
organisation, its business and its product development activities that
should be boosted, to ease the transition to circular economy.
“The test also gives the companies a possibility to benchmark their
readiness for circular economy with other companies of similar size or in
the same line of business. The more people from each company and the
more companies that use the readiness app, the richer the benchmark
“In this way, we will achieve the primary
goal of the project, which is to decrease
the use of raw materials, disposal and CO2
footprint of Danish industry.”
will become. A selection of companies will be offered assistance to start
or continue their circular economy transition. We will develop different
paths that companies can follow to pick up the low hanging fruits and
develop long term goals for circular economy”, explains Tim McAloone.
The methods developed together with the companies will be based
on the suitability of the products, the degree of sustainability and
economic potential, the organisation and the value chain of each
company. The aim is that at least 100 Danish enterprises have used the
app and at least 500 industry representatives have been involved in
MATChE, when the project finishes in 2020.
“In this way, we will achieve the primary goal of the project, which is to
decrease the use of raw materials, disposal and CO2 footprint of Danish
industry, whilst at the same time increase the global market position of
the companies working with circular economy,” says Tim McAloone.
10 Circular economy – new practical guidelines for industry