Milestone achieved: The foundation for the sustainability assessment

The sustainability assessment in the TREASoURcE project is key for demonstrating the sustainability of the systemic circular economy solutions. The team at GreenDelta, together with the project partners SINTEF, SDU and TalTech, achieved an important project milestone for this work package.

With this milestone, a sustainability analysis indicator system and metrics was set up, now ready for further work in the sustainability assessment work package. The indicator system and metrics is an initial collection of indicators that will be included in the sustainability assessment framework. The collection includes impact indicators for sustainability, in a social, environmental, and economic dimension, but also performance indicators for circularity, context indicators as well as market indicators. This way the solutions developed and studied in the project are assessed as a whole.

Nevertheless, this collection of indicators is not the final selection. As the progression of the sustainability assessment method is iterative, the indicator system will be constantly updated throughout the project. The flexible nature of the method is important, as it can thereby adapt to e.g. stakeholder requirements or data availability.

The next steps are also looking exciting! The sustainability assessment team is now working on a system dynamics model in which the indicators will be integrated into. The open-source software “Simantics” is a good tool for system dynamics modelling and will be used for this purpose. Integrating a system dynamics model into sustainability assessments is a somewhat novel approach that allows for, as the name says, a systemic and dynamic analysis of the selected indicators.

With this approach, it is aimed that, for one, given the urgency of sustainability issues, the relatively simple qualitative assessment method will enable a quick identification of hotspots and critical success factors. Second, a focus on local conditions and markets further makes it possible to identify consumer preferences and further gain insight into the feasibility of the CE solutions. The goal is to develop a sustainability assessment method that enables all-inclusive and well-timed decision-making, thereby accelerating the transition to a more sustainable and regenerative economy.

21.03.2023 | Alexander Koch (GreenDelta),