Workshop sessions at the network conference The role of life cycle thinking in a circular economy, on February 7, 2018

Join one of the following sessions!

Business model innovation as a prerequisite for a circular economy

Many factors determine the life cycle of a product, its parts and its materials. Customer behaviour, product design, collection systems, legislation etc. The business model – the conceptual model of how value is captured and created – is one of these factors. For instance, collection rates will often be higher when a firm sells access to or the result of a product but retains ownership, and obsolescence might become a source of costs rather than repeat sales. Investments in design for upgrades and repair make more sense when the OEM gets part of the aftersales business. Let’s discuss how your business model affects the designed or emergent life cycles of your products, parts and materials.

Discussion led by Marcus Linder, Senior researcher, Sustainable Business, RISE Victoria.


Harmonization of system boundaries in economic and environmental analysis. In which system should the circle be?

In LCA, there are three sub systems: the environmental, the technical and the social. Any assessment is dependent on the system boundaries of these three sub-systems.  In circular economy the same three sub systems apply, but the social system is restricted to economy. But which economy? Private, societal or global intergenerational? System boundaries are difficult and time consuming to describe. Is there a way to categorize and harmonize system boundaries? Which categories would be of greatest interest?

Discussion led by Bengt Steen, Professor emeritus at Chalmers University of Technology and Lisbeth Dahllöf, Senior Project Manager LCA at IVL.


Modelling recycling in LCA – how to allocate the environmental burdens and benefits
The modelling of material recycling can have a decisive impact on the environmental assessment of products that are produced from recycled material or recycled after use. Researchers and other actors in LCA have debated the modelling of recycling since the early 1990s, but no consensus has been reached. Recent developments include a complex approach in the EU guidelines for Product Environmental Footprint (PEF). This might in the future be used for marketing and policy decisions, and thus be of great importance to Swedish companies. Swedish collaboration on this topic increases the chances of affecting how the PEF guide will be used and also the coming revision of the ISO standards on LCA.

Discussion led by Tomas Ekvall, Senior researcher at IVL and adjunct professor at Chalmers
Policy instruments for life-cycles in a circular economy

This session discusses a methodological merge between circular economy analysis and LCA in defining circularity indicators at the product level for the “governance of life cycles” in a circular economy. Traditionally, environmental policymaking tends to regulate single substances such as certain emissions or waste. In a circular economy, policymaking and market solutions need a new system perspective. Can the life cycle be the object of environmental regulation and market solutions, and if so, how? The discussion aims to provide input to 3 large ongoing research projects integrating CE and LCA analyses as well as deepen interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers in CE and LCA.

Discussion led by Magnus Hennlock, Dr Environmental Economics IVL and project manager of Policia, Policies for Life-Cycles, and Integrated Assessment.

Break-even models for circular economy

The story of circular economy is that closed loops in production is a win-win, good for the environment and good for the economy. But why is the development so slow? We want to discuss break-even for using recycled materials instead of virgin from an economical and environmental perspective. Are there any models and how should they be interpreted? What are the pitfalls and how can they be avoided? Given that a circular economy will decrease the environmental impact, where will this reduction show in the LCA?


Discussion led by Anna Widerberg, Manager Environmental Attribute and Material Management, Volvo Cars.


Design for extended use

An increasing number of providers, driven by e.g. customer demands, environmental concerns, and better profit potentials, are changing their business models from traditional sales of products to the provision of solutions that also include the use phase. The profit and costs become connected to the value provided by the solution rather than the product. It triggers a life-cycle thinking into the design process, resulting in e.g. a focus on lowering the total provider’s and customer’s life-cycle costs, e.g. through an extended use phase, rather than achieving a low production cost for used products. This workshop will focus on drivers, preconditions and ways to design for extended use.

Discussion led by Mattias Lindahl, Professor at Linköping University and head of Mistra REES – Resource-Efficient and Effective Solutions. 


How to communicate the role of life cycle thinking in a circular economy?

Welcome to join a creative workshop session where you will get the chance to discuss to most effective way to communicate the role of life cycle thinking in circular economy. What are the key messages to communicate, and how can it be visualized in pictures, symbols and other media. We will use paper, pens, crayons and brain cells – to come up with the most creative and best ideas together.


Discussion led by Ulrika Georgsson, Communications officer, Swedish Life Cycle Center