Metrics-based System for Evaluating Product Circularity and Enhancing the Circular Design of Consumer Electronics Products

Grants and Contracts Details


A Metrics-based System for Measuring the Circularity of Consumer Electronics Products Project Summary Through a greater understanding of the major influencing factors of circular economy and sustainable manufacturing, this proposal will develop a comprehensive framework and metrics-based approach for product circularity evaluation. The proposal will also establish the approach for facilitating increased adoption of the developed product circularity evaluation method by product designers and engineers by focusing on, and deliberately engaging key stakeholders of, the consumer electronics industry. Sustainable Manufacturing for Circular Economy To sustainably meet the needs of a growing world population that aspires to higher living standards, it is vital to transition from the linear and ‘take-make-dispose’ practices to circular economy focusing on a restorative and regenerative approach. This cannot be achieved unless the industrial sector focuses on designing products for closed-loop and multi-lifecycle material flow, and on the sustainable manufacturing of such products considering economic, environmental and societal performance. Recent research trends in sustainable manufacturing reveal the tremendous potential for developing and implementing science-based principles to establish the technological foundation for circular economy. Key Challenge to Circular Product Design: Lack of Comprehensive Metrics-based Method to Assess Product Circularity Operationalizing the circular economy goals requires scientifically sound methods for circular product design, supported by accepted and standardized methods for assessing product circularity. While numerous methods have been proposed for evaluating product circularity, many limitations remain to be addressed: most methods are not founded upon a concrete definition of circularity and fail to clearly identify the fundamental attributes or key elements necessary for assessing product circularity; only a few explicitly consider sustainability aspects. Too much generality, without industry sector specificity, and the lack of stakeholder engagement also continue to hinder industry adoption of proposed methods. Thus, the lack of industry-accepted, comprehensive and metrics-based methods for product circularity evaluation is a major challenge to enhancing circular product design practices. Proposed Approach to a Solution Responding to this challenge, this proposed project, in collaboration with a leading company engaged in the consumer electronic product-service sector (Amazon), will focus on developing a metrics-based system for evaluating the circularity of consumer electronics products. The specific objectives of the project are: • Developing a comprehensive framework and metrics-based approach for product circularity evaluation • Engaging stakeholders for product circularity measurement requirements identification and developing pathways towards standardization of product circularity metrics • Formulating an approach to validate the metrics-based product circularity evaluation method for consumer electronic products
Effective start/end date9/1/2212/31/23


  • National Institute of Standards & Technology: $125,076.00


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