IMPACT MEASUREMENT METHODOLOGY (IMM)
We are an impact start-up and therefore we seek to contribute to a better world. We cannot act on all the current problems, but we can do our bit to end the concept of waste and for the real implementation of the circular economy, #BecauseWasteDoesn'tExist. We consider our impact from the economic, environmental and social perspectives, as we believe that the three concepts go hand in hand.
In addition, we believe it is important to measure the impact generated by our activities, as well as to inform companies of the benefits you can generate with each waste recovery. For this reason, we have developed our own methodology for impact measurement. We tell you a bit more about it below.
What is the Impact Measurement Methodology?
The Methodology for Impact Measurement of recircular is the tool that we have developed to measure the value that our users generate with the recovery of residues carried out. It is a tool that calculates indicators such as the reduction of carbon footprint, water footprint, cumulative energy demand and increased life expectancy. This has already been integrated into our online platform.
It is our own methodology, as there are currently no tools that measure the specific impact of what we do in recircular. However, we have based ourselves on internationally recognised methodologies such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which we have adapted to the situation of recircular. On the one hand, we measure the impact achieved through the recovery of resources (waste, by-products, production residues), that is, by preventing these resources from ending up in the landfill or being incinerated. Landfill and incineration are options outside the circular economy and generate negative effects such as soil and groundwater contamination or greenhouse gas emissions, among others.
By giving a second life to these resources we avoid these types of pollution, but we also contribute to reducing the consumption of virgin raw materials. Therefore, the methodology also measures the impact of replacing the virgin raw materials needed for production, which no longer have to be extracted and processed, with the recovered resources.
Likewise, we take into account the impact of transport and the intermediate processes that have to be carried out to adapt the resources to a second life, such as washing, grinding or pressing, among others.
The tool allows us to generate reports that include the above indicators, which companies can use in their non-financial reporting, in the fulfilment of their environmental and social objectives, circular policies and corporate social responsibility or green marketing strategies. These reports can be automatically downloaded in the profile of each user in the platform once the valorisation transactions are completed. We can also generate them directly for those companies that, while maintaining their current management, want to measure the impact generated (as described in the services section).
Considerations and details of the methodology
In developing the methodology we had to simplify some aspects and make certain assumptions and standardisations, for example in relation to waste composition, treatments or transport. This has been necessary in order to develop a complete methodology that can be adapted to different types of resources and that can be integrated into our digital platform to automate its operation. Despite this, we have been rigorous in our approach to the tool and the assumptions made have been agreed with experts in the field.
Our methodology has been developed together with the Basque Ecodesign Hub, promoted by Ihobe and supervised by IK Ingeniería.
Below we detail the tools and data used in the development of the methodology, as well as some of the assumptions made:
The methodology uses various tools, such as SimaPro and Idematapp, and databases and calculation methods, such as ecoinvent, ELCD, ReCiPe 2016 Midpoint (H) version 1.02, Cumulative Energy Demand version 1.10, AWARE method version 1.01, Human Health from ReCiPe 2016 Endpoint (H).
Statistical data from the Directorate General for Traffic, in relation to transport, and from Eurostat, in relation to waste data in Spain, have been used. In those cases where no data from Spain were directly found, European data were assumed as a reference..
In modelling the impact of the use of recovered materials it has been assumed that the waste replaces itself, i.e. the proportions of materials that make up the waste.
In the case of ranges in the data used, the most conservative option has been taken as a preference.