Emergy-based indicators to measure circularity: promises and problems
A. Marvuglia 1  
,   R. Santagata 2,   B. Rugani 1,   E. Benetto 1,   S. Ulgiati 2
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Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), 41, rue du Brill, L-L-4422 Belvaux, Luxembourg
Department of Science and Technology, Parthenope University of Naples, Italy
Publication date: 2018-12-31
Polityka Energetyczna – Energy Policy Journal 2018;21(4):179–196
In the constant pursue of the sustainability of socio-industrial systems, the definition of useful, reliable and informative, and at the same time simple and transparent, indicators is an important step for the evaluation of the circularity of the assessed systems. In the circular economy (CE) context, scientific literature has already identified the lack of overarching indicators (social, urban, prevention-oriented, etc.), pointing out that mono-dimensional indicators are not able to grasp the complexity of the systemic, closed-loop, feedback features of CE. In this respect, Emergy accounting is one of the approaches that have been identified as holding the potential to capture both resource generation and product delivery dimensions and therefore to provide an enhanced systems’ evaluation in a CE perspective. Because of Emergy’s intrinsic definition and its calculation structure, Emergy-based indicators conceptually lend themselves very well to the evaluation and monitoring of circular processes. Additionally, Emergy has the unique feature of enabling the evaluation of systems that are not necessarily only technosphere systems, but also of technological systems which embed nature (techno-ecological systems). The present paper gives a perspective on a set of Emergy-based indicators that we have identified as suitable to evaluate circular systems, and outlines the different perspective compared to the circularity indicators defined in the “Circularity Indicators Project” launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Wskaźniki Emergy do pomiaru obiegu zamkniętego: obietnice i problemy
wskaźnik Emergy, gospodarka obiegu zamkniętego, promowanie gospodarki o obiegu zamkniętym
W ciągłym dążeniu do zrównoważenia systemów społeczno-przemysłowych definicja użytecznych, wiarygodnych i informacyjnych, a jednocześnie prostych i przejrzystych wskaźników jest ważnym krokiem w ocenie obiegu zamkniętego ocenianych systemów. W kontekście gospodarki o obiegu zamkniętym, literatura naukowa zidentyfikowała już brak nadrzędnych wskaźników (społecznych, miejskich, zorientowanych na zapobieganie itd.), wskazując, że wskaźniki jednowymiarowe nie są w stanie uchwycić złożoności systemu, close-loop, funkcji sprzężenia zwrotnego gospodarki o obiegu zamkniętym. Pod tym względem rachunkowość Emergy jest jednym z podejść, które zostały zidentyfikowane jako posiadające potencjał do uwzględnienia zarówno zasoby, jak i produkty, co pozwala na ocenę systemu w perspektywie gospodarki o obiegu zamkniętym. Ze względu na definicję Emergy i jej strukturę obliczeniową, wskaźniki oparte na Emergy bardzo dobrze nadają się do oceny i monitorowania procesów o zamkniętych pętlach. Dodatkowo Emergy ma unikalną cechę umożliwiającą ocenę systemów, które niekoniecznie są tylko systemami technosfery, ale także systemami technologicznymi, które biorą pod uwagę naturę (systemy techniczno-ekologiczne). W niniejszym artykule przedstawiono propozycję zestawu wskaźników Emergy, które zostały zidentyfikowane jako odpowiednie do oceny systemów zamkniętych, i nakreślono inną perspektywę w porównaniu ze wskaźnikami zdefiniowanymi w zakresie obiegu zamkniętego przez Ellen MacArthur Foundation w Circulariity Indicators Project.
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