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Programme Category


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Materials life cycle sustainability analysis

  • Develop approaches/methodologies to incorporate social and economic indicators in sustainability evaluations;
  • Develop approaches and select indicators that allow formalising connections between subsystems. Existing standard methods[[,]] should be used in this project for assessing environmental impacts. As regards, social life cycle assessment it is suggested to build on the work done by the Life Cycle Initiative[[]];
  • Develop a quantitative approach that allows assessment of the sustainability multi-criteria trade-offs of circularity (cradle to cradle) dynamically in real cases. The approach needs to facilitate the incorporation of existing product LCSA harmonised approaches;
  • Develop a public demonstration of the LCSA approach, which can contribute towards effective uptake of LCSA within different sectors;
  • Work with industrial associations and clusters to engage with industry and especially SMEs but also with consumer organisations, as well as governmental and standardisation bodies;
  • Stimulate the use of existing ontologies developed under Horizon 2020.

Clustering and cooperation with other selected projects under this cross-cutting call and other relevant projects is strongly encouraged.

Proposals submitted under this topic should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction of this part of the Work Programme.

Activities should start at TRL 3 and achieve TRL 6 at the end of the project.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU around EUR 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The main purpose of the Circular Economy (CE) is to develop material/product business models that are economically and environmental sustainable, with actions supporting each stage of the value chain (from production to consumption, from design to recycling and upcycling of waste-materials) while promoting industrial and social innovation. In line with this, the challenge is to evaluate product improvement, taking into consideration, all relevant subsystem interactions (environmental, economic and social) and all the life cycle stages of the product. However, although environmental indicators and methodologies for product level assessment are well advanced and harmonised (LCA-PEF[[]]) this is not yet the case as regards the social and economic pillars of sustainability assessment. Life cycle sustainability analysis (LCSA) is needed, integrating social and economic benefits with environmental burdens, which fit these causal interrelations into an holistic approach understandable to different stakeholders.

  • More robust early-stage evaluations and increase consistency across sectors and through value chains through improved sustainability evaluation tools;
  • Better informed investment decision-making for future products and processes through improved visualisation and communication of potential sustainability trade-offs with stakeholders
  • Support the implementation of EU policies, including the transition to a more circular economy at different scales of economic and social conditions.
  • Creation of new business opportunities and increased competiveness of EU industries and supporting SMEs in the transition to the circular and sustainable economy;
  • Improved product investment decisions for industry;
  • Contribution to a future LCSA at European Union level linked to the certification of final products.