Session 7.2: Methodology: Assessing the social impact of the circular economy through Social LCA
The circular economy (CE), i.e. a regenerative growth model that gives back to the planet more than it takes, is at the core of the EU policy strategy to achieve a low-carbon, resource-efficient and environmental-friendly economy for a fair, prosperous, and inclusive society (ref. to EGD and 2nd CEAP).
The CE can lead to environmental benefits in global production systems (e.g., reduced depletion of resources and emissions of greenhouse gases) and offers socio-economic opportunities (e.g., increased resilience, jobs, and turnover of companies). The CE comes also with the risk of socio-economic trade-offs and other challenges, for example associated with market and consumption dynamics, and the availability of financial resources, technologies and knowledge to develop functional, safe and affordable solutions for citizens. However, many CE concepts lack a detailed analysis of aspects and impacts associated with the social dimension of sustainability.
In this respect, S-LCA can be a powerful tool to assess social benefits, impacts and risks associated with circular economy practices, adopting a value chain approach.
This session aims to link S-LCA with CE by collecting theoretical contributions, as well as case studies, that either:
1. Address how S-LCA can be used to assess social issues related to the CE at different levels (i.e., micro-scale – products/organisations – and macro-scale – territories);
2. Assess social benefits, impacts and risks associated with circular v. linear solutions through the use S-LCA and related indicators;
3. Investigate how the use of S-LCA could be spread to support the transition from a linear to a more circular economy (e.g. through sustainable finance, social innovations, educational activities).
Social assessment of a project for the recovery and recycling of nutrients from slaughterhouse wastewater in the framework of a Circular Economy model
2B Srl, Italy
Assessing the social impact of circular economy practices: the case of the recycling system of Cuenca- Ecuador
1Inclusive Circular Economy and Sustainable Development Research Group. Department of Space and Population. University of Cuenca; 2Faculty of Economics and Business Administration. University of Cuenca; 3Faculty of Chemical Sciences. University of Cuenca
Circular economy, SDG 12, and the Areas of Protection of social LCA
Aalborg University, Denmark
Social and Societal Impact Assessment of Circular and Bio-Based Construction
KU Leuven, Department of Civil Engineering, Building Physics and Sustainable Design, Technology Campus Gent
Social LCA integrated in the SEEbalance® approach as a new and applicable approach for industries
BASF SE, Germany