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Observation and measurement of progress towards Europe's circular ambition is critical for reviewing policy implementation; and guiding future actions. There are currently a number of monitoring frameworks focussed on Europe’s circular economy, including the European Commission’s Circular Economy Monitoring Framework. The Circularity Metrics Lab (CML) complements these initiatives by providing additional information on the growth of the circular economy from novel sources and across a wide range of perspectives.
The 'Lab' aspect of the CML refers to the intention to gather a diverse group of metrics to inform on the status and trends towards a circular economy. The metrics chosen will include some 'Indicators', which are well-established and EU-wide datasets; and some 'Signals' which though informative, are less complete and may include scientific studies, surveys, and country-level datasets.
There are currently a number of monitoring frameworks focussed on Europe’s circular economy, including the European Commission’s Circular Economy Monitoring Framework. The existing frameworks are strong in understanding macrophenomena, and, particularly, aggregated accounting of material flows associated with resource supply and waste. These aspects are part of “circularity” in that a sustainable circular economy would be one with material flows with low virgin resource supply and high recirculation of waste. However, some other elements of circular economy are less well covered in existing monitoring approaches, often because the data flows to understand them are fragmented or non-existent. By combining novel sources and a wider range of perspectives, the CML complements existing initiatives by compiling responsive data on the growth of the circular economy.
The diagram below maps out a logic framework for the areas of change in developing the circular economy. This framework provides the structure used in the CML.