Decision Support Methodology for Designing Efficient and Sustainable Recycling Pathways
Guilhem Grimaud1,2, Bertrand Laratte2,3, Nicolas Perry2
1MTB Recycling/Arts & Métiers ParisTech, France; 2Arts & Métiers ParisTech, I2M-IMC, UMR 5295, Talence, France; 3APESA-Innovation, France
Decoupling consumption and resource depletion is vital to maintain our standard of living. The circular economy offers a partial answer to resource depletion. Recycling is inherent in the circular economy strategies that why industrial companies are developing recycling solutions in close loop. Close loop recycling approaches are often motivated by economic considerations. Although the environmental benefits of recycling are well acknowledged, the industrial recycling processes need to be optimised in regard with their environmental and economic balance.
It is therefore essential for the designers of recycling solutions to have tools and methods to evaluate the economic and environmental performance of recycling processes. These performances need to be put into perspective of the technical performance of each recycling solution. Until now, tools such as Mass Flow Analysis (MFA), Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Cost (LCC) could be used to assess the environmental and economic performances. Such tools are complex and time consuming. Furthermore, the performance comparison is exclusively isoperimetric, the process optimisations are complicated to integrate into the performance indicators.
MTB company, an international manufacturer and operator of recycling solutions in France, has launched a sustainable strategy, in order to reduce the environmental impact of its recycling solutions. To do so, a performance evaluation method has been implemented in the design approach of the company. This evaluation method was arranged to use the Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) claims and a process Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) database using both variable and invariable unit process. During the design phases, specific information is provided to establish the unit process performance of each recycling scenario.
In this article, we present how the decision support methodology was building up and its articulation in the design phases.