UBC Faculty Research and Publications

A Methodological Approach to Designing Circular Economy Indicators for Agriculture: An Application to the Egg Sector Rukundo, Roger; Bergeron, Stéphane; Bocoum, Ibrahima; Pelletier, N.; Doyon, Maurice


Analysing production systems from a circular economy (CE) perspective helps to pinpoint interventions to mitigate the environmental footprint by improving resource use efficiency, waste recovery, and prolonged product usage, recycling and reuse. Few studies exist on the measurement of CE at the micro-level. Additionally, available metrics/indicators address only certain aspects of the CE’s socio-economic metabolism, ignoring important components of the CE concept. Other frameworks propose a single indicator that aggregates and summarizes several facets of CE. This study develops a holistic approach for designing indicators with a structured methodology and an analytical framework to assess CE at the micro (unit of production) level in agriculture. The proposed approach is based on the ECOGRAI method for indicator development, and on validation of the methods with experts and final users via an application to egg production in Canada. Twenty-five performance indicators (PI) were generated for 11 decision variables that were selected as important for the sector. This resulted in a practical tool that proposes fourteen actions to improve the economic circularity (EC) of egg farms. Our methodological approach could be replicated to assess CE performance in other agricultural sectors.

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