Circularity strategies aim to reduce the material footprint of products through material recovery and efficient material use. Materials and products that go unrecovered represent missed opportunities in deriving more value from supply chains by transforming design, manufacturing, and post-consumer materials management processes. Linking circularity strategies to social, economic and environmental analysis is crucial to estimating the benefits of resource recovery and reuse strategies, and inform which strategies to invest in to meet overall sustainability goals.
The circularity focus area aims to answer the question: where should effort be invested for the most effective path to sustainable circular economies? Our goal is to understand the reasons for existing limits to circularity and provide rigorous research and analyses on materials and technologies as well as techno-economic and policy aspects of material recovery. To do so, we are collaborating across research groups at MIT and leveraging the cross-industry platform that the MIT Climate & Sustainability Consortium facilitates.