Glossary

Arranging direct reuse: The collection, inspection and testing, cleaning and redistribution of a product back into the market under controlled conditions (e.g. a formal business undertaking).

Avoided environmental impacts: Refers to a scenario-based demonstration of the environmental impacts that are avoided by an economy due to the use of value-retention processes (VRPs) within the production mix. (Refer to terms Value-Retention Process, and Production Mix, below). This approach presents the differential environmental impacts between a scenario in which total supply comes from original equipment manufacturer (OEM) New units and the scenario in which total supply incorporates the actual economy-specific production mix which includes value-retention processes (VRPs) to varying degrees. This impact differential, based on actual production volumes, presents the environmental impacts that are avoided because of the economy-specific production mix.

Component: Refers to a constituent part of a broader defined system; an element of a larger whole object that could be a part and/or a product.
For the purposes of this report, the component is used to refer to the constituent parts of the defined case study products.

Comprehensive refurbishment: Refers to the refurbishment of used equipment that takes place within industrial or factory settings, with a high standard and level of refurbishment. Refurbishment increases or restores the product’s performance and/or functionality and enables the product to meet applicable technical standards or regulatory requirements, with the result of making a fully functional product to be used for a purpose that is at least the one that was originally intended (Please refer to Refurbishment term below).

Core: A core is a previously sold, worn or non-functional product or module, intended for the remanufacturing process. During reverse-logistics, a core is protected, handled and identified for remanufacturing to avoid damage and to preserve its value. A core is usually not waste or scrap, and it is not intended to be reused for other purposes before comprehensive refurbishment or remanufacturing takes place.

Economic impacts: Refers to the economic impact metrics addressed within this study, specifically: cost advantage ($ USD); and employment opportunity (Full-time equivalent worker, or FTE).

Embodied material emissions: Refers to the carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas equivalent emissions emitted during the extraction and primary processing stages of materials later used as inputs to OEM New and value-retention process production activities; ‘cradle-to-gate’ up until entering the production facility ‘gate’. Modelling of embodied material emissions uses a material-specific conversion (kgCO2-eq./unit), based on the global average for each material type, in accordance with the Inventory of Carbon and Emissions (ICE) (Hammond and Jones 2011).

Embodied material energy: Refers to the energy consumed during the extraction and primary processes stages of materials later used as inputs to OEM New and value-retention process production activities; ‘cradle-to-gate’ up until entering the production facility ‘gate’. Modelling of embodied material energy uses a material-specific conversion (MJ/kg), based on the global average for each material type, in accordance with the Inventory of Carbon and Emissions (ICE)(Hammond and Jones 2011).

End-of-life (EOL): Refers to the point in the product or object’s service life at which the product or object is no longer able to function or perform as required, and for which there are no other options for the product but to be recycled or disposed into the environment. End-of-use (EOU): Refers to the point in the product or object’s service life at which the product may not be needed by the current owner/user, or able to function or perform as required, and for which there are other options available to keep the product and/or its components within the market, via value-retention processes (VRPs). It is important to note that EOU may occur without any product issue at all: The owner may simply no longer want or need the fully-functioning product, even though it has not yet fulfilled its entire expected service life. This includes various forms of obsolescence, which refers to the process of becoming obsolete, outdated or no longer used due to defects (material obsolescence), lack of interoperability or incompatibility of software (functional obsolescence), the desire for a new version (psychological obsolescence), or because repair/maintenance to maintain performance is expensive (economic obsolescence).

End-of-waste (EOW): Refers to conditions under which certain specified waste shall cease to be waste (per Directive 2008/98/EC), specifically: when it has undergone a recovery, including recycling; the substance or object is commonly used for specific purposes; a market or demand exists for such a substance or object; the substance or object fulfills the technical requirements for the specific purposes and meets the existing legislation and standard applicable to products, and the use of the substance or object will not lead to overall adverse environmental or human health impacts. (Directive 2008/98/EC) Environmental impacts: Refers to the environmental impact metrics addressed within this study, specifically: new material offset (avoided) (kg); embodied material energy (MJ); embodied material emissions (kgCO2-eq.); process energy (MJ); and process emissions (kgCO2-eq.).

Environmental Racism: refers to the way in which minority group neighbourhoods (populated primarily by people of colour and members of low socioeconomic groups) are burdened with a disproportionate number of hazards, including toxic waste facilities, garbage dumps, and other sources of environmental pollution and foul odours that lower the quality of life. All around the globe, members of minority groups bear a greater burden of the health problems that result from higher exposure to waste and pollution. This can occur due to unsafe or unhealthy work conditions where no regulations exist (or are enforced) for poor workers, or in neighbourhoods that are uncomfortably close to toxic materials.
What is Environmental Racism? (Video)
Environmental Racism (Video)

Expected service life: Refers to the manufacturer’s expectations about the time period for which a product can be used, usually specified as a median, and reflecting the time that the product can be expected to be serviceable and/or supported by its manufacturer.

Forward-logistics: Refers to the traditional flow of products from the point of production through to the consumer and reflects a traditional supply chain management perspective focused on product delivery.

Full-service life: Refers to value-retention processes (VRPs) that enable the fulfillment of a complete new life for every usage cycle of the product, and includes manufacturing (OEM new), comprehensive refurbishment, and remanufacturing. These processes take place within factory settings and industrial operations.

In-use product stock: Refers to products in ‘active use’, including those being repaired for return to the original user. Different from traditional ‘stock’ terminology, In-Use Product Stock excludes end-of-use (EOU) products that have been removed from the marketplace to be used as input to direct reuse, refurbishment, comprehensive refurbishment, or remanufacturing. For purposes of clarity, In-Use Product Stock also excludes end-of-life (EOL) products that have entered recycling or disposal streams.

Life cycle assessment (LCA): As defined by the International Standards Organization (ISO), refers to a technique for the assessment of environmental aspects and potential impacts associated with a product by compiling an inventory of relevant inputs and outputs of a product system, evaluating the potential environmental impacts associated with those inputs and outputs, and interpreting the results of the inventory analysis and impact assessment phases in relation to the objectives of the study. (ISO 14040/44, 2006).

Module: Refers to a self-contained unit or item, such as an assembly or segment of a larger product, which itself performs a defined task and can be linked with other such units to form a larger system.

New material: Refers to the total ‘new’ (not reused via value-retention processes (VRPs)) material that is required as inputs to complete each OEM New and Value-Retention Process. New material can include a mixture of virgin (primary) and recycled (secondary) content, given that most of materials available for purchase in the global economy consist of some mixture thereof. The assumed ratio of virgin and recycled content used in modeling is based on the global average for each material type, in accordance with the Inventory of Carbon and Emissions (ICE)(Hammond and Jones 2011).

Original equipment manufacturer (OEM): Refers to the manufacturer of the original parts or equipment, including the items manufactured, assembled and installed during construction of a new product. The OEM may or may not be responsible for marketing and/or selling of the product.

OEM new: Refers to traditional linear manufacturing production process activities that rely on 100 per cent new material inputs, and which are performed by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

Part: Refers to a piece or segment of an object; may also be a component of a product. For the purposes of this report, part is used to acknowledge that the case study product may be a component of a larger defined product (e.g. vehicle parts, which are components of a vehicle).

Partial service life: Refers to value-retention processes (VRPs) that enable the completion of, and/or slight extension of, the expected product life, through arranging direct reuse of the product, repair, and refurbishment. These processes take place within maintenance or intermediate maintenance operations.

Potential reusability: Refers to the extent to which a product complies with End-of-Waste conditions, and thus qualifies as an input to value-retention processes.

Primary material: Also referred to as virgin material, refers to a material that has not been previously used or consumed, or subjected to processing other than for its original production. The primary material is assumed to contain no (zero) recycled content.

Process emissions: Refers to the carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas equivalent emissions emitted during the OEM New and/or value-retention process production activities. Modeling of process emissions is based on process energy (MJ/unit), converted using economy specific Global Warming Potential (GWP) 100a factors to account for grid mix of the producing economy (Ecoinvent 3.3 2016).

Process energy: Refers to direct at-the-meter energy consumed during the OEM New and/ or value-retention process production activities, grossed-up to account for economy-specific electricity supply-chain efficiencies. Scaled process energy results include direct electricity consumption, as well as average electricity generation, transmission, and distribution losses specific to the producing economy (World Energy Council 2015).

Product: Refers to an article, object or substance that is manufactured or refined for sale, that is the final output of a process.

Product lifetime: Refers to the period that starts at the moment a product completes original manufacture and ends when the product is beyond any reuse or recovery at the product-level. (den Hollander, Bakker, and Hultink 2017)

Product platform: Refers to a set of common elements, including underlying technical components, parts or technology that are shared across a range of the company’s products. New derivative products can be developed and launched by the company based on a common product platform.

Production mix: Refers to the equivalent production shares of OEM New and Value-Retention Processes that are adopted within a sample economy under different scenario conditions. Like ‘market share’, this refers to the percentage of total production that is accounted for by each production process.

Recycling: Refers to the relevant operations specified in Annex IV B to the Basel Convention. Recycling operations usually involves the reprocessing of waste into products, materials or substances, though not necessarily for the original purpose, and does not cover operations that recover energy from waste.

Refurbishment: Refers to the modification of an object that is a waste or a product that takes place within maintenance or intermediate maintenance operations to increase or restore performance and/ or functionality or to meet applicable technical standards or regulatory requirements, with the result of making a fully functional product to be used for a purpose that is at least the one that was originally intended. The restoration of functionality, but not value, enables a partial new service life for the product.

Remanufacturing: Refers to a standardized industrial process that takes place within industrial or factory settings, in which cores are restored to original as-new condition and performance, or better. The remanufacturing process is in line with specific technical specifications, including engineering, quality, and testing standards, and typically yields fully warranted products. Firms that provide remanufacturing services to restore used goods to original working condition are considered producers of remanufactured goods.

Repair: Refers to the fixing of a specified fault in an object that is a waste or a product and/or replacing defective components, in order to make the waste or product a fully functional product to be used for its originally intended purpose.

Reuse: Refers to the using again of a product, object or substance that is not waste, for the same purpose for which it was conceived, without the necessity of repair or refurbishment.

Reverse-logistics: Refers to activities engaged to recapture the value of products, parts, and materials once they have reached end-of-use or end-of-life. All VRPs may be considered to be part of a reverse-logistics system, and in addition activities including collection, transportation, and secondary markets provide essential mechanisms for facilitating reverse-logistics.

Secondary market: Also referred to as the aftermarket, is a market for used goods or assets, or an alternative use for an existing product or asset where the customer base is a second, or derivative (related) market. Items on the secondary market may or may not be manufactured by the OEM.

Secondary material: Also referred to as recycled material, refers to any material that has been used at least once before, is not the primary product of a manufacturing or commercial process, and can include post-consumer material, post-industrial material, and scrap.

Service life: Refers to a product’s total lifetime during which it can be used economically or the time during which it is used by one owner, from the point of sale to the point of diversion for reuse via VRPs, or to the point of disposal (Cooper 1994). This is differentiated from Expected Service Life as it refers to the actual service life and is not necessarily associated with manufacturer expectations or commitments.

Technical nutrients: Refers to non-toxic, highly stable materials that have no negative effects on the natural environment, that are designed to be recovered and reused within production activities, that and can be used in continuous cycles without losing integrity or quality.

Upgrade: Refers to the act of raising a product to a higher standard with the objective to improve performance, efficiency, and/or functionality by adding or replacing components, including electronic and/or software. For the purposes of this report, an upgrade that is performed as the primary and/or sole objective of a VRP is categorized as a ‘refurbishment’. Upgrades performed as one of several process steps of comprehensive refurbishment or remanufacturing are not distinguished.

Value-retention processes (VRPs): While recycling is also an integral part of the circular economy, for the purposes of this study the expression Value-Retention Processes (VRPs) only refers to activities, typically production-type activities, that enable the completion of, and/or potentially extend a product’s service life beyond traditional expected service life. These processes include arranging direct reuse, repair, refurbishment, comprehensive refurbishment, and remanufacturing. These processes help to retain value in the system via enhanced material efficiency, reduced environmental impacts, and may potentially offer economic opportunities associated with primary material production and traditional linear manufacturing.

Waste: Refers to any substance or object which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard (Directive 2008/98/EC).