As an evolving research institute, alchemia-nova, has gained well over 18 years of grass-roots experience in the application and development of circular economy processes and systemic innovations. alchemia-nova has been an official Cradle to Cradle® partner since 2006 and offers a variety of related services such providing lectures and training at universities and workshops. In addition, alchemia-nova’s offer now also includes the “circular economy check”, a consultancy tool employed within companies, communities and industrial sectors to examine the circularity of existing production methods, industrial processes and the supply chains.
Through a process of systems analysis over a series of consultations, every aspect of the businesses existing supply chain is comprehensively assessed in terms of material circularity, design for re-use, reimbursement or re-valorisation, and the potential for nutrient recovery or safe recycling. Manufacturing processes are further analysed to identify their optimisation potential and cascading utilisation strategies are recommended to re-valorise by-products and manufacturing outputs. In particular, opportunities for the valorisation of waste, waste heat and wastewater is scrutinised. Process overlaps are furthermore identified to ensure exploitation of the entire latent potential of the created value. Internal and external industrial symbioses scenarios are generated wherein waste products from one process, or even sector, are considered a valuable resource for another.
The resultant reductions in waste translates into significant savings in waste disposal charges, and resource recovery and re-valorisation permit lower input costs. Over and above these multi-beneficial opportunities (including process innovation, market share increases, cost reductions, increaded customer loyalty, improved marketing potential, increased quality of life and the revaluation of the living / working space) the deployment of these strategies impact positively on the environment. Reductions in primary resource required requirements signify a reduced carbon footprint, with ever less waste been sent to landfills.
Once the business supply chain and industrial processes have reached circularity protocols, the business is awarded “Circularity Check Certification”. Similar criteria, although more directly focused on design for re-use could afford the business “Cradle to Cradle® Certification”.