ISO Circular Economy Standards Published Today

May 22, 2024

Circular Economy Standards Series

Today the first three standards in the ISO Circular Economy series were published. This is a big milestone after years of work from participants all around the world.

RIC participated in this work with the goal of ensuring that remanufacturing was well and fairly represented in the documents.

This publication is only the beginning for the public life of these documents. Once companies have a chance to begin working with the standards, a survey will be published to gather feedback. RIC is commited to continued involvement in the evolution of these standards.

The graphic above shows all of the standards that form part of this series, but only the first three are being published today. In particular, these three are intended to be interdependent. Continue reading for more detail.

The Standards

1. 59004: Circular Economy – Vocabulary, Principles and Guidance for Implementation

This is the primary standard in the series. All others will reference back to it. As the name suggests, it defines terms related to circular economy, lays out the principles of a circular economy and offers guidance for implementation of the principles.

The definition of remanufacturing comes from RIC’s American National Standard for remanufacturing:

remanufacturing, noun

industrial process by which an item is returned to a like-new condition from both a quality and performance perspective

Note 1 to entry: The item can be previously sold, leased, used, worn, remanufactured or a non-functional product or part.

Note 2 to entry: A like-new condition can also be described as “same-as-when-new” or “better-than-when-new”.

[SOURCE: ANSI/RIC001.2-2021, modified – “comprehensive and rigorous” deleted in the definition. Details about the item moved to Note 1 to entry. Details about the condition moved to Note 2 to entry.]

2. 59010: Circular Economy – Guidance on the Transition of Business Models and Value Networks

This standard builds on the definitions and principles outlined in 59004. It is focused on business-oriented strategies for implementing¬† circular economy practices, including assessing a business’s current circularity, mapping value chains, and offering transition strategies.

3. 59020 Circular Economy – Measuring and Assessing Circularity Performance

This document offers a standardized method for assessing circularity. It identifies mandatory and optional circularity indicators and provides formulas for calculating the results. Using this method, circularity may be assessed at various levels including regional, inter-organizational, organizational, and product-specific.

To Learn More

To Purchase

The standard is available for purchase in English and French as of May 22, 2024. A Spanish translation is also in the works.

You may purchase the documents at each of the links above. Your country’s ISO member may also have the standards available for sale. (In the United States, ANSI has them here: 59004, 59010, 59020.)