A value perspective on the Swedish material system
In this groundbreaking research project, we are taking a value perspective on the Swedish material system. Both public statistics and academic research traditionally take a volume perspective on material flows, mapping how metric tons or cubic meters of different materials flow through the economy. We are instead mapping how the economic value of different materials develop as they flow through the economy. Our exam question is: If you put 100 crowns of raw materials into the Swedish economy, how much of that value is left after one use cycle? Where is value lost and what can be done about it? This value perspective gives a much more realistic view of how circular the Swedish material system really is, as it captures all the downgrading effects that occur through our material use, in addition to the volume effects that also traditional research approaches capture. The value perspective also turns materials recycling into an industrial innovation topic and an economic topic, in addition to an environmental topic. To our knowledge, this is the first time anyone has done this type of value mapping of a material system. Read more about the results and download the report here.