August 5, 2015

Proposed Resource Identification Tool (RIT) Framework

Project overview

We created a comprehensive framework and approach to track materials and impacts through a product’s supply chain.

 

Title: Proposed Resource Identification Tool (RIT) Framework

Client: Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu

Date delivered: January, 2015

 

 

 

Project leader

Project Description

Two central topics for companies today are “fairness” and “circular economy”. A core element in achieving both fairness and circular economy is increasing supply chain data transparency. The idea of a resource identification Tool (RIT) for products has been suggested as a possible means of achieving increased insights on the design, materials sourcing, manufacture, use, and end of life handling of products. Both the objectives of Fairness and Circularity could potentially be assisted by such a tool.

As part of the Green Deal FairMeter, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment has supported the development of a framework for a RIT, to be piloted in the procurement of the next generation of smart meters, with the goal of making them as “fair” as possible.

To help facilitate the data collection and assessment of “fairness,” we have proposed an indicator and data framework for a RIT. This framework is a first draft of what a final RIT would likely contain.

Process

Framework development:

Our proposed RIT framework includes five overarching assessment categories, with sub- assessment areas, and a selection of indicators. The five assessment categories are:

  • Fairness
  • Circularity
  • Product performance
  • Transparency
  • Footprint

Results

We proposed a framework to evaluate the circularity and fairness of products, conducted a detailed supply chain analysis of the current smart meter, and outlined several approaches for how to begin implementing a resource identification tool.

Product Teardown and Supply Chain Mapping:

Modern electronics products are highly complex, containing thousands of individual components which contain a myriad of toxic, critical, and conflict materials. To guage how the current smart meter would perform against the categories of the framework, we mapped the components by conducting a tear-down of the product.

We researched the structure and known impacts of the main supply chains behind each component were documented, and a supply chain “heat map” was created.