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ISO/TC 323 on Circular Economy

  1. Overview
  2. Organization of ISO/TC 323
  3. Working Groups

Overview

  1. What is ISO/TC 323 and what is it doing?    
    • ISO/TC 323 is a technical committee of the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) that aims to provide common standards and thus facilitate global trade. The ISO Technical Committee (TC) 323, established in 2018, aims to standardize the field of circular economy for the entire world. ISO is an international standards development organization, and representative countries are represented in its technical committees through national organizations.
  2. How is SID helping?    
    • The Systems Integration Division is providing technical expertise to the United States Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the larger ISO/TC323. The working groups identify different categories of needs that American manufacturers have around circular economy, work to address those needs, then present all that information to the international ISO/TC 323.
  3. How is this work different from ASTM E60.13's work?    
    • ASTM is another international standards development organization that anyone can participate in, including industry stakeholders. ASTM Subcommittee E60.13 works on sustainability standards in general for manufacturers, whereas ISO/TC 323 focuses on circular economy and is not restricted to the manufacturing industry. In addition, the ISO/TC 323's stakeholders are governments, industries, and enterprises around the world, whereas the ASTM E60.13's stakeholders are manufacturers. ASTM E60.13 also indirectly contributes findings and recommendations to ISO/TC 323.

Structure of ISO/TC 323

ISO organizational chart
Organization of ISO/TC 323. Solid lines represent the organizational flows from ISO. Dashed lines depict information flows or feedback on the standards documents back to ISO. ASTM, while a separate organization from ISO, still collaborates with ISO and offers feedback on ISO standards. See below for details on the organizations and the working groups.
Credit: Noah Last

ANSI

The US is represented by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which makes recommendations to ISO/TC 323 on behalf of the US. ANSI is an apex standards development organization that collates findings from domestic Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs), then appoints delegations to represent US interests at ISO/TCs. Just as ANSI makes recommendations to ISO, two American standards development groups make recommendations to ANSI: the US Tag to ISO/TC 323 and ASTM.

US TAG to ISO/TC 323

This is a group of US experts that mirrors the ISO/TC 323. At the domestic level, the US TAG works on issues being discussed within the ISO/TC 323 Working Groups 1-5.

ASTM

ASTM is another standards development organization, separate from ISO. Participation in the organization is open. ASTM is appointed by ANSI to coordinate with the US TAG to ISO/TC 323 WG and report their findings back to ANSI. NIST's Systems Integration Division is offering leadership in ASTM's Subcommittee E60.13 on Sustainable Manufacturing. Learn more about this contribution here.

Working Groups

The following are the working groups for the US TAG of ISO/TC 323 as of October, 2021.

Working Group 1:

Principles, Terminology, management system

Working Group 2:

Guidance for implementation

Working Group 3:

Measuring Circularity

Working Group 4:

Specific issues related to Circular Economy

Working Group 5:

Product circularity data sheet (PCDS)

Identifying CE-related terms and providing technical definitions.
Collating business case studies that are implementing CE. Identifying their challenges and successes.

Framework for organizations to develop CE business models.

Identifying metrics to measure and quantify CE (value-based, LCA-based, etc.).

Working to harmonize the most relevant metrics.

If possible, will identify/ develop one metric that captures the measure of CE.

Performance-based approach for CE (Economy of Functionality and Cooperation).
Definitions and concepts to help analyze and evaluate case studies from a triple-bottom line perspective.

Developing a PCDS, a standardized document that enables the digital exchange of data related to circularity characteristics of products across supply chains.

The PCDS aims to facilitate data related to circularity characteristics to support standardization and transparency.

 

Created October 25, 2021, Updated March 28, 2022