Simplification and adaptation of material flow cost accounting (MFCA) for SMEs

Description

The use of MFCA can yield many benefits for businesses, including better evaluation and understanding of the costs related to material inefficiencies, greater emphasis on the economic gains of minimizing waste and production losses and the identification and prioritization of the actions to be undertaken (e.g., input substitution, process modification, internal recycling and the sale of by-products to increase profitability). As a tool, MFCA also has the power to convince business leaders to address environmental issues.

While MFCA is relevant, it requires the detailed modeling of the material flows within a business. The tool entails energy-intensive data collection and a thorough knowledge of production costs. The analysis therefore requires time, resources and expertise that are not always available in-house.

With that in mind, the research project aims to develop a simplified MFCA methodology to be used by SMEs and demonstrate the benefits and impacts of using simplified MFCA.

Themes

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA)
  • Prioritization
  • Processes
  • Production costs
  • Profitability
  • Recycling
  • Small Business
  • SME
  • Waste management

Affiliated research axes

Axis 2: Planning Optimization

Axis 3: Resource and Product Maximization

Collaborators

Julien Beaulieu

CTTEI

Amount granted

$15,000
Involving consumers in the circular economy of plastics

Description

This action research study is led in partnership with the consulting firm 5REDO, which has already created an in-house capacity to facilitate decision making and the assessment and analysis of scenarios with respect to mechanical and chemical recycling technologies, as well as the use of more sustainable plastic materials. But that capacity does not consider how consumers could contribute to recycling efforts.

The main objective of the partnership is to expand 5REDO’s capacity to consider and leverage consumer behaviours when developing circular solutions for plastic. The project will complement and broaden 5REDO’s expertise in the area through three key objectives:

  1. Provide a comprehensive overview of how consumer engagement can be leveraged to accelerate the transition to a circular economy for plastics.
  2. Estimate the influence of internal and external consumer factors and their interactions to assess how consumers could be involved in initiatives to improve the end-of-life management of plastics.
  3. Prospectively assess plastics flows in Canada to 2030 through different scenarios based on the influence of consumer behaviours and specific consumer engagement initiatives.

Themes

  • Circular economy
  • Consumer behavior
  • Factors
  • Implication
  • Plastic
  • Recycling
  • Scenarios
  • Waste management

Affiliated research axes

Axis 1: Change and Transition Management

Collaborators

Mahdi Takaffoli

5REDO

Ophela Zhang

5REDO
New approaches in contracts and environmental regulations to implement a circular supply chain in spring street sweeping

Description

Every year, northern countries purchase and spread mineral abrasives (sand and crushed stone) on their road networks as part of their winter maintenance operations. The 31,000 km overseen by the Ministère des Transports du Québec require an average of 1 million tonnes of abrasives annually. In the spring, a portion of the abrasives is collected during road sweeping operations. Subject to strict environmental regulations, most of the material that is recovered is landfilled. Considering the negative financial and environmental impacts of landfilling, the technical feasibility of conditioning recovered abrasives for reuse in winter maintenance operations was demonstrated at the local level by screening the residual material. Part of the collected material (sweepings) could therefore be reused as abrasives through the implementation of a circular economy strategy that would curb landfilling and the consumption of non-renewable virgin mineral resources.

The project aims to review the flow maps of the circular chain based on the regulatory approach of a recovery centre in the construction, renovation and demolition sector and propose new and equitable contractual approaches for the circular chain.

Themes

  • Circular city
  • Circular region
  • Governance
  • Innovation
  • Local circularity policies
  • Recovery
  • Residual materials
  • Urban experimentation
  • Waste management

Affiliated research axes

Axis 2: Planning Optimization

Axis 3: Resource and Product Maximization

Axis 4: Policy levers

Collaborators

Karine Bouchard

Biopterre

Florence Blouin

UQTR

Bechir Ben Daya

UQTR

Amount granted

$15,000
The RRECQ is supported by the Fonds de recherche du Québec.
Fonds de recherche - Québec