In an effort to address global environmental issues such as resource scarcity, supply chain volatility, and bioaccumulation of toxic chemicals, companies are increasingly shifting away from linear production models in favor of circular ones—prioritizing sustainability practices such as eliminating waste, reusing materials, and regenerating natural resources. Circular Economy is the term often used to promote these sustainability efforts, but the true extent of a company’s circularity has been difficult to quantify. In order to help improve overall confidence and trust in these sustainability claims, UL Standards & Engagement published UL 3600, the Standard for Measuring and Reporting Circular Economy Aspects of Products, Sites and Organizations.
How UL 3600 Helps Measure Corporate Sustainability
UL 3600 is intended to help companies quantify circularity consistently and communicate sustainability efforts to consumers transparently. It measures sustainability at the site, product, and company level, and also provides a report that allows a company to share the performance of its material flow - its ability to eliminate waste and keep goods in productive use over time.
The score helps demonstrate the overall efficacy of the company’s sustainability efforts, including the use of recycled content and bio-based content, recyclability of products, waste minimization, and landfill diversion. In order to streamline the evaluation process, the Standard allows companies to provide existing metrics, such as data related to air or water emissions, rather than requiring the collection of new data for each evaluation. The process is designed to be as simple as possible to encourage companies to pursue certification and use the score as a benchmark for continuous improvement.
Additionally, the score factors in corporate social responsibility elements such as addressing worker health and safety throughout the supply chain, and measuring diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in the company workforce and leadership levels. The inclusion of these factors is intended to assist companies in reporting on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) to stakeholders, and to make a positive impact on the communities in which facilities are located.
Technical Committee (TC) Meetings
UL 3600 was developed with input from a Technical Committee (TC) comprised of experts from industries such as waste management, forestry, and chemical supply, as well as participants from academia and regulatory and international agencies. UL Standards & Engagement aims to maintain a balance of participants in every TC, with no interest category comprising more than one-third of the membership balance. To improve the current balance for TC 3600, the organization is recruiting participants in the following interest categories:
- Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)
- Commercial/Industrial Users, Consumer
- International Delegate
- Supply Chain
- Testing and Standards Organizations
How to Get Involved in Standards Development
The UL standards development process is open to anyone, and comments and proposals can be submitted at any time through our online Collaborative Standards Development System (CSDS). If you would like to propose changes to UL 3600, submit a Proposal Request at csds.ul.com.
UL 3600 is available for purchase and free digital access in English and French on the UL Standards Sales Site. The creation of a free account is required to access the Digital View.
A circular production model is one that prioritizes sustainability practices such as eliminating waste, reusing materials and regenerating natural resources.
UL 3600 is the first Standard to help companies evaluate circular economy efforts.
The Standard measures sustainability at the site, product, and company level, and also provides a report with an overall score to rate the circularity of a company’s material flow.
The score also factors in corporate social responsibility elements such as addressing worker health and safety throughout the supply chain and measuring DE&I in the company workforce and leadership levels.
The Standard was published on 9 January 2023.
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New Standard Helps Companies Measure and Report on Sustainability Efforts
We published UL 3600, the Standard for Measuring and Reporting Circular Economy Aspects of Products, Sites and Organizations, which provides requirements for measuring aspects of a company’s sustainability efforts.