Circular Readiness Level®

Self-Check Circular Readiness Level®: Ihr erster Schritt zur Circular Economy!

Newsletter 03/2021

© Fraunhofer CCPE
With the Self-Check CRL® to circular products and product systems

The central challenge of the Circular Economy is the implementation of its principles at the product level. With the Self-Check Circular Readiness Level®, companies can check how mature their product already is for the Circular Economy. Since June, the Self-Check has been available online as a tool for companies and will be presented to a professional audience for the first time at the online workshop Fraunhofer CCPE compact on October 28, 2021.

The Self-Check for the Circular Readiness Level (CRL®) of products and product systems addresses all stakeholders along the life cycle of products. To this end, CCPE researchers have broken down the product life cycle into four fields of action in which Circular Economy (CE) principles can be implemented. These approaches are considered holistically along the value chain in CRL® and include for example

  • the multiple use or multifunctionality of a product,
  • the avoidance of substances of concern in the sense of a Circular Economy, such as additives that hinders recycling
  • collaborative consumption concepts [1],
  • the refurbishment [2],
  • the recyclability or
  • the use of secondary or bio-based plastics.

Since June 2021, the Self-Check has been available online as a tool for companies to validate themselves after free registration. The companies evaluate their own products using a questionnaire and, in addition to the Circular Readiness Level®, also receive derived recommendations for action to improve the CRL® for the respective product. The online tool enables a holistic view or a focus on individual fields of action, i.e. product design, product service system, end-of-life management or cycle closure. Furthermore, it offers the consideration of scenarios, for example, a current solution compared to future alternatives.

As a validation example, the Fraunhofer CCPE demonstrator team examined a classic child seat. Today, the seat consists of more than 100 individual parts and up to 15 different materials and at the same time, almost all parts are made of plastic. Especially the foam parts and covers are often damaged by use, but can’t be properly replaced or repaired due to many adhesive bonds. In addition, hardly any recyclates have been used up to now. An initial evaluation of a reference child seat with the Self-Check CRL® identified a high optimization potential with regard to the Circular Economy. As a result, CCPE researchers developed two prototypes that implemented CE principles and improved the CRL® compared to the classic child seat.

In addition to the child seat, many other products and product systems can also be analysed with the Self-Check CRL®. You can find out more about the experience gained so far by industry and the possible future areas of application and development in the next Fraunhofer CCPE Compact online workshop on October 28.

Follow this link to test the Self-Check CRL® now:


Contact persons:  

Jan-Philip Kopka (, Phone +49 231 9743-365)
Anna Kerps (, Phone +49 208 8598-1588)


[1] Consumption concepts in which multiple people make use of economic goods or services, e.g. sharing concepts.
[2] Reconditioning of an used product, e.g. by replacing components that are susceptible to wear.