Circular Economy

A circular economy uses innovative design to reduce and optimize material use and recaptures “waste” as a resource through recycling, composting, energy capture, and other management strategies. ERG provides a full suite of services to help clients design, implement, and evaluate projects and solutions to advance a circular economy for all people. To help clients improve the circularity of their products, services, and systems across multiple environmental metrics, we conduct life cycle assessments, assess alternative manufacturing processes, identify green engineering and treatment technology options, and evaluate recycling and end-of-life management strategies. In addition, we help our clients audit and characterize solid waste streams and evaluate site-specific strategies to recapture “waste” materials as a valuable resource. For challenging materials—including plastics, food waste, and electronic waste—ERG helps clients systematically evaluate policy and technology solutions to improve design and sustainable materials management. Complementing this work, ERG communications and outreach specialists support government agencies in public education campaigns and community-based social marketing efforts to implement programs. For clients interested in understanding the value of regulatory or voluntary efforts, ERG economists evaluate the costs and benefits of waste prevention, reduction, and management programs.

Multi-Sector Circularity Analysis
  • Electronics and batteries
  • Wasted food
  • Plastic waste
  • Municipal solid waste
Life Cycle Assessment and Decision Support Tools
  • Sustainable materials management hotspot analysis
  • Material and product supply chain environmental impact analysis
  • Prioritization of end-of-life management pathways
  • Sector-based environmentally-extended input-output modeling
Climate Change Impact Analysis
  • GHG emissions quantification and mitigation
  • Strategy identification for reducing material emission
  • Modeling, mapping, and data support for impact assessments
  • Climate justice
Solid Waste and Materials Management
  • Solid waste characterization and waste flow assessments
  • End-of-life management evaluations
  • Solid waste audits
  • Strategy development
  • Recycling program design and implementation
  • Outreach, promotion, and education
  • Data analysis, performance metrics, and tracking
Regulatory Support and Policy Analysis
  • Extended producer responsibility
  • Evaluation of public comments
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Economic valuation
Engagement and Outreach
  • Behavior change campaigns
  • Voluntary labeling development
  • Community engagement and technical assistance for rural, tribal, and environmental justice communities
  • Manufacturers, retailers, recyclers, and industry groups
Public Health Analyses
  • Risk assessment
  • Health equity
  • Program evaluation

Service Area Leads

Shanika Amarakoon

My lived experience as an immigrant raised in a rural community showed me the importance of engaging disparate voices in developing sustainable solutions to address our most pressing environmental challenges. Now, as an environmental engineer and policy analyst, I am grateful that I can apply my experience to support a broad range of meaningful work, including advancing a circular economy, supporting a just transition, and leading ERG’s environmental and climate justice solutions practice.

Shanika Amarakoon

Photo of John Carter

In my experience, effective climate action requires invested leadership, multidisciplinary expertise to address all sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and equitable stakeholder engagement to guide and successfully implement new policies and strategies. I have had the pleasure of managing several climate action plan projects, guiding both municipalities and universities through the process of developing and implementing their unique plans, and I’m proud of the positive benefits those plans have brought to stem the effects of climate change.

John Carter

Sarah Cashman

Increasingly, organizations are applying life cycle assessment to learn how they can most effectively reduce the environmental footprint of their products and processes. I take great pride in contributing to techniques and open-source databases that help move the science of LCA forward and facilitate access to more robust, current, and regionalized public life cycle inventory data.

Sarah Cashman

Photo of Laura Harwood

ERG’s commitment to respect, kindness, and compassion has given me an incredible foundation to serve our clients and help preserve the environment to the best of my abilities.

Laura Harwood

Dena Krichinsky

Each year, Americans generate millions of tons of waste and consume increasing amounts of resources. Educating and helping the public and organizations learn how they can reduce, reuse, and recycle has been a major focus of my career. I take great satisfaction in applying my extensive waste reduction knowledge to help my clients design and implement strategies to reduce the impact that waste has on the U.S. environment.

Dena Krichinsky

Photo of Susan McClutchey

I came to ERG an optimist with a thirst for learning, collaboration, and problem solving. Reflecting on my years with ERG, while progress may be incremental, I have found that the benefits of our work are irrefutable. My optimism for the future remains intact and stems from having colleagues and clients who are relentlessly dedicated to improving the world for every person in it.

Susan McClutchey

Photo of Joy Onasch

I am driven to apply pragmatic, preventive approaches to preserve and protect our environment for the next generation. I enjoy seeing project results that lead to improved worker health and safety and a cleaner environment.

Joy Onasch

Photo of Matt Pasquali

My passion for tackling environmental and social issues related to the circular economy stems from my belief that we all have an active role to play in protecting our environment and advancing toward an equitable future for all. Now more than ever, we must focus on circular economy policies and zero waste planning that will help build a more sustainable and resilient future.

Matt Pasquali

Alexandra Phillips

I appreciate coming to work each day knowing my contributions are making a tangible difference in my community and across the United States. From helping community groups amplify their voices to developing digital tools and products, I love diving into the details to tell a meaningful story.

Alexandra Phillips

Diana Pietri

Designing equitable solutions for sustainable environmental conservation and management efforts is a constantly challenging, rewarding endeavor. I love collaborating closely with our clients to develop strategies that promote environmental and climate resilience and justice—including evaluating environmental program effectiveness and identifying innovative best practices for coastal and ocean planning.

Diana Pietri

Photo of Amy Rowland

Working in the service industry for nearly a decade showed me how much waste society throws away every day. Unfortunately, there is as no such thing 'away' and 'waste' is not just waste—it intersects with geopolitics, environmental justice, public health, climate, and much more. To create systemic change, we must find effective ways to channel our vision for circularity into developing and implementing practical evidence-based solutions.

Amy Rowland

Photo of Ben Young

Both companies and the public sector have to assess environmental tradeoffs in the face of limited resources. LCA is a great tool for assessing those tradeoffs and making choices consistent with values. By generating high-quality public data and LCA tools, we provide the underlying data necessary for effective decision-making.

Ben Young