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dissertation on circular economy

Circular Economy Thesis Library

Circular economy research and education @ unu-merit / mgsog + ucm.

Bachelor’s (#9) and Master’s Theses (#14) on Circular Economy

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Food, Food Loss and Waste, Measurement (#3)

Schiffer L. (2018).  Measurement of Food Loss and Waste: A Multi-Sectoral Argumentative Analysis , UNU-MERIT/MGSoG Maastricht University,   Maastricht,   The  Netherlands,  70 pages,  Second Reader: Bart Kleine Deters

Van esch s. (2018). food waste policy integration: changes in food waste policy integration in the european union governance , unu-merit/mgsog , maastricht university,   maastricht,   the  netherlands,  88 pages, supervisor: victor osei kwadwo, gresele v.  (2016). the meat issue: is it really environmentally friendly a discussion based on the environmental impacts of the production, consumption and waste management of meat, university college maastricht, maastricht university, the netherlands,  2016,  supervisor:  dr. serdar türkeli .

Clothing, Textile and Fashion Industry (#3)

Camacho J.V. (2019). Experimenting for a Circular Business Model: Experiences from the Clothing Industry , International Center of Integrated Assessment and Sustainable Development (ICIS), Maastricht University, The Netherlands, 82 pages, Supervisors: Prof. René Kemp & Florian Goldschmeding

Schmidt c.g.  (2018).  circular economy: a sustainable alternative for the textile industry , unu-merit/mgsog maastricht university, maastricht, the  netherlands, 85 pages,  second reader: dr. pui-hang wong, böllhoff b . (2019). a circular system for the fashion industry: business case or trend,  university college maastricht, maastricht university, the netherlands, 46 pages, supervisor: dr. serdar türkeli.

Plastics, Plastic Packaging, Bioplastics (#4)

Nyoike W. (2018).  Status and Prospects of Alternatives to Plastic Use in Different World Regions: Case of Plastic Packaging ,  UNU-MERIT/MGSoG , Maastricht University,   Maastricht,   The  Netherlands,   89 pages,  Second Reader: Julia Reinold

Rodríguez l.m. (2019). burying opportunities: business and policy perspectives on circular economy transition in plastic production and consumption in costa rica, a q-methodology study, university college maastricht, maastricht university, the netherlands, 36 pages, supervisor: dr. serdar türkeli, ​ küster e. (2019).  solving the plastic dilemma: assessing policy strategies for the transition to a circular economy for plastic packaging, the cases of england and germany, university college maastricht, maastricht university, the netherlands, 44 pages, supervisor: dr. serdar türkeli, ​ rasche c.  (2017). can bioplastics become the new black: a socio-technical system analysis of bioplastics in the context of transitioning towards a circular bioeconomy in the european union,  university college maastricht , maastricht university, the netherlands, 45 pages, supervisor:  dr. serdar türkeli.

Waste Electric Electronic Equipment (WEEE) (#2)

Yang M . (2018). Utilization of data in the policy making : a case study of WEEE management , UNU-MERIT/MGSoG Maastricht University,  Maastricht, The  Netherlands, 109 pages, Supervisor: Ruediger Kuehr,   Second Reader:  Dr. Serdar Türkeli

Törmälä,  e. (2018). circuits to circulation waste electrical and electronic equipment in transitioning to a circular economy in the european union, university college maastricht, maastricht university, the netherlands, 31 pages, supervisor:  dr. serdar türkeli.

​ Institutions, Assessment, Measurement (#11)

Dascarolis C. (2020). Designing Education for Circular Economy Transition: A Qualitative Meta-synthesis and fs/QCA Analysis , SBE Emerging Markets, Maastricht University,  Maastricht, The  Netherlands, 77 pages, Supervisor: Dr. Serdar Türkeli

Paliukėnaitė a . (2020). the circular economy in european cities: fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis. unu-merit/mgsog maastricht university,  maastricht, the  netherlands, 77 pages, supervisor: dr. serdar türkeli, delporte s. (2020). social media content design: a tool to engage the youth in circular economy practices. unu-merit/mgsog maastricht university,  maastricht, the  netherlands, 143 pages, supervisor: dr. serdar türkeli, haddad c. r . (2018).  configurational conditions of circular economic performance in the eu-28: a fuzzy set analysis approach , unu-merit/mgsog maastricht university,  maastricht, the  netherlands, 109 pages,  second reader: michelle gonzález amador, kably n.  (2017). fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis as a new method for policy evaluation: green growth in the eu15, efficiency and circularity , unu-merit/mgsog  maastricht  university,   maastricht,   the  netherlands,   107  pages,  second reader: emmanuel mensah, ​ dufourmont  j . (2016).   data  and participatory  challenges  in transition  to a circular  economy  in european  cities , unu-merit/mgsog  maastricht  university,   maastricht,   the  netherlands,   107  pages,  second reader: iulia falcan, ​ dechamps y.  (2016).  the circular economy in singapore: a sectoral and institutional analysis , unu-merit/mgsog maastricht university, maastricht, the netherlands, 113 pages, second reader: iulia falcan, clay t.  (2016).  the technological and financial challenges in transition toward a circular economy ,   unu-merit/mgsog maastricht university, maastricht, the netherlands, 92 pages, second reader: iulia falcan, flamand g . (2019). a paradigm shift in dutch environmental management values, university college maastricht, maastricht university, the netherlands, 46 pages, supervisor: dr. serdar türkeli, schots t.  (2018). the future of consumer goods is circular, but how to get there, university college maastricht, maastricht university, the netherlands, 44 pages, supervisor: dr. serdar türkeli, peake a.  (2016). is circular economy the solution to the tragedy of commons, university college maastricht, maastricht university, the netherlands,  2016, supervisor: dr. serdar türkeli.

*Updated frequently, for B.Sc. capstone theses, please contact authors.

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Business innovation towards a circular economy: An ecosystem perspective

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  • Jan Konietzko_PhD thesis Final published version, 9.68 MB Licence: CC BY

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T1 - Business innovation towards a circular economy

T2 - An ecosystem perspective

AU - Konietzko, J.C.

N1 - A+BE | Architecture and the Built Environment No 1 (2021)

N2 - We currently live in a carbon intensive linear economy. On the basis of burning fossil fuels, we take, make and waste an increasing amount of materials. This has pushed us against serious planetary boundaries. Radical reductions in environmental impact are needed over the coming decades. Entire economies and societies will have to reorganize. A promising candidate to support this reorganizing is a circular economy. It cuts waste, emissions and pollution, and it keeps the value of products, components and materials high over time. Companies can innovate towards a circular economy by following five key resource strategies: narrow, slow, close, regenerate, and inform. This thesis explores these strategies – through case research and a design science approach. It shows that an ecosystem perspective is necessary to implement these strategies – and provides tools and methods that can help to put an ecosystem perspective into action. This can help companies to develop circular ecosystem value propositions: that propose a positive collective outcome, fulfill user needs in exciting ways, and minimize environmental impact.

AB - We currently live in a carbon intensive linear economy. On the basis of burning fossil fuels, we take, make and waste an increasing amount of materials. This has pushed us against serious planetary boundaries. Radical reductions in environmental impact are needed over the coming decades. Entire economies and societies will have to reorganize. A promising candidate to support this reorganizing is a circular economy. It cuts waste, emissions and pollution, and it keeps the value of products, components and materials high over time. Companies can innovate towards a circular economy by following five key resource strategies: narrow, slow, close, regenerate, and inform. This thesis explores these strategies – through case research and a design science approach. It shows that an ecosystem perspective is necessary to implement these strategies – and provides tools and methods that can help to put an ecosystem perspective into action. This can help companies to develop circular ecosystem value propositions: that propose a positive collective outcome, fulfill user needs in exciting ways, and minimize environmental impact.

U2 - 10.7480/abe.2020.22

DO - 10.7480/abe.2020.22

M3 - Dissertation (TU Delft)

SN - 978-94-6366-351-9

PB - A+BE | Architecture and the Built Environment

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  • Published: 23 February 2024

The appeal of the circular economy revisited: on track for transformative change or enabler of moral licensing?

  • Hans Eickhoff   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-1416-456X 1  

Humanities and Social Sciences Communications volume  11 , Article number:  301 ( 2024 ) Cite this article

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The proposal of an economy that is circular and without the need for material or energy input has an irresistible appeal to those who recognize the precautionary concept of planetary boundaries and acknowledge that resources are limited. Thus, in the public discourse, its narrative outperforms other lines of arguments when it comes to keeping radical critics of destructive extractivism and the growth imperative in check and averting discussion of degrowth, post-growth, or other systemic alternatives by larger segments of the population and government bodies. Moreover, the myth of a circular economy has the additional benefit that it can win over parts of the environmental movement that is apprehensive of radical and transformative change, particularly in the urban milieus of a middle class that enjoys the privileges of the current social order. In this paper, I argue that the circular economy narrative tends to hinder the necessary systemic transformation while entailing a wide range of specific measures that deserve to be recognized for their merit.

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Introduction

Now that the narrative of recycling has lost its luster, the circular economy has become the new buzzword for sustainability advocates. After decades of promoting reuse and recycling, a growing amount of waste ended up feeding into a flourishing recycling industry without tackling the problem of production-associated emissions or increased consumption of raw materials (Alfredsson et al., 2018 ). In contrast, a sustainable and circular economy would allow a progressive reduction in resource input by creating closed loops, guaranteeing the well-being of future generations, while creating jobs and saving energy (Geissdoerfer et al., 2017 ; Stahel, 2016 ). This proposal was also picked up by political actors like the European Commission which framed the circular economy as a regenerative growth model for a sustainable economic system (European Commission, 2020 ), a framework which however has been criticized as inconsistent and imprecise on the ground that it does not reckon with the inability to use natural resources many times over without the need to extract them anew, and thus struggles with a low degree of circularity (Kovacic et al., 2020 ). On the backdrop of unabated man-made climate change (IPCC, 2023 ), deteriorating biodiversity and ecosystem functions (IPBES, 2019 ), and the coming of a new geological epoch termed the Anthropocene to substitute the relative stability of the Holocene (Crutzen and Stoermer, 2000 ; Steffen et al., 2007 ), it must be discussed if the circular economy proposal will entail sufficient transformative change of the existing socioeconomic metabolism which is indispensable to overcome the current conundrum (Krausmann et al., 2018 ). Furthermore, I argue that the apparent logic and beauty of the circular economy concept indeed obfuscates the need for a radical reduction and redistribution of energy (Millward-Hopkins et al., 2020 ) and overall consumption (Wiedmann et al., 2020 ), including the renunciation of continued exploitation of raw materials from formerly colonized geographies (Alcoff, 2022 ) that upholds an unsustainable ‘imperial’ mode of living (Brand et al., 2017 ).

Even if not endorsed by classical economic theory, economic activity operates within the natural environment and is subject to the laws of nature that set limits to human endeavor. Without naming the proposal of a circular economy explicitly, Boulding ( 1966 ) introduced the concept of the Earth System as a closed loop where material entropy that occurs outside of natural processes can only be countered by constant energy input. Yet, under the premises of the Laws of Thermodynamics, the energy contained in a closed system is unchangeable, and irreversible spontaneous processes will increase entropy in the sense of homogeneous distribution of energy or matter to a maximum (Sandler and Woodcock, 2010 ; Starikov, 2021 ). Drawing on these considerations, the economist Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen scrutinized the relevance of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (the Entropy Law) for the economic process and emphasized that it operates on a unidimensional timeline where energy is dissipated and natural resources are depleted, which renders a growth economy, or even a steady-state economy, impossible in the long-term (Georgescu-Roegen, 1971 ).

The ideas of Boulding and Georgescu-Roegen inspired the concept of Degrowth that proposes a radical transformation of the societies in the global North to reduce their ecological metabolism and resource avidity (Bonaiuti, 2018 ; Kallis et al., 2012 , 2018 ; Kerschner, 2010 ). While critics observe that Georgescu-Roegen might have misinterpreted the Second Law of Thermodynamics drawing an improper analogy between the entropy of energy and the entropy of material substance, his work is still a valid contribution to the economic discussion about the theoretical impossibility of full recycling due to the distinction between stocks—non-renewable in any circumstances—and funds which are renewable if exploited at a sufficiently low rate (Khalil, 2004 ).

Envisioning a circular economy and the concept of the perpetuum mobile

When Leonardo da Vinci postulated the impossibility of a perpetuum mobile within the physical conditions of planet Earth (Bera, 2021 ), he could not have imagined that a similar concept would be resurrected five centuries later. But the ancient dream of humanity to create an apparatus that would work incessantly without the additional input of human labor, or an external source of energy or material, awoke to new life: the congenial concept of a circular economy promises to transform waste into wealth and to warrant the pursuit of exponential—yet sustainable—economic growth forever. But while the idea of a circular economy has become increasingly popular, it still draws, albeit not explicitly, on prior concepts of industrial ecology and industrial symbiosis that support the sustainable development agenda (Cecchin et al., 2021 ).

Before the industrial revolution set off, global economic activity was almost entirely circular but the advent of mass production and the increasing use of fossil fuels that promoted more effective extraction of other natural resources transformed circularity into a linear process that started to deplete natural resources and created large amounts of waste (Bali Swain and Sweet, 2021 ). More than 50 years ago, the report on the Limits to Growth , commissioned by the Club of Rome and compiled by a team of international scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Meadows et al., 1972 ), unmasked the unsustainability of the make-use-dispose process of the linear economy, and it became necessary to create a renewed public perception regarding waste management and resource use (Blomsma and Brennan, 2017 ), if the fundamentals of the capitalist economy were to remain unquestioned. Hence, framing waste as a resource (Zaman, 2022 ) not only created the opportunity for collective action and research, based on an experience of shared ideas and values but also granted the possibility to encompass resource use and waste production within the limits of the current economic system.

Scrutinizing the circular economy and conceptualizing it as an umbrella concept that connects previously unrelated constructs to create a new paradigm, can create an understanding of its consolidation as a new narrative that is characterized by continuing to branch out and becoming more and more complex over time (Blomsma and Brennan, 2017 ). As Hirsch and Levin ( 1999 ) point out, an umbrella construct can be particularly useful in fields that lack a solid theoretical background but where its validity tends to be less challenged by a nonacademic constituency. Understanding the circular economy as an umbrella concept could therefore contribute to decoding the popularity of the circular economy proposal, despite its shortcomings and inconsistencies that have been detailed.

In their revision of the circular economy concept, Kirchherr et al. ( 2017 ) mustered a plethora of 114 definitions which in itself illustrates its heterogeneity and the need to resort to frameworks like the umbrella concept to maintain the notion of a coherent explanatory model. After an iterative coding process that embraced 17 dimensions, the authors came up with a definition of the circular economy as “ an economic system that is based on business models which replace the ‘end-of-life’ concept with reducing, alternatively reusing, recycling and recovering materials in production/distribution and consumption processes, thus operating at the micro level (products, companies, consumers), meso level (eco-industrial parks) and macro level (city, region, nation and beyond), with the aim to accomplish sustainable development, which implies creating environmental quality, economic prosperity and social equity, to the benefit of current and future generations ” (Kirchherr et al., 2017 : pp. 224–225). Additionally, they underscored the necessity of renouncing subverted definitions of the circular economy that are mostly framed as a path to economic prosperity and are pushing the social and environmental goals into the background while not recognizing ‘Reduce’ as a top priority to surpass only incremental improvements and to bring about effective and transformative change. Indeed, only three of the 114 definitions that were analyzed entail all elements of the final definition. Consequently, the imperative of reduction clashes with the business models of the real economy that are built on the pursuit of growth and profit, within the framework of the capitalist market economy, thus hampering the ‘strong’ sufficiency practices that would be in line with the comprehensive definition of a circular economy that Kirchherr et al. ( 2017 ) bring forward. This dilemma is unscored by a study in a sample of 150 companies that proactively communicate their commitment to sustainability and sufficiency but refrain from actually encouraging the refusal to consume (Bocken et al., 2022 ).

Even if acknowledging the concept of a circular economy as a useful contribution towards socioeconomic system change, measuring the effective reduction of environmental and social damage that it promotes must be tackled, particularly when excessive resource use is not adequately priced and does not include additional future costs of current resource extraction (Stephan, 2022 ). Considering that the main strategies for implementing a circular economy include the preservation of the product itself and its function, retrieval of its components, and the recovery of embodied materials and energy, a framework of indicators to embrace these dimensions might consider operating under the concept of Life Cycle Thinking to analyze potential (present and future) impacts and the overall burden or benefit for the environment in comparison to linear processes (Moraga et al., 2019 ). However, reports on interventions at different levels (micro, meso, and macro) do generally not consider the ‘use phase’ of the life cycle and information on systemic interactions between interventions on different levels is scarce which is particularly unfortunate as the results of interventions on the product level can foster large and unintended rebound effects on the societal or macro level (Makov and Vivanco, 2018 ).

Limits to a sustainable circular economy

The concept of planetary boundaries aims to define precautionary safeguards for the functioning of the Earth system that should not be surpassed without setting off the risk of abrupt and non-linear environmental shifts that endanger and threaten the safe operating space for humanity (Rockström et al., 2009 ). Currently, possibly six out of nine planetary boundaries have been breached, including biosphere integrity and climate change (Richardson et al., 2023 ), which is consistent with the warnings on the rapid deterioration of biodiversity and ecosystem function by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES, 2019 ) and the 2023 Synthesis Report on Climate Change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2023 ) that alerts on the effects of human-caused climate change on weather and climate extremes which will continue to intensify.

While socioeconomic and (unfavorable) Earth Systems trends have been accelerating since the industrial revolution, mainly due to the activity of OECD countries and, more recently, due to the emerging economies of the so-called BRICS countries, including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Steffen et al., 2015 ), the General Assembly of the United Nations approved the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (United Nations, 2015 ), comprising 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets. Also, the “New Circular Economy Action Plan for a cleaner and more competitive Europe”, that was adopted by the European Commission to accelerate the transformations required by the European Green Deal (European Commission, 2020 ) refers explicitly to the Agenda for Sustainable Development. Yet, in both documents, the notion of sustainability remains rather vague and undefined, being “sustainable” mostly used as an axiomatic justification for policy proposals and goals otherwise deemed desirable such as, for instance, poverty eradication, food security, or economic growth.

Also, seemingly unambiguous definitions of sustainable systems as something that survives or persists (Costanza and Patten, 1995 ) do not give real meaning to the concept as long as they leave out other dimensions of sustainability such as time, space, or scope. Following Salas‐Zapata and Ortiz‐Muñoz ( 2019 ), the purposes and meanings that can be ascribed to sustainability include (1) a set of social‐ecological criteria that guide human action, (2) a vision of humankind that is realized through the convergence of the social and ecological objectives of a particular reference system, (3) an object, thing or phenomenon that happens in certain social‐ecological systems, or (4) an approach that entails the incorporation of social and ecological variables into the study of an activity, process or human product (Salas‐Zapata and Ortiz‐Muñoz, 2019 : p. 159). The scope of sustainability might therefore be delimited at the level of values (1) and at the macro (2), meso (3), and micro (4) levels. But additionally, the time horizon can be either short (election cycle), medium (lifetime of current generations), or long-term (future generations), while the spatial scale is local, regional, or global. Thus, only using a definition of ‘strong’ sustainability (Spash, 2017 ) that encompasses a comprehensive scope of social-ecological values and systems on a long-term and global scale shall be consistent with the need for guaranteeing a safe operating space for humanity that is faced with challenges such as climate (in)stability, biodiversity loss, or the endangered balance of the Earth system.

Critics of the concept of sustainable development point out that even apparent progress toward its goals generally conceals ongoing environmental devastation (Bendell, 2022 ; Zeng et al., 2020 ). Furthermore, the aim of ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns (SDG 12) seems impossible to attain without effectively reducing production and consumption instead of relying on increased efficiency (which has well-known rebound effects), while the pursuit of economic growth (SDG 8) actually hinders the accomplishment of SDG 12 (Bengtsson et al., 2018 ). Analyzing the impact of economic growth (SDG 8) on resource consumption Hickel ( 2019 ) emphasized that (any) GDP growth would require the decoupling of resource use at a far superior rate than has been achieved historically to effectively reduce the global material footprint (Parrique et al., 2019 ; Tilsted et al., 2021 ; Ward et al., 2016 ). Following a similar line of argument in her critique of SDG 8 that is based on the unsustainability of economic growth, Chertkovskaya ( 2023 ) proposes a reframing of the sustainable development agenda into a well-being agenda where human well-being and the need to reduce resource throughput could inform the envisioned socio-ecological transformation.

Besides the antagonism between SDG 8 and 12, in complex dynamic systems like the Sustainable Development Agenda where policies towards a specific goal act on the capacity to accomplish others, it may be expected that these effects are detrimental and create undesirable tradeoffs (Kroll et al., 2019 ), or even induce unwanted feedback loops, in particular when those goals that would reduce human impact on the Earth system are not prioritized within the framework (Skene, 2021 ). Supporting this observation, a system-based analysis of local and national policies in Brazil that were informed by the concept of sustainable development concluded that the results were at least inconsistent, both on the economic and the ecological level, while only social goals were (partially) achieved (Donaires et al., 2019 ).

A reality check on the circularity of the global economy shows that currently only 8.6% can be considered circular, down from 9.1% just two years before, while global material consumption exceeded for the first time 100 Gt of raw materials in 2019, up from 28.6 Gt in 1972 when the Club of Rome’s report on the Limits to Growth was first published (Circle Economy, 2022 ). Hence, overall material consumption roughly quadrupled while the world population doubled during the same period (Worldometers.info, 2022 ) and thus decoupled from population growth, a trend that has been observed for more than a hundred years (Marín-Beltrán et al., 2022 ). Furthermore, the circular economy does not necessarily lead to a reduction in the use of critical primary raw materials because a shift to different raw materials elsewhere in the life cycle can be observed (Schaubroeck, 2020 ). In this context, the World Bank Group recognizes that by 2050 the transition to purportedly renewable energy production will require over 3 billion tons of minerals and metals, notably graphite, lithium, and cobalt, corresponding to an increase of up to 500%, to stay within the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, while in regard to suitable minerals like copper and aluminum even doubling the rate of recycling would not meet demand (Hund et al., 2020 ).

Ageing material stocks accumulated in buildings, infrastructure, and machinery, which have increased 23-fold since the beginning of the 20th century and continue to grow, represent another challenge for the circular economy concept and require continuous energy and material flows for maintenance, dismantling, and (re)construction with a current recycling rate of just 12%, and an anticipated need for disposal of 35% over the period from 2010 to 2030 due to the end of their service lifetimes (Krausmann et al., 2017 ). Against this backdrop, only a substantially lower level of material stocks would allow achieving a global reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to keep global warming at bay (Krausmann et al., 2020 ). Thus, circularity must be combined with the concept of longevity to overcome inherent limitations and address material turnover, in an effort to increase eco-efficient resource use (Figge et al., 2018 ), while rebound effects due to efficiency gains need to be addressed comprehensively (Zink and Geyer, 2017 ). Moreover, the attempt to avoid landfill within the European Union and to comply with the goal of a circular economy often displaces the treatment of waste towards the global South, feeding into international recycling networks that burden people and environments with cleaning up a problem that they did not cause (Gregson et al., 2015 ).

Overall, critical reviews of the circular economy point out the flaws of definition and the uncertain overall results, but also the neglect of established knowledge and issues of feasibility, including the limitations due to unaccounted secondary energy and material input due to inefficient limited repurposing or recycling potential (Corvellec et al., 2022 ; Cullen, 2017 ). But, additionally, the underlying “ideological agenda” that includes the emphasis on entrepreneurship, business models, and the infinite possibility of technical solutions also derives its strength from the seductive appeal of the circle as the archetype of perfection and completeness, thus turning the metaphor mythical and irresistible (Corvellec et al., 2022 ).

The unsustainable charm of pro-environmental behavior

The umbrella concept of the circular economy relates closely to the concept of lifestyle in high-income countries of the global North. As laid out by Mikael Jensen ( 2007 ), the concept of lifestyle can be defined on four levels, from global to individual, and entails the notion of consumer identity which, besides the manifestations of national, cultural, and subcultural identities, expresses identity on an individual level through the process and type of material consumption. Products perceived as environmentally friendly and fairly traded embody a message of ethical concern and humanitarian consciousness and consumers associate them with a positive moral value that allows to dress up consumption as pro-environmental behavior. Hence, environmentally concerned people tend to achieve self-realization through “green” consumption patterns but don’t forego necessarily consumption and resource use itself, focusing instead on measures that are promoted within the concept of a circular economy, like (zero-)waste and recycling, to maintain consistent personal narratives (Connolly and Prothero, 2003 ) or to enhance their positional value in the peer community (Kesenheimer and Greitemeyer, 2021 ). As emphasized by Lorek and Fuchs ( 2019 ), this type of ‘weak’ sustainable consumption represents foremostly purchasable efficiency gains that are available to affluent consumers and occur without effective environmental gains, an observation that is also supported by Moser and Kleinhückelkotten ( 2018 ). On the contrary, ‘strong’ sustainable consumption requires embracing sufficiency and the reduction of overall consumption in high-consuming classes which could grant a dignified life for all and replace the growth paradigm (Sandberg, 2021 ; Sandberg et al., 2019 ).

Indeed, higher household income is closely associated with a greater ecological footprint (Adua, 2022 ; Alfredsson et al., 2018 ; Feng et al., 2021 ; Hardadi et al., 2021 ) and individual environmental concerns and pro-environmental behavior in the private sphere do not necessarily reduce household carbon footprint (Csutora, 2012 ; Huddart Kennedy et al., 2015 ). Thus, the example of air travel, which represents a major share of individual greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in high-income urban populations (Czepkiewicz et al., 2019 ; Ivanova et al., 2020 ) and is rarely relinquished, demonstrates that even people with internalized knowledge about climate change show a large gap between attitude and practice (Jacobson et al., 2020 ). This finding is supported by the analysis of representative datasets of the UK population which also showed no association between pro-environmental values and concerns and the reduction of non-work-related flying behavior (Alcock et al., 2017 ).

The apparent inconsistencies between pro-environmentalism, “green” lifestyle, and environmentally harmful habits like travel patterns with high climate impact seem difficult to explain at first glance. However, alongside denial mechanisms that are similar to those that erect psychological barriers to shifting from material comfort to a low-energy behavior (Stoll-Kleemann et al., 2001 ), moral disengagement triggered by aggressive advertising of long-distance travel contributes to the blanketing out of its climate effects (Stubenvoll and Neureiter, 2021 ). Additionally, the effect of moral licensing may further enable the denial of existing contradictions between material and energy consumption, associated greenhouse gas emissions, and the narrative of a sustainable circular economy. In moral psychology, ethical behavior is closely linked to the self-perceived value of moral acts that interfere with self-interest. But while past transgressions increase the resolve to engage in ethical behavior, the boost to the moral self after acting ethically can provoke subsequent licensing of egoistic and unethical attitudes, particularly when there is a conflict between self-interest and an abstract value or goal, or self-construal is based on social roles and relationships (Blanken et al., 2015 ; Mullen and Monin, 2016 ; Xiong et al., 2023 ).

Under the assumption that purchasing environmentally friendly products might prompt subsequent unethical behavior, Mazar and Zhong ( 2010 ) studied the effect of moral licensing in an experimental study on Canadian students that showed a positive association between the prospect of green consumption and high moral and social values. However, while the mere exposure to environmental-friendly products had a favorable effect on altruistic behavior, the actual purchase of these products led to a decrease in altruistic behavior and even to clearly unethical conduct. In a similar study on the potential of behavior change initiatives and policies to increase overall pro-environmental behavior (positive spillover), Clot et al. ( 2022 ) studied the effect of ”green licensing” in a group of 85 undergraduates at a UK university and concluded that licensing actually provoked a negative spillover and worse pro-environmental behavior in other domains. Additionally, engaging in moral licensing can contribute significantly to the rebound effect that is observed after efficiency gains through technological improvements, in particular regarding heating and mobility, thus expanding on a mere economic explanation of rebound (Dorner, 2019 ; Dütschke et al., 2018 ).

Complementing this argument within a larger moral self-regulation framework, Shalvi et al. ( 2015 ) emphasize that self-serving justifications act in protection of the moral self, either in advance of intentional unethical behavior, resorting to mechanisms of ambiguity, self-serving altruism, and moral licensing, or afterward, using physical or symbolic cleansing, partial confessing, and distancing with pointing to others’ moral failures. Thus, in analogy, the peril of the circular economy narrative lies in its apparent logical serenity and opportune resolution of the psychological intricacies that characterize the conflict between ‘green lifestyles’, enacted pro-environmentalism, and engrained consumption patterns, while its mainstream meanderings refrain from substantially transforming the growth economy.

Clues for transformative change

The concept of zero-waste, recycling, and a circular economy does not only operate on an individual level to justify unsustainable consumption patterns but can also be understood as an attempt to render the challenging of industrial capitalism impossible, removing it from the political sphere towards a depoliticized question of consumer behavior (Valenzuela and Böhm, 2017 ). But even when consumers turn to recycling fetishism, in a symbolic effort of redemption that suppresses the acknowledgment of wasteful behavior and intends to obtain moral permission for future consumption, the cleaves and cracks of the current global socioeconomic system become visible. Hothouse Earth pathways loom on the horizon (Steffen et al., 2018 ) and disruptive behaviors of the Earth system are not science fiction anymore but a real prospect (Bernardini et al., 2022 ). The call for environmental justice and decolonization can no longer be ignored (Sultana, 2023 ) and resounds with proposals for a degrowth future in the global North (Singh, 2019 ; Sultana, 2023 ). Thus, “ideas such as those of subsistence-living, the balance between all living beings and reciprocity, self-sufficiency, and self-reliance open the possibility for debates in which both sets of movements can contribute”, thus co-creating convivial technologies and alternative economic systems that refuse neoliberal growth narratives (Rodríguez-Labajos et al., 2019 : p. 182). Moreover, the current social and ecological crises require imagining “other ways of being, and transformative change to our economic life”, where “the social body, with a shared commitment to life in common, is a common goal that unites diverse struggles, including environmental justice and degrowth movements. The success of these diverse struggles in fostering collective subjectivity and postcapitalist alternatives will depend on the ability of these diverse movements to come together, stand in solidarity, learn from each other, and tell alternate stories about how we are to live the Anthropocene” (Singh 2019 : p. 141).

Natalie Ralph’s proposal of conceptual merging of circular economy, degrowth and conviviality design approaches might represent a first step in the direction of circular futures while reappropriating the idea of a circular economy for a framework that embraces local sourcing of raw materials, the possibility of local manufacturing, and the inclusion of users’ creativity in the design process, thus creating products that fulfill an effective need and not an artificially induced desire, are widely accessible, contribute to future sharing and learning, and can be modified or improved without restriction during an extended life cycle and repaired by an average person (Ralph, 2021 ). This proposal, however, requires engaging in a participated policy process which is critical to achieve indispensable popular support (Kongshøj, 2023 ) and will be characterized by the need to address complex problems within the uncertainties of post-normal science where decision stakes are high (Funtowicz and Ravetz, 1994 ). Hence, a circular economy discourse that aims to reach beyond variations of the R’s of waste management and resource use will necessarily have to embrace systemic socio-ecological transformation and a “plurality of alternatives” to envision participated circular futures (Calisto Friant et al., 2020 ). Alongside the acknowledgment of planetary boundaries, the formulation of societal boundaries is mandatory to enable a fair and conscious decision process that creates the conditions for a good life for all within a framework of collective self-limitation which overcomes the imperial mode of living at the expense of others (Brand et al., 2021 ).

The transformation of social structures that allows us to envision a future that entails elements of the circular economy without succumbing to its vicissitudes will possibly require the shift from market relations to human relations, within a framework of “intentional sharing and togetherness” (Jarvis 2019 : p. 270). Renouncing explicitly the idea of a consumption-orientated sharing economy, Jarvis puts forward a concept of “real places and co-present realities” that might occur in collective endeavors like co-housing or food cooperatives which, in turn, shape relational human values. This framework entails individual agency, collective intentionality and ‘we-intentions’, participatory democratic procedures, and the defense of ecosystems and ideals of social justice within practices inspired by the degrowth mindset, understood as a “radical niche innovation” to counter the dynamics of growth capitalism and to create diverse—pluriversal—pathways towards alternative practices and systemic change (Kothari et al., 2019 ; Vandeventer et al., 2019 ).

Concluding remarks

The amazing diversity of circular economy definitions seems to allow picking and choosing those that are most suited to one’s preferences and particular circumstances, without changing the dynamics of the industrial growth economy or demanding radical individual and systemic transformation. Thus, the utopia of circularity apparently sanctions the maintenance of privileged habits of conspicuous consumption, within a framework of green lifestyles and pro-environmental behaviors, to end up reinforcing the status quo of unsustainable exploitation of the Earth’s resources while only a small—and diminishing—fraction of materials is reused or recycled, and global consumption continues unabated. Psychological mechanisms like moral licensing can hinder transformative behavioral change even in groups that exhibit high moral standards and acknowledge the predicament of the destruction of the biosphere, particularly when its members enjoy the economic privileges that entitle them to an environmentally destructive lifestyle. In contrast, ‘strong’ sustainability and an all-embracing circular economy require prioritizing ‘Reduce’ without losing sight of social and environmental justice. Thus, without a paradigm shift in overall societal goals from economic growth towards sustainable and regenerative practices, the current conflict between self-interest, interwoven with dominating societal norms, and consistent pro-environmental behavior remains irresoluble, except in fringe groups that operate outside of the mainstream society and either are driven by strong moral values or bound to vernacular lifestyles that are directly threatened by the industrial growth economy.

Data availability

Data sharing is not applicable to this research as no data was generated or analyzed.

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Eickhoff, H. The appeal of the circular economy revisited: on track for transformative change or enabler of moral licensing?. Humanit Soc Sci Commun 11 , 301 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-024-02815-x

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1. Life Cycle Costing : Supporting companies towards a circular economy

Author : Marianna Lena Kambanou ; Mattias Lindahl ; Tomohiko Sakao ; Giuditta Pezzotta ; Linköpings universitet ; [] Keywords : TEKNIK OCH TEKNOLOGIER ; ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY ; life cycle costing ; total cost of ownership ; circular strategies ; products as a service ; through life costing ; life cycle management ; circular economy ;

Abstract : Increased consumption has resulted in the depletion of non-renewable resources and an explosion in waste. A circular economy proposes to sustain economic growth but decouple it from resource consumption by keeping products and materials in the economy. READ MORE

2. Circular design in practice: Towards a co-created circular economy through design

Author : Giliam Dokter ; Chalmers tekniska högskola ; [] Keywords : TEKNIK OCH TEKNOLOGIER ; ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY ; HUMANIORA ; HUMANITIES ; collaboration ; circular economy ; design for sustainability ; co-design ; design practice ; architecture ; co-creation ; circular business models ; circular design ; circularity ; industrial design ;

Abstract : In the efforts to stimulate sustainable development, the circular economy represents the most recent attempt to reduce the pressure on the environment by attaining harmony between the economy, environment and society. In theory, this is accomplished by establishing ‘closed-loop’ flows of resources in a way that enables businesses and society to reap benefits from maintaining products, components and materials at their highest utility and value, while simultaneously reducing the generation of waste. READ MORE

3. Circular Manufacturing Systems : A development framework with analysis methods and tools for implementation

Author : Farazee M A Asif ; Amir Rashid ; Peter Hopkinson ; KTH ; [] Keywords : TEKNIK OCH TEKNOLOGIER ; ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY ; Circular economy ; circular manufacturing systems ; resource conservative manufacturing ; ResCoM ; system dynamics ; Production Engineering ; Industriell produktion ;

Abstract : The society today lives on the philosophy of ‘take-make-use-dispose.’ In the long run, this is not sustainable as the natural resources and the waste carrying capacity of the earth are limited. Therefore, it is essential to reduce dependency on the natural resources by decoupling the growth from the consumption. READ MORE

4. Fungi-based biorefinery model for food industry waste : progress toward a circular economy

Author : Pedro Souza Filho ; Satinder Kaur Brar ; Högskolan i Borås ; [] Keywords : TEKNIK OCH TEKNOLOGIER ; ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY ; filamentous fungi ; circular economy ; biorefinery ; food industry ; fungal biomass ; bioplastic ; resource recovery ; Resource Recovery ; Resursåtervinning ;

Abstract : The food industry, one of the most important industrial sectors worldwide, generates large amounts of biodegradable waste with high organic load. In recent years, the traditional management methods to treat this waste (e.g., landfilling) have been considered not suitable because they do not exploit the potential of the waste material. READ MORE

5. Industrial Networks : Purposes and Configurations in the Circular Economy

Author : Daniel Berlin ; Andreas Feldmann ; Cali Nuur ; Arni Haldorsson ; KTH ; [] Keywords : TEKNIK OCH TEKNOLOGIER ; ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY ; Sustainability ; Circular Economy ; Circular Supply Chain ; Supply Chain Management ; Industrial Networks ; Hållbarhet ; Cirkulär ekonomi ; Cirkulära försörjningskedjor ; Supply chain management ; Industriella nätverk ; Industrial Economics and Management ; Industriell ekonomi och organisation ;

Abstract : Today, it is common knowledge that mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution require sustainability transitions. An essential sustainability transition, for mitigating and adapting to resource depletion, is the shift from unsustainable to sustainable production and consumption patterns. READ MORE

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International Conference of Progress in Digital and Physical Manufacturing

ProDPM 2021: Progress in Digital and Physical Manufacturing pp 138–151 Cite as

Product Design for the Circular Economy: A Design Process for Footwear

  • Dirk Loyens   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-5999-7093 28 , 30 ,
  • Shujoy Chakraborty   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-6099-6012 29 &
  • Diogo Pimenta 28  
  • Conference paper
  • First Online: 15 June 2023

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Part of the book series: Springer Tracts in Additive Manufacturing ((STAM))

The European Green Deal promotes a roadmap to a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050 [ 1 ]. An essential part of this plan is the transition to a circular economy (CE): a production and consumption model based on two complementary loops similar to biological cycles in nature [ 2 ]. This new economic model offers opportunities for change in every phase of the value chain, including Design [ 3 , 4 ]. Moreover, through its transdisciplinary nature, Design might even be the primary driver of change [ 5 ]. Therefore, it is crucial to adapt the design process because it impacts value creation in the manufacturing industry. This research will build this argument from the perspective of the footwear design sector.

Within the footwear sector, the ecological impact of products has been a management concern for the last decade. Attention has been mainly on environmentally friendly production and the use of recycled materials [ 6 ]. However, within the framework of the CE model, this narrow attention needs to be broadened. The action of this reexamination can be located in the design process [ 7 ], and the consequence of adapting this process to the industry demands might be an opportunity to contribute to carbon neutrality.

Using a research through design [ 8 ] approach, this paper describes a design process through the author’s role of orienting a master dissertation degree project and demonstrates how a product designer can adapt a classical analysis-synthesis design process model to act within the CE model context. The investigation presents the sport shoe circular design process model by testing the application of the design principles from the Ellen McArthur Foundation (EMF) design process model [ 9 ] and arrives at a sports shoe circular product design (CPD) proposal. Therefore, the applied research project positions itself in the footwear design sector within the fashion industry [ 10 ].

The contribution of this paper is to research design process theory [ 7 , 11 ] to arrive at a novel process model emerging from classical design but adapted to the emerging CE future. Through design pedagogy, the authors indicate how design higher education can orient classical design students to onboarding into the CE and CPD movement.

  • Circular Product Design
  • Footwear Design
  • Design Process

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Loyens, D., Chakraborty, S., Pimenta, D. (2023). Product Design for the Circular Economy: A Design Process for Footwear. In: Correia Vasco, J.O., et al. Progress in Digital and Physical Manufacturing. ProDPM 2021. Springer Tracts in Additive Manufacturing. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33890-8_13

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Han, Sara Li-Chou. "Circular economy fashion strategies." Thesis, Manchester Metropolitan University, 2017. http://e-space.mmu.ac.uk/620639/.

Milan, Umberto <1994&gt. "Circular economy, sustainable capitalism." Master's Degree Thesis, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia, 2020. http://hdl.handle.net/10579/17477.

Blomsma, Fenna. "Making sense of circular economy." Thesis, Imperial College London, 2016. http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/47907.

Türk, Ferhat, and Roman Zandi. "Circular Economy : Reuse of packaging." Thesis, KTH, Hållbar produktionsutveckling (ML), 2019. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-263323.

Minunno, Roberto. "Circular Economy of Modular Buildings." Thesis, Curtin University, 2020. http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11937/82005.

Odongo, Martha Pauline Ojok, and Olivia Rose Gram Thomsen. "Circular Economy and Organisational Learning for SMEs : A study of SMEs practising circular economy in Kenya." Thesis, Malmö universitet, Institutionen för Urbana Studier (US), 2021. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-45983.

João, Diogo Fernando Custódio Duarte. "Economia circular - caso IKEA." Master's thesis, Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/10400.5/17455.

Girotti, Andrea. "Packaging strategies for the Circular Economy." Master's thesis, Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna, 2017.

O’Grady, Timothy Michael. "Circular Economy of Advanced Prefabricated Buildings." Thesis, Curtin University, 2022. http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11937/89151.

Baxter, Weston L. "Designing circular possessions : exploring human-object relationships in the circular economy." Thesis, Imperial College London, 2017. http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/52779.

Brodersen, Pauline, Johanna Håkansson, and Rodrigues Coelho Viktor Pombal. "Circular Economy, the future economy model for retailers : A qualitative study on retailers understanding of Circular Economy and their sustainability work progress." Thesis, Linnéuniversitetet, Institutionen för marknadsföring (MF), 2020. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-95338.

Lu, Xupeng (Luke), Shuiwei (Lucy) Wang, and Jie (Jim) Hu. "Government Interventions in Developing a Circular Economy." Thesis, Kristianstad University College, Department of Business Administration, 2005. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-3422.

This dissertation focuses on the roles of government intervention in developing circular economy. We start with a pre-study of the theories and literature related to circular economy in the developed countries around world. Several case studies are adopted to illustrate the different measures in developing circular economy. Case studies concerning the environmental taxation, the tradable permits and the green certificate system put an emphasis on the economic role of government intervention. A case study of a circular economy in the city of Kristianstad including C4 Energy Company and waste management covers all the measures in harmonization. At last a framework of government interventions and eight proposals based on Swedish experience are tested and supported. Then a comparison between Sweden and China is carried on under a Chinese context through a case study of Chinese Eco-park. The framework is categorized into three aspects: state regulation, economic instruments and social balance mechanism. After the comparison, some modifications are done. We develop a framework and eight proposals in developing a circular economy in China.

Blissett, Robert. "Coal fly ash and the circular economy." Thesis, University of Birmingham, 2015. http://etheses.bham.ac.uk//id/eprint/6002/.

Muzaiek, Samir, and Merico João Murilo Silva. "The Circular Economy: A path to sustainability?" Thesis, Internationella Handelshögskolan, Högskolan i Jönköping, IHH, Företagsekonomi, 2019. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-44360.

Liaros, Steven. "Networks of Circular Economy Villages: Political Economic Principles and Spatial Potentials." Thesis, The University of Sydney, 2021. https://hdl.handle.net/2123/26675.

Alday, Lara Perla Patricia. "Biodegradable batteries as sustainable power sources for portable devices." Doctoral thesis, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/10803/664250.

Andersson, Jonas. "Towards Circular Economy: Exploring states´ incentives for change." Thesis, Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för kultur och samhälle (KS), 2019. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-22427.

Bradley, Ryan T. "TRANSFORMING A CIRCULAR ECONOMY INTO A HELICAL ECONOMY FOR ADVANCING SUSTAINABLE MANUFACTURING." UKnowledge, 2019. https://uknowledge.uky.edu/me_etds/135.

Amoorizi, Varnamkhasti Kianoosh. "Competitive Business framework design toward the circular economy." Thesis, Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser, 2021. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-86977.

Lam, Dennis, Jie Yang, Yong Wang, Xianghe Dai, Therese Sheehan, and Kan Zhou. "New composite flooring system for the circular economy." Techno-Press, 2021. http://hdl.handle.net/10454/18598.

Lammert, L. (Laura). "Circular economy in architecture:sustainable principles for future design." Master's thesis, University of Oulu, 2018. http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201811233096.

Gunnebrink, Emma. "Remanufacturing towards a circular economy : the practitioners' perspective." Thesis, Högskolan i Borås, Akademin för textil, teknik och ekonomi, 2019. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-21997.

Da, Ronco Erica <1998&gt. "Measuring the regional dimension of the circular economy." Master's Degree Thesis, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia, 2022. http://hdl.handle.net/10579/22016.

Horikx, Lotte, and Bledar Beqiri. "Circular economy in the Nordic region – on the right path? : The effect of circular economy business practices on firms’ environmental performance." Thesis, Uppsala universitet, Företagsekonomiska institutionen, 2017. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-324860.

Mejias, Torrent Laura. "A step towards biowaste digestate valorization: process development for bt-derived biopesticides production through ssf and performace at demonstration scale." Doctoral thesis, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2020. http://hdl.handle.net/10803/671265.

Åkerman, Elin. "Development of Circular Economy Core Indicators for Natural Resources : Analysis of existing sustainability indicators as a baseline for developing circular economy indicators." Thesis, KTH, Industriell ekologi, 2016. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-180849.

Leroy, Luisa. "CIRCULAR ECONOMY NOW00 : How can a tool stimulate Circular Economy whereby the product development stage will be guided towards less waste generation?" Thesis, Linnéuniversitetet, Institutionen för design (DE), 2018. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-76331.

RIBEIRO, ROSA ANDRÉ MANUEL. "Circular Economy in the Clothing Industry : Challenges and Strategies." Thesis, KTH, Industriell marknadsföring, 2016. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-194132.

Lama, Virginia. "Environmental evaluation of carpet designs in a circular economy." Master's thesis, Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna, 2021.

Stertman, Edvin. "Perspectives on Product Policy : Towards a European Circular Economy." Thesis, Uppsala universitet, Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, 2020. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-413151.

Fan, Yee Van. "Minimising Emission Footprints in Circular Economy by Process Integration." Doctoral thesis, Vysoké učení technické v Brně. Fakulta strojního inženýrství, 2019. http://www.nusl.cz/ntk/nusl-409081.

Pringle, Tegan A. "Establishing a circular economy approach for the leather industry." Thesis, Loughborough University, 2017. https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/33499.

LARSELL, AYESA MIKAELA. "Integrating Circular Economy in the Innovation Process for Startups." Thesis, KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), 2019. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-263132.

LUNETTO, VINCENZO. "Energy efficiency and circular economy implications of additive manufacturing." Doctoral thesis, Politecnico di Torino, 2021. http://hdl.handle.net/11583/2897008.

Tamai, Ilaria <1996&gt. "Circular Economy: principles, legal framework and applications in China." Master's Degree Thesis, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia, 2020. http://hdl.handle.net/10579/17634.

Persson, Ola. "What is ciruclar economy? - The discourse of circular economy in the Swedish public sector." Thesis, Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för geovetenskaper, 2015. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-254222.

Gallart, Sirvent Pau. "Non-edible triacylglycerols as feedstock to prepare phase change materials and pressure-sensitive adhesives." Doctoral thesis, Universitat de Lleida, 2017. http://hdl.handle.net/10803/405959.

Conde, Mateos Mireia. "Estudio de viabilidad del uso de residuos procedentes de la explotación forestal del pino como una fuente sostenible y renovable de taninos." Doctoral thesis, Universitat de Lleida, 2022. http://hdl.handle.net/10803/673912.

Lidvall, Andreas, and Elina Jormakka. "Capitalizing on circular economy : A Case Study of Circular Business Model Innovation at Scandi Gruppen AB." Thesis, Internationella Handelshögskolan, Jönköping University, IHH, Företagsekonomi, 2020. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-48971.

Strahinic, Nikolina, and Hagbom Hanna. "Organizational Subculture And Circular Economy : A Case Study Of Circular Purchasing In The Municipality Of Malmö." Thesis, Malmö universitet, Institutionen för Urbana Studier (US), 2021. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-43081.

Bertassini, Ana Carolina. "Captura de valor em uma economia circular: guia para a identificação de oportunidades de valor circular." Universidade de São Paulo, 2018. http://www.teses.usp.br/teses/disponiveis/18/18156/tde-09112018-102145/.

Rufí, Salís Martí. "A Circular Economy Approach to Urban Agriculture: an Environmental Assessment." Doctoral thesis, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2020. http://hdl.handle.net/10803/671309.

Stein, Nicole [Verfasser]. "Untapped: Understanding the Consumer in Circular Economy Activities - Empirical Case Studies on Consumer Behavior and Motivation in the Context of Circular Economy / Nicole Stein." Wuppertal : Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, 2021. http://d-nb.info/124016565X/34.

Ubbelohde, Céline Karina E. "New economy, same challenges: Is Circular Economy enabling a sustainable and holistic transition in Europe?" Thesis, Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för geovetenskaper, 2019. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-388744.

Bechtel, Nicola, Roman Bojko, and Ronja Völkel. "Be in the Loop : Circular Economy & Strategic Sustainable Development." Thesis, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Sektionen för ingenjörsvetenskap, 2013. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:bth-1942.

Seidel, Alexandra. "Closing the Loop: Exploring IKEA’s Transition to the Circular Economy." Scholarship @ Claremont, 2018. http://scholarship.claremont.edu/pomona_theses/192.

Stugholm, Saga. "Developing an Urban Circular Economy Framework Based on Urban Metabolism." Thesis, KTH, Hållbar utveckling, miljövetenskap och teknik, 2020. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-276571.

Grönvik, Lovisa. "Circular Economy Experiments for Established Firms : A Business Model Perspective." Thesis, KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), 2021. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-299596.

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Flinders University Circular Economy Student Award 2024

Published: 13 Mar 2024 258 views

The Green Industries SA Circular Economy Student Award supports circular capacity building in the state and offers the opportunity to recognise the innovative thinking and research in the area of the circular economy for South Australian University Honours and Postgraduate students which are able to manifest into realistic solutions for accelerating South Australia’s transition to a circular economy.  

The award will be judged on students’ completed research or thesis within the past 12 months which must be original and address challenges in accelerating adoption of circular economy business models and practices. 

  • Table of Content

About Flinders University

Circular economy student award, aim and benefits of circular economy student award, requirements for circular economy student award qualification, application deadline, how to apply.

Flinders University is a public university in Adelaide, South Australia. Founded in 1966, it was named in honour of navigator Matthew Flinders, who explored and surveyed the South Australian coastline in the early 19th century. Flinders is a verdant university[citation needed] and a member of the Innovative Research Universities (IRU) Group and ranks in the 10-16 bracket in Australia and 36th in the world of those established less than 50 years. Academically, the university pioneered a cross-disciplinary approach to education, and its faculties of medicine and the humanities are ranked amon... continue reading

Flinders University

Multiple Awards with a prize of $500 each.

To be eligible to apply for an Award you must:

  • Have successfully completed a Honours or a Postgraduate program with the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, or the University of South Australia within the past 12 months
  • Be willing to promote the results of your research with Green Industries SA. 

 The award will be judged on students’ completed research or thesis within the past 12 months which must be original and address challenges in accelerating adoption of circular economy business models and practices.

Contact Program Manager

For queries:

  • Program Manager: Ms Serena Yang
  • Phone: 8204 2051

For more details, visit  Flinders University website.

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IMAGES

  1. (PDF) A Review of Circular Economy Studies in Developed Countries and

    dissertation on circular economy

  2. Table 1 from CIRCULAR ECONOMY MODELS AND THE MEASUREMENT OF THEIR

    dissertation on circular economy

  3. Dissertation

    dissertation on circular economy

  4. 2006 561 Dissertation Research Proposal Sample

    dissertation on circular economy

  5. A Circular Economy

    dissertation on circular economy

  6. Principles of the circular economy [37]

    dissertation on circular economy

VIDEO

  1. Political Economy of Rulemaking

  2. Explaining the Circular Economy and How Society Can Rethink Progress

  3. Impact of economic reforms on the business

COMMENTS

  1. PDF MASTER THESIS The relationship between circular economy models and

    Purpose: The aim of this project is to analyze the relationship between circular economy models and financial performance. Methodology: The sample consists of 15 companies that have been part of the Circular awards (winners, runners and finalist). The financial information has been obtained from Amadeus and comprises data from 2010 to 2018.

  2. PDF Measuring the Circular Economy

    Measuring the Circular Economy Developing a Circular Economy assessment for company level Master Thesis - 45 ECTS (GEO4-2606) Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University Master Sustainable Business and Innovation Author: Olivier Benz (5901669) Supervisor University: Dr. Laura Piscicelli Second Reader University: Dr. Ir. Jesús Rosales Carreón

  3. (PDF) Circular Economy Mainstream: an Analysis of Master Thesis and

    Circular Economy Mainstream: an Analysis of Master Thesis and Dissertations The general procedures that guide the stages of carrying out the review are presented in Figure 01, shown below.

  4. PhD Thesis Defense

    PDF | On Oct 11, 2018, Michael Saidani published PhD Thesis Defense - Circular Economy - Final Presentation | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate

  5. PDF Be in the Loop: Circular Economy & Strategic Sustainable Development

    Master's Degree Thesis Examiner: Professor Göran Broman Supervisor: Professor Karl-Henrik Robèrt Primary advisor: PhD M.Sc. Anthony Thompson Secondary advisor: M.Sc. Marco Valente Be in the Loop: Circular Economy & Strategic Sustainable Development School of Engineering Blekinge Institute of Technology Karlskrona, Sweden 2013 Nicola Bechtel

  6. PDF Master Thesis TOWARDS WASTE MANAGEMENT IN A CIRCULAR ECONOMY

    means to address this. The transition to a circular economy requires effective waste management. This thesis explores waste management policy in the municipality of Utrecht in order to determine to what extent municipal policies are contributing to the realization of waste management in the context of a circular economy.

  7. The Lab » Circular Economy Thesis Library

    Burying Opportunities: Business and Policy Perspectives on Circular Economy Transition in Plastic Production and Consumption in Costa Rica, A Q-Methodology Study, University College Maastricht, Maastricht University, The Netherlands, 36 pages, Supervisor: Dr. Serdar Türkeli. Küster E. (2019). Solving the plastic dilemma: Assessing policy ...

  8. PDF Governing the Transition

    implications in the transition to a circular economy 81 4.1. Introduction: Circular economy in Europe 83 4.2. Conceptualizing the circular economy and the WRP 85 4.3. Methodological approach 87 4.4. WRP: System dynamics and societal implications 88 4.4.1. Key dimensions of the WRP to a CE 88 4.4.2. Practical dilemmas of WRP dynamics 89 4.4.2.1.

  9. The transition towards Circular Economy: Circular Supply Chain

    In order to address the gap in the area of research for circular supply chain management, this thesis aims to provide rich and deep contextual information at improving the general understanding of ...

  10. [PDF] Circular Economy Mainstream: an Analysis of Master Thesis and

    Circular Economy Mainstream: an Analysis of Master Thesis and Dissertations. The specialized scientific production resulting from master's and doctoral research works and reports, indicates existing targets and advances in specialized research in circular economics. This study aims to develop a systematic literature review that highlights the ...

  11. Circular economy: A brief literature review (2015-2020)

    1. Introduction. Circular Economy (CE) emerged in the 1970s from the idea of reducing the consumption of inputs for industrial production, but it proves to be potentially applicable to any resource [23].Through the possibility of making human activity more resilient, using the natural cycle model, CE proposes a change in the "extraction-production-disposal" paradigm of linear economy (LE ...

  12. PDF Circular design in practice

    Therefore, this thesis set out to examine how the concept of a circular economy is currently being operationalised within design practice and explore what design knowledge, tools and methods are needed to support design practice and curricula in designing for a circular economy. The thesis builds on three studies.

  13. Business innovation towards a circular economy: An ecosystem

    Companies can innovate towards a circular economy by following five key resource strategies: narrow, slow, close, regenerate, and inform. This thesis explores these strategies - through case research and a design science approach. It shows that an ecosystem perspective is necessary to implement these strategies - and provides tools and ...

  14. PDF 'Closing the Loop'

    ambitions to transition to a circular economy (CE) in the Netherlands by 2050. Within this topic, waste management (WM) arose as a suitable area of study due to the direct link to circular concepts and the established nature of the policy field which allowed for an investigation of relative changes.

  15. The appeal of the circular economy revisited: on track for

    The proposal of an economy that is circular and without the need for material or energy input has an irresistible appeal to those who recognize the precautionary concept of planetary boundaries ...

  16. Dissertations.se: CIRCULAR ECONOMY

    Search for dissertations about: "circular economy". Showing result 1 - 5 of 127 swedish dissertations containing the words circular economy . 1. Life Cycle Costing : Supporting companies towards a circular economy. Abstract : Increased consumption has resulted in the depletion of non-renewable resources and an explosion in waste.

  17. (PDF) Recent Research Topics in Circular Economy

    The research topic of circular economy has been discussed from different perspectives and with diverse foci in theory and practice. One of them is the idea of cradle-to-cradle. McDonough et al ...

  18. Master thesis

    base that is fuelling this economy (The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2015b). On a national level, the SDG's and definition of the circular economy by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation have been integrated into the Dutch government-wide program to reach a circular economy before 2050 (Rijksoverheid, 2017).

  19. PDF Bachelor s Thesis

    Bachelor's Thesis CIRCULAR ECONOMY: Implications for the Swiss Fashion Retail Industry Wikimedia Commons ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences School of Management and Law Johannes Scheibler, S12468203 Business Administration, General Management PiE [email protected] Muristrasse 86, 3006 Bern Submitted to: Dr. Katharina Hetze

  20. Sustainable Luxury Fashion Consumption Through a Circular Economy

    2025, has stalled in adopting a circular economy (CE) business model to raise sustainable luxury consumption in mature markets. The purpose of this qualitative, multiple case ... dissertation second committee member, for his guidance and feedback. Thanks to Dr. Kenneth Levitt, the University Research Reviewer for my committee for his support ...

  21. Product Design for the Circular Economy: A Design Process ...

    The European Green Deal promotes a roadmap to a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050 [].An essential part of this plan is the transition to a circular economy (CE): a production and consumption model based on two complementary loops similar to biological cycles in nature [].This new economic model offers opportunities for change in every phase of the value chain, including Design [3, 4].

  22. Dissertations / Theses: 'Circular economy'

    This thesis is about Circular Economy and sustainability through a retailer's perspective. There has also been a focus on researching and trying to find out if the size of the retailer matters in a sustainability perspective and to achieve a Circular Economy. The research that has been made is done with a deductive approach and a qualitative ...

  23. The Circular Economy: Benefits and Challenges for a Business

    Abstract and Figures. This bachelor thesis is aimed at exploring what the Circular Economy is and how does a circular business benefit from applying its principles and what challenges it faces in ...

  24. How can a circular economy benefit the planet?

    However, making the shift to a circular economy also requires governments to create supportive legal frameworks and policies. More and more countries and companies are now promoting recycling ...

  25. Flinders University Circular Economy Student Award 2024

    The award will be judged on students' completed research or thesis within the past 12 months which must be original and address challenges in accelerating adoption of circular economy business models and practices. Table of Content; About Flinders University; Circular Economy Student Award; Aim and Benefits of Circular Economy Student Award