Top business school launches world's first circular economy MBA - Press Release

June 13, 2013

28 May 2013– Bradford University School of Management (BU SoM) has launched the world’s first circular economy MBA, developed in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and leading businesses including B&Q, BT, Cisco, Renault and National Grid. This pioneering initiative delivered through the Distance Learning Platform of a leading international business school– BU SoM has recently achieved the coveted triple crown accreditation (AACSB/EQUIS/AMBA)– offers a coherent framework for a fast-evolving global economic context.

Euan Sutherland, Group Chief Executive of the Co-operative Group said:
“The time is coming when it will no longer make economic sense for ‘business as usual’ and the circular economy will thrive. We must take steps now to see what works in practice and to understand the implications of reworking business models. We have the opportunity to lead this change by rethinking the way we do business because the reality is, it isn’t a choice anymore.’”

Professor Peter Hopkinson is director for the distance learning Innovation, Enterprise and Circular Economy MBA. He explains:“Today’s economic conditions, characterised by increased price volatility and scarcity on the energy and resources fronts, require a change in perspective. We believe that an innovative approach, which integrates systems thinking and looks beyond the linear ‘take, make, dispose’ model, is the answer that a forward-looking School of Management should strive to provide. We have designed our circular economy MBA to give the next generation of leaders a first-mover advantage, by tackling subjects such as regenerative product design, new business models, reverse logistics or enabling communication technologies, to name but a few elements.”

As highlighted in ‘Towards the circular economy’, an economic report published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation featuring analysis by McKinsey & Company, there is a substantial business opportunity to be seized, and an unprecedented combination of factors (resources
availability, tighter environmental constraints, shift in consumer attitudes, enabling IT) that create the right conditions for a move toward circular industrial practices.

Professor Peter Hopkinson adds:“We strongly believe that our expertise in distance learning and our partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s independent experts panel and Founding Partners give our circular economy MBA the strongest basis possible, in terms of thought leadership and industry input.”

As Ellen MacArthur points out:“In order to address the challenges of a changing world, we need a pragmatic model which offers tangible economic perspectives, whilst appealing to aspiring entrepreneurs’ and future business leaders’ creativity and enthusiasm. The circular economy does just that, and working with Bradford University School of Management on this innovative MBA is the logical follow-up to our first joint initiative, the successful circular economy Post-Graduate Certificate.”

The new distance learning MBA programme combines classic areas of strategy, finance, and marketing within a circular economy framework.

Applications for cohort 1 of the MBA, which starts in July 2013, should be submitted by end June. Applications for cohort 2 of the MBA, which starts in January 2014, should be submitted by end November 2013. Further information at


Bradford School of Management
+44 (0) 1274 233089
Emma Banks, Media Relations Officer

Ellen MacArthur Foundation
+44 (0) 1983 296 463
Lucy Hardy, Media & Communications Coordinator

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