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By showcasing circular economy related teaching and research globally, this programme aims to enable collaborative ventures and knowledge exchange across academia, policy makers, and business outside the Foundation’s formal programmes.
Research – LSE aspires to shape the global sustainability debate through its research. LSE academics conduct world-leading research on environmental and social issues, shaping public policy and debate through evidence-based research.
In particular, the Grantham Research Institute for Climate Change and Environment is a world-leading centre for policy-relevant research and training on climate change and the environment, bringing together international expertise on economics, finance, geography, the environment, international development and political economy.
One example of LSE’s research is the consideration of the relevance of Circular Economy principles for the Chinese economy:
Another notable contribution is from researchers who are part of LSE’s Department of Geography and Environment, on themes such as waste and resources management including e-waste in developing nations, corporate social responsibility, technology adoption and innovation, including work by Dr Julia Corwin and Dr Richard Perkins.
Education – LSE aspires to embed sustainability across its teaching and learning experience. LSE works to equip LSE graduates with the knowledge, understanding, critical thinking and skills needed to become citizens and leaders, empowering them to address the future challenges of society and make a positive impact in the world.
LSE’s Department of Geography and Environment specifically covers Circular Economy concepts as part of its Sustainable Development course which forms part of several undergraduate programmes. Dr Jason Wong, LSE Fellow in Environmental Economics, engages his students through Circular Economy lab activities using educational materials from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Geography students have also participated in circular economy themed competitions such as the Clean Tech Challenge.
Operations – LSE is working towards Net Zero carbon as well as reducing its direct environmental impacts. This includes the work on managing Waste & Resources on campus, which aims to reduce waste and adopt circular economy principles of resource management at LSE. This includes the Plastic Free LSE campaign, aimed at reducing plastic waste at source. Some practical implementation includes work to reduce coffee cups waste at source, with 40% of drinks now served at LSE in reusable cups.
General enquiries - Charles Joly, Head of Sustainability
Academic enquiries - Dr Jason Wong, LSE Fellow in Environmental Economics
Find out more:
Visit LSE’s Department of Geography and Environment webpage to explore a range of undergraduate, postgraduate, and PhD study opportunities.
The University of Bristol is adopting a Circular Economy Strategy to manage its resources. In addition to offering potential cost savings and sustainability improvements, this will redefine how the university manages its resources, away from a linear model of ‘make, purchase, consume, and dispose’ to one with the following principles;
Umair Tanveer, Director of Resource Planning Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Operations Management
Find out more:
1. Project BEACON, a nine year programme collaborating with Welsh SMEs to develop biomass as an alternative to fossil fuels in the production of chemicals, energy and materials.
2. ReBluBlos a UK-China collaboration investigating the use of wheat straw residues as a feedstock for a range of high value applications.
Dr. Adam Charlton
Established in 1884 and based in Wales, Bangor University is one of the oldest degree awarding universities in the UK and connects with an extensive business network.
The Finance for the Green Business and the Circular Economy course, which is part of the Masters of Finance (7th in the world according to FT), focuses on the relation between finance, Green Business and Circular Economy, as well as the role of finance in the systemic transition toward the CE and its related metrics. The elective course is based on three main pillars: demand side analysis, supply side analysis, and risk analysis.
The programme aims to nurture both the conceptual and practical foundations of a new financial perspective in the creation of value, reconnecting business, society and wellbeing. It explains why and how finance is a strategic driver to accelerate the transition toward circularity in business, and educates both students and practitioners on the new economic paradigm, new sustainable business models and the relationship between the new systemic approach and innovation.
Teaching and research contact
Find out more:
Finance for the Green Business and the Circular Economy
Bocconi provides undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate education, (PhDs, MBAs and executives programmes) in addition to a range of double degree programs, in the fields of economics, management, finance, law, political science and public administration. SDA Bocconi, the university's business school, offers MBA and Executive MBA programs.
Key projects: Cranfield is committed to developing a truly integrated industry-driven circular economy research and teaching agenda across the university, which is capable of responding to the challenges of an emerging new economy.
Integration of circular economy thinking within postgraduate design, technology and management programmes, with academic leads in each case.
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A Network in Consumer Goods, Big Data and Re-Distributed Manufacturing to develop an active and engaged community of academics, industrial practitioners, policy makers and end users. The programme aims to identify, test and evaluate a multi-disciplinary vision and research agenda associated with the application of big data in the transition towards a re-distributed manufacturing model for consumer goods. Find out more here.
International Training Network on CE Business Models and PSS for 15 PhD’s from 5 universities to develop radically new business models for circularity. Cranfield are specifically focussing on Reverse Logistics in Circular Economy and Maximising the ‘retained values’ of servitised products.
Digital Intelligence to Enable a Circular Economy
How data, acquired through the latest advances in digital technologies such as the fourth Industrial Revolution (I4.0) and the Internet of Things (IoT), can provide Digital Intelligence to shape decisions about the manufacture and utilisation of automotive components for accelerating the implementation of more circular approaches in UK manufacturing. EPSRC Network Plus. Industrial Systems in the Digital Age.
‘Circular Economy: An Introduction’ an open, free, self-paced, online learning tool, developed and delivered in partnership with university partners and the Foundation. The course consists of seven parts that each take about 4-6 hours to complete.
Connect with: Professor David Peck, Associate Professor Circular Built Environment and Critical Materials
Find out more:
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) views its role in society as providing technological solutions that facilitate the transition to a flourishing, circular economy. All eight faculties of TU Delft work towards a circular, resource-efficient and resilient economy by conducting ground-breaking scientific and technological research, training scientists and engineers and helping to translate circular knowledge and skills into technological innovations and activity.
Green Village; Living Lab on campus for circular solution
Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) For the Common Good commitment is enacted through research, consultancy, teaching and extracurricular activities across its three campuses in Glasgow, London and New York. Circular economy and sustainable development principles are applied to business and management, engineering and environmental management.
GCU’s Master of Urban Climate and Sustainability1.5 EU-funded Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree project integrating three themes: science of nature-based solutions as the approach to mitigation, with the circular economy as the driver for urban planning, with sustainability leadership as the management goal: science of nature-based solutions, with circular economy and sustainability leadership.
Postgraduate theses on circular economy:
Professor Natascha Radclyffe-Thomas, Professor of Marketing and Sustainable Business, GCU London email@example.com
Find out more:
1. Gent's CAPTURE research programme aims to break silos and technology pipelines by focuses on solutions for the recovery and economically viable utilisation of waste water, plastics and CO2.
2. Resource recovery is also a subject for the international Masters programme SINReM and the European joint PhD programme SuPER-W.
Connect with: Dr. Bart Hommez - Bart.Hommez@ugent.be
Founded in 1817, Universiteit Gent is one of Belgium's major universities and is particularly notable for its research across a range of social and exact sciences.
1. A cross-disciplinary Masters course covers the schools of thought behind a circular economy, the business and economic case for a transition and drills down to the applications at a product design and management level.
2. Inter-disciplinary collaborations across various institutes at the university, including environmental management, polymer technologies and innovation management, contribute to circular research and teaching.
Connect with: Dr. Erik Hansen to find out more about the MA and other related circular economy work at JKU - firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more: Institute for Integrated Quality Design
Founded in October 2015, the Institute for Integrated Quality Design (IQD) is an interdisciplinary research institute located the intersection of the management and engineering programmes at JKU.
1. KTH plays a leading role as a knowledge provider for ResCoM project involving the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a number of European companies, and co-funded by the European Commission. ResCoM is a four-year project, concluding in autumn 2017, which aims to develop innovative methodologies and tools to help manufacturers capture value by closing the loop.
Connect with: Dr. Amir Rashid - email@example.com
The research of LAB UAS concentrates on circular economy innovations, which enable the transition towards a carbon-neutral circular economy society by closing the real-world material loops. These innovations include new technologies, smart digital solutions & business models, which promote the circulation of various technical materials including plastics, textiles, construction and demolition waste, and waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). In addition, the sustainable use of biomaterials and the development of bio-products that have high added value is another area of research. Sustainable communities and mobility provide RDI topics in cooperation with local stakeholders. The field of electric transportation systems is an emerging research and development area in the Lahti region.
The cooperation between the Technology, Design, Business and Healthcare faculties enables multi-disciplinary applied research from various circular economy perspectives. Furthermore, the involvement of citizens is engaged in LAB’s research activities. Research results have been published in international journals such as the “Journal of Cleaner Production”, Resources Conservation and Recycling” and “The Design Journal”. (The project volume of the circular economy research is over 30 ongoing projects with a total budget of 6.8 million euros).
LAB University of Applied Sciences is involved in two international circular economy projects funded by the Interreg Europe funding programme –
LAB UAS is leading the following regional projects:
LAB UAS has hosted Salpausselkä geopark project since 2017 to explore options to become a member of UNESCO Global Geoparks network. Currently, the activity is placed in Lahti Region Ltd in which a specified geopark unit started in 2020. The application to the network is in process, and the geopark concept covers environmental education in different levels including kindergartens, support of local entrepreneurs, sharing information of valuable geography, nature and cultural heritage as well as sustainable tourism.
Circular economy and energy laboratories. All LAB students study environmental issues (2 ECTS).
Collaboration & Leadership
Kirsi Taivalantti, Director of the Technology Unit (Kirsi.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Pia Haapea, Principal Lecturer (email@example.com)
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As a part of Laurea’s 2030 strategy, circular economy will be integrated into all degree programme curricula, (starting in business administration programmes). Other areas of study will follow and Laurea’s aim is to provide students with a cumulative and comprehensive understanding of sustainable development and circular economy.
Laurea’s research competencies are in orchestrating living labs for addressing complex societal challenges, in multi-stakeholder dialogues and open innovation ecosystems. The focus is on understanding human behaviour, individual and socio-cultural drivers for sustainability. Laurea also has expertise in developing user-centred services for the public, private and civic sectors that improve livelihoods and quality of life for citizens.
Circular economy focused research is mainly carried out under the service business and circular economy programme. Projects range from local to international level, from educational projects and local community development to European-level circular economy projects, such as Circ4Life.
Leadership and wider influence
Markku Anttonen, Research Programme Director, Service Business and Circular Economy - (firstname.lastname@example.org) Julia Nevmerzhitskaya, Project Manager and Senior Lecturer, (email@example.com)
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Laurea University of Applied Sciences operates in the Greater Helsinki Metropolitan region at six different campuses. There are about 7,800 students, 550 staff members and more than 28,200 alumni. People and interaction are at the core of Laurea’s education and RDI activities.
Laurea is actively involved in several service business and service design networks, such as the Finnish Service Alliance, Service Design Network and European Network of Living Labs.
Key Projects (current/ongoing):
Key Projects (finalised):
Professor Mattias Lindahl, Program Director for Mistra REES,
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Linköping University (LiU) features in the global top 400 of the QS World University Rankings (2020) and ranked among the world's top 30 young universities in the QS Top 50 Under 50 (2020).
LiU is known for having a strong dialogue with the surrounding business sphere and the community at large in order to build a better, more sustainable world. LiU has close collaboration with industry and academia on the regional, national, and global levels, along with an overall ambition to contribute towards a more sustainable society. In the areas of the circular economy, eco-design, the product-service system (PSS), industrial symbiosis (IS), and landfill and urban mining, LiU has held a strong position for many years, both regarding research and education.
Professor Shahin Rahimifard to find out more about the centre
Dr Sharon Prendeville to find out more about IDI’s AHRC project
Dr Vicky Lofthouse to find out more about the JOINT fund
Find out more:
Based in the UK's East Midlands, Loughborough University is distinguished as one of the country's top universities with strong links to business and industry.
1. Northumbria's School of Design aims to produce research that addresses complex cultural, social and economic issues from a critical design perspective with a particular focus on responsibility and circular economy thinking.
Connect with: Mark Bailey at Northumbria University - firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more: School of Design
Northumbria University is located in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK and has a strong track record in creating and applying knowledge for the improvement of society through its global business, social and governmental networks that include Unilever, Philips, Nike, IBM, the BBC and NHS.
The Rotterdam University for Applied Sciences (RUAS) runs a multidisciplinary Fieldlab Circular Economy and Business Innovation consisting of a minor and graduation research.
The minor component of the programme assists students and SMEs to make the transition from a linear to a circular design while creating ecological, social and economic value. The research component focuses on circular accounting, scaling strategies for circular business models, and symbiotic geographic development.
In developing circular solutions, the economic domain collaborates with the technical domain, including chemistry, the built environment, information technology etc. The multidisciplinary nature of RUAS enables students to develop solutions to circular challenges in multidisciplinary settings.
Connect with: Dr Mirella Soyer, coordinator of the Fieldlab Circular Economy and Business Innovation.
With 39,000 students and 500 members of staff, the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences aims to provide practice-focused and flexible education.
Examples of research activities at Tampere University:
Examples of research activities at TAMK:
Teaching examples of degree programmes and modules at Tampere University:
Teaching examples of degree programmes at Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK):
Influence & leadership
International collaboration: Both Tampere University and TAMK collaborate actively with diverse international universities. Tampere University is a member of the ECIU University, which is the largest European University alliance with 12 members in 12 different European countries. TAMK is part of the ENoLL network (European Network on Living Labs). Furthermore, TAMK is actively working with its strategic university partner, The Hague University of Applied Science and Francisco de Vitoria University to promote education and research in CSR, sustainability and circular economy. TAMK has also a tight connection with North Carolina State University in bio- and circular economy.
Local collaboration: In the Tampere region, Hiedanranta and Kolmenkulma, living labs enable researchers, students, citizens, public authorities, firms and other stakeholders to act together and develop circular economy-related solutions.
Memberships in the following networks:
• Campus Nature demo (2019-2020) was a joint project of B2N Research Group, the University Properties of Finland Ltd and Tampere University, in which novel green areas around the city center campus were created together with students in order to enhance biodiversity and recreational opportunities.
• Leadership Symposium: The symposium is organized every year by the Faculty of Management and Business and Johto (the Student Association). In 2020, the theme of the symposium was ‘Sustainable development - from words to deeds.’ Find out more.
• Sustainability Open Space: This open forum aims to provide an understanding of the key concepts of sustainable value creation by sharing implementations, knowledge and lessons learned between the industry, researchers and university lecturers and students.
1. The Collaborative Research Centre on Sustainable Manufacturing, which researches the latest technology and business opportunities with a focus on scaling remanufacturing.
2. The Brazilian-German Collaborative Research Initiative on manufacturing technology and resource efficiency, which explores the potential of decentralised cooperation in recycling networks.
Founded in 1879, TU Berlin is one of Germany's largest and most prestigious research and education institutions.
Connect with: Piia Nurmi - email@example.com
Find out more:
Circular Business Models Research group https://www.tuas.fi/en/research-and-development/research-groups/Circular_business_models/
University Overview: Turku University of Applied Sciences is an inspiring community of 10,000 members - an innovative and multidisciplinary higher education institution based in the southwest of Finland.
Connect with: Dr Teresa Domenech, Lecturer in Industrial Ecology and the Circular Economy firstname.lastname@example.org
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Circular office defits and refits: Office defits and refits consume large volumes of resources and energy and happen on relative short time spams (4-5 years) in the use life of a building. Generally little consideration is given to prevention of waste, reuse of materials, recycling, adaptability or functionality. This research looks into ways of incorporating CE principles to office defits and refits to minimise loss of resources, costs and environmental impact.
Connect with: Professor Amir Sharif, Professor in Circular Economy & Associate Dean (International)
Find out more:
The University of Bradford provides a Masters-level MBA, enabled through the internationally regarded digital Distance Learning platform and executive education programmes on Circular Economy.
The University of Bradford is part of an elite group of business schools to hold the “Triple Crown” accreditations of Equis, AMBA and AACSB. A leading UK business school, amongst the first to partner with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation originally as a Pioneer University.
“With a track record of developing the next generation of business leaders, committed to providing a stimulating context for action as well as transformative thinking in order to realise the benefits of an integrated Circular Economy.”
1. The university regularly hosts circular economy related events and has the ambition to bring together relevant disciplines around the topic, both in terms of research and teaching. Links with the Scottish government and local industry are also strong.
Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability
Find out more: University of Edinburgh circular economy focus
Founded in 1582, the University of Edinburgh is the sixth oldest university in the English speaking world. Its campus is embedded in Scotland's capital city and it regularly ranks among the world's elite institutions.
Leadership & Research
The University of Exeter has a range of research projects featured on the ECCE website. A foundation of government and industrially funded research projects underpin the theoretical and practice-based leadership of ECCE.
Their activities currently focus on key sectors such as farming and food, building and construction, digital technology, wasteful flows of industrial materials, such as plastics and regional approaches to circular economic regeneration. Further details (or see list in section below).
The Exeter Centre for Circular Economy/Masterclasses: email@example.com
The CE-Hub: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Exeter MBA: email@example.com
Executive Education: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more:
“To accelerate the transition to a circular economy requires ambition, strategic commitment and a collaborative approach to innovation. The University of Exeter works with industrial organisations, across sectors, to develop the required combination of skills and capabilities using tested tools and techniques to implement circular innovation at all levels of business, society and our surrounding environment." - Professor Fiona Charnley
‘Circular Revolution’ (2020 – 2023)
ESIF ‘Future Focus II’ (2020-2021)
EPSRC ‘Circular4.0: Data-Driven Intelligence for a Circular Economy’ (2019– 2022)
EPSRC ‘Connected Everything II: Accelerating Digital Manufacturing Research Collaboration and Innovation’ (2019–2022)
Interreg Seas to Seas Programme ‘FanBEST – Exploring the innovation potential within the Blue Economy across the Atlantic-Area of Europe’ (2019–2021)
EPSRC ‘Exeter Multidisciplinary Plastics Research hub: ExeMPLaR’ (2019–2020)
ERDF ‘TEVI’ enabling sustainable business projects (2018-2022)
2018 – 2019: ESRC ‘Circular Economy Policy Learning’
EU H2020 ‘Diverfarming - Crop diversification and low-input farming across Europe: from practitioners & engagement and ecosystems services to increased revenues and value chain organisation’ (2017–2022)
EU H2020 ‘Strength2Food’: assesses impacts, exchanges, knowledge, and informs policy making on regenerative food chains (2016-2021)
EPSRC REgenerative BUILDings and construction systems for a circular economy (REBUILD) (2016–2019)
EPSRC ‘Modelling supply chain optimisation in the food and beverages industry: Helping SME's in South West England work towards the circular economy' (2016–2018)
The University of Greenwich’s Sustainable Trade and Responsible Business development programme aims to generate knowledge and lessons on the sustainability of trade and responsibility in business, in a context of globalisation and changing world trade patterns, rising authoritarian governments, growing corporate and elite power, and crises in global social and ecological systems. It comprises a number of projects with relation to circularity including:
Circular economy thinking is included in a number of programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level and focuses on responsibility within economic systems. These include: Business, Human Rights and the Environment (LLM) and Managing in a Critical Context, and Masters course in Agriculture for Sustainable Development and Global Environmental Change, as an Environmental Foot-printing module. Marketing, Innovation and Management, Innovations in Food Packaging, Food Systems and Climate Change and Risk Analysis for Agriculture and the Environment, modules within the MSc Food Innovation.
Simon Goldsmith, Head of Sustainability
Find out more:
The Natural Resources Institute (NRI) is a specialist research, development and education organisation of the University of Greenwich, UK, with a focus on food, agriculture, environment, and sustainable livelihoods. Find out more.
1. The future of global value chains and the circular economy (in collaboration with Sussex University in the UK) aiming to understand the dynamics of global value chains confronted by the challenge of applying circular economy principles.
2. Business models for circular enterprises (in collaboration with University of Strasbourg in France). Looks to define the models of business for the circular economy, beyond the Accenture five models.
3. Module on the circular economy included in "Doing Business In" Master Programme and an undergraduate programme on preserving and better valorising of natural resources.
Connect with: Professor Antonella Zucchella to find out more about the the circular economy relevant work at the University of Pavia - Antzuc04@unipv.it
Find out more: Master in International Business and Entrepreneurship
One of the oldest universities in Europe, University of Pavia was established in 1361. It currently has 21,000 undergraduates, 500 PhD students, and 950 professors and researchers.
With a campus located in the heart of Portsmouth, (UK), the University is home to several world-leading research groups that are pioneering work on the environmental and societal dimensions of plastic use, the impacts of plastic waste, and the importance of circular processes. Vice Chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith has announced that by 2030, the University of Portsmouth will be the UK’s top modern university and one of the top 100 young universities in the world. One of the University’s priorities will be to lead on environmental sustainability and become climate positive by 2030. Read more about the University Vision 2030 and Strategy 2025.
Scientists at the University’s Centre for Enzyme Innovation have successfully developed a naturally occurring enzyme which can digest some of the most commonly polluting plastics. The University of Portsmouth was one of the first to sign up to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s (EMF) New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. The Advanced Materials and Manufacturing research group are working on hybrid composite materials from natural fibre composites and bio composites that could provide practical alternatives to plastics. In the Faculty of Business and Law, researchers are working on circular economy initiatives and consumer behaviour to explore innovations in packaging design and use. In the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, the group working on sustainable and circular fashion is giving a second life to various waste products.
Rory Miles, Innovation Fellow at the CEI
Professor Stephen Fletcher, Professor of Ocean Policy and Economy
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Campus management activities: The University is doing numerous things at a campus level to reduce waste and embed circular practices. Examples include composting of all food waste at the University; the use of glass milk bottles for any event catering (these are then cleaned to be reused for the next event); cooking oil (a vegetable oil) is turned into biofuel by a charity organisation (Yateley), which is then bought back by the University to power its catering vans; the re-use of broken slates that had been removed as part of refurbishment from the university’s roof and turned into trays to be used for catering events. (Contact Mr. Nick Leach – Head of Catering and Mr. Ian McCormack – Energy and Environment Manager for further information.)
Student-led activities: The Student Union at the University leads in a number of circular and waste-reducing activities, such as: recycling reward-schemes, food banks, recycling hubs for materials not locally recycled (such as batteries, clothes, bras), clothes swap and events where students can drop off their old belongings to give back to the local community as part of ‘Do 1 Thing’.
1. The Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC) researches opportunities to transform the way in which resources are accounted for through supply chains - work that filters into an MSc in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
2. The Urban Institute hosts the Integrated Infrastructure Network (IIN), a unique international collaboration of diverse researchers and practitioners, which looks at the role of integrated infrastructures in providing enhanced efficiency, resilience and adaptability for the cities of the future.
Connect with: Dr. Nick Taylor Buck - email@example.com
A world top-100 civic university, the University of Sheffield was founded more than one hundred years ago and is renowned for its research and intellectual leadership.
1. Hosts one of the world's leading research groups on remanufacturing technologies and related business opportunities.
2. The Institute for Future Cities tackles the economic, environmental, social and technological challenges facing the world today.
3. Research groups in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering are working on a number of circular economy relevant areas, including the potential to create more effective and recyclable flows for materials, most notably glass fibre composites.
Connect with: Fraser Anderson- firstname.lastname@example.org
Based in Glasgow, the University of Strathclyde received its Royal Charter in 1964 as the UK's first technological university, it is the third largest university in Scotland by number of students.
1. University of Sussex Business School develops research expertise on the role of new business models, global value chains and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the context of a circular economy.
2. Learning module "Enterprise in the Circular Economy" is available to students within the a number of BSc degrees.
Find out more: Institute of Development Studies
Ödül Bozkurt, Senior Lecturer in International Human Resource Management
1. The Textile Futures Research Community research group look at relevant circular economy issues regularly as part of their work. Design for cyclability is a conceptual framework developed by Kate Goldsworthy and forms basis of ongoing research relating to designing closed-loop material systems.
2. Design and Living Systems Lab researches the advantages of biological systems to eliminate waste, better use energy and in synthetic material usage. The Lab explores a new hierarchy within a sliding scale of 'natural nature' and a new 'programmable nature' in the quest for innovative ecological design and fabrication models.
Connect with: Kate Goldsworthy at email@example.com
The University of the Arts London is one of the world's most renowned institutions for education in the arts, with strong industry partnerships informing both teaching and research.
Student-led and community initiatives
Falmouth University and the University of Exeter Sustainability team (FX Plus) approach key sustainability themes on energy, waste, transport, biodiversity, procurement and commercial operations across the University's two campuses in Cornwall, (Falmouth and Penryn). It includes activities such as sustainable printing, campus tree planting and vegan and vegetarian catering. Some of the circular campus initiatives are outlined below.
Find out more about Sustainability at Falmouth University.
Oliver Milliner, Head of Sustainability
Find out more
FX Plus (Falmouth Exeter Plus) https://www.fxplus.ac.uk/
Shanghai Jiao Tong University is working on the Circular Community building based on neoBay* to support design education, research, and real-life implementations by taking the Circular Community as a Living Lab. Providing an open environment for collaboration in the areas of education, and in research based on long experience in multi-disciplinary and multicultural work, involving Chinese, European, and other international partners:
1. a platform for turning ideas into reality by testing and validating them in a real world context of China, and in particular in Shanghai, which is one of the most dynamic and innovation driven urban environments representing a rapidly growing market - but also one of the future design and innovation hot spots globally;
2. alternative approaches and solutions to complex problems for circular economy in an environment that has both mega cities and very resource limited rural areas easily reachable;
3. knowledge of design-driven innovation approach for social innovation, driven by interest of the NGOs, the public sector (e.g. hospitals), policy makers, and municipalities in testing and implementing social innovation in practice
4. the knowledge of exploring Living Lab methodology for education and learning.
(* neoBay is a Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation Community, co founded in 2015 by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), Government of Shanghai Minhang District, and Shanghai Land Group (SL) to build an incubation platform of entrepreneurship and innovation with premium resources. With its focus on incubating technology-based start-ups, neoBay aims at attracting and converging worldwide resources and networks of entrepreneurship and innovation, advancing Shanghai towards the leading hub of hi-tech innovation with global influence.)
• Design project: taking the EU-China Circular Design Challenge as the theme.
• Innovative thinking and Design: taking the EU-China Circular Design Challenge as the sub-course theme.
• Design Thinking, Knowing and Doing: with the theme Upcycling Campus as well as Circular Community Building.
Involvement in The Alibaba Living Water Project aims to build a "practitioner + researcher" online docking platform, explore the value of Alibaba's ecological cases and data, help researchers continue to conduct high-quality research, and promote the development of China's digital economy research. Find out more.
HAN Ting, Professor, vice Dean of School of Design firstname.lastname@example.org
SONG Dongjin, Assistant Professor email@example.com
Find out more:
Shanghai Jiao Tong University website (link)
Shanghai Jiao Tong University - School of Design
"We are looking to cooperate in areas such as sustainable urban development, intelligent buildings and smart living where SJTU is internationally networked and known as a leading institute in China. With the digital services being embedded in all aspects of everyday life we are looking to develop new design and innovation approaches to "smart life", including urban services as well as wellbeing and senior services, working together with prominent experts, active teachers and student teams and companies in China and internationally."
Undeniably, some of the world’s most profound environmental changes are under way in China, as it is both highly impactful in terms of emissions, as well as proactive in attempts to mitigate its own impact. The studio studies the carbon cycle in China and its system with the aim to map the system of stakeholders and actors involved in carbon practice. At the same time, it produces media and communication projects which aim to create awareness and distribute knowledge about the carbon consumption in our ordinary life.
Schmidt MacArthur Fellowship 2017 alumnus, Yubei Gong, whose interview article titled, “In conversation: Ellen MacArthur: From linear to circular” has recently been published on She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation (link).
Tongji University, College of Design and Innovation, supported by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, hosts the first Pan – Tongji Design Week: A New Decade. Aimed at enhancing design-driven innovation, a cross-border platform is being developed for communication in innovative design education, research, and social practices.
Collaboration with industry and local government:
The college has signed a strategic cooperation with Ai Recycling Co., Ltd. As the leading recycling business, it focuses on recycling of mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras, and other 3C (Computers/Communications/Consumer) products. It is also committed to the development of waste recycling and classification, to extend the service life of consumer products. Ai Recycling and Tongji jointly set up a working group focusing on course cooperation, project consultation, and establishing a joint laboratory for research. (More info).
By linking various industries and ecological subsystems to achieve maximum environmental flourishing, new industries, jobs, and livelihoods will add a new dimension to green development. ZhangYan Harvests will be an incubator of new environmental and economic models in the context of sustainable economic, social and ecological development. (More info).
Professor LOU Yongqi, Dean of Design and Innovation College
Find out more:
Tongji University College of Design and Innovation Homepage: Link
ALU’s focus on unleashing a generation of changemakers means that a circular economy focus is present across its student experience, including the following highlights:
From a curriculum perspective, circular economy is currently:
Find out more:
“ALU aims to develop 3 million ethical and entrepreneurial leaders for Africa and the world by 2035. It uses a personalized, student-driven, project-based, and mission-oriented approach to create agile, lifelong learners who can adapt to a changing world.”
The Circular Economy is introduced to BA Honours in Design students in the Service Design curriculum. Students may adopt the concept and use it to inform their approach to their final design research and project in a range of design specialisations.
There are a number of undergraduate projects that Inscape students complete that include aspects of Circular Design. Examples include:
Dr Sue Giloi, Chief Academic Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Inscape is the oldest multi-disciplinary creative institution to be established in South Africa since 1981.
Related circular economy topic areas are taught in various faculties and as part of existing undergraduate modules, including the Faculty of Engineering (Environmental Engineering), the Faculty of AgriSciences (nutrient and water recycling, sustainable agriculture, silviculture, soil and water management) and the Faculty of Law (covering legal matters related to waste management and recycling, Sustainable Development Law covers issues related to developmental challenges, including waste management and re-use).
Biodiversity forms part of Stellenbosch University's ecological sustainability strategy and includes objectives such as rehabilitating 90% of eroded areas, increasing local, endemic species by 20% and increasing the living microorganisms in the soil of garden areas. To achieve these objectives, the University has implemented the following:
Connect with: Dr. Rajesh Buch Director, Sustainability Practice, International Development, Arizona State University email@example.com
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Arizona State University, home to first comprehensive School of Sustainability in the U.S. and twice recognised as the most innovative school in the nation by US News and World Report, approaches Circular Economy through a three-pronged strategy: in education, in practice and through RISN, a collaborative global network of public & private partners.
“Through its charter, ASU is charged to assume ‘fundamental responsibility for the economic, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.’ To meet this directive, adopting a Circular Economy approach to education, research and practice was not only natural but essential. We are fortunate to have projects partners globally who have joined ASU to drive impactful change.”
Social enterprise, research, publications
Teaching and student engagement
Professor Sandra Goldmark, Associate Professor of Professional Practice & Director of Campus Sustainability and Climate Action
Leslie Raucher, Associate Director of Campus Sustainability and Climate Action
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Since 2012, Barnard College Department of Theatre students, faculty, and staff have been investigating and developing practices to foster more sustainable design and production methods in theatre. Their work has crossed from the classroom, to their season, to professional work done off campus by faculty. They are currently focusing on sets, costumes, and props, with an emphasis on emissions reduction though circular design and production methods.
The Department of Theatre’s goal is to create a systemic, trackable, institutional approach so that 'green' and 'circular' becomes part of 'business as usual' for the industry.
‘Barnard College aims to become the United States’ first 'Circular Campus.' This framework is designed to reshape patterns of consumption on campus, reducing waste and emissions by addressing the full cycle of procurement, reuse, and disposal, while increasing access and affordability for our students. Together, we can build a replicable framework for college campuses and beyond.'
Teaching & Learning
Student initiatives, learning beyond the classroom
Community engagement & campus management
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The Circular Economy and Faculty Innovation
Learn more about the range of research & the faculty at FIT addressing sustainable textiles and design.
1. The Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business focuses on the circular economy as a key theme for research on business innovation.
2. Staff at the Brooks Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems seek to understand how information, energy and materials are utilised within large complex systems and to discover new novel approaches for increasing economic resiliency.
3. The Center for Biologically Inspired Design aims to take advantage and knowledge from strategies by which biological systems, at levels from ranging from cells to ecosystems, providing principles that can be used to solve complex challenges in the design and manufacturing of human systems from products to city infrastructure.
Connect with: Professor Beril Toktay to find out more about the the circular economy relevant work at Georgia Tech - firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in 1885 and based in Atlanta, Georgia Tech is ranked among the world's leading technological research universities, the institute's mission is to improve the human condition through advanced science and technology.
Nancy E. Landrum
Professor, Sustainability Management
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Dr Greg Zilberbrant (email@example.com)
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There are a number of projects and practices happening at NYU's campuses when it comes to the circular economy. From a ‘Cool Food Pledge’, encompassing all dining facilities at NYU’s campuses in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Shanghai, and Abu Dhabi, to green purchasing strategies and sustainable gardening practices contributing to the reduction of air, noise, and water pollution in the Washington Square area. The University has implemented a comprehensive, University-wide effort to build a healthier and more sustainable future. Find out more.
NYU is actively supporting student projects which have turned into start-ups and new ventures. The Prototyping Fund, a collaborative initiative between the Design Lab @ NYU MakerSpace and the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute, has supported multiple student projects that have a sustainability focus.
Design for America of NYU, a student club (open to undergrads and grads from all NYU schools) to use human-centred design to tackle social issues in their communities). One of the DFA NYU projects is the NYU FREEdge, a food-sharing initiative redirecting food waste from individuals, clubs, events to members of the community that may be struggling with food insecurity.
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Demetria Giannisis, Senior Managing Director at the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mike M. McMahon, Strategic Partnerships Administrator at the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN) (email@example.com)
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Northwestern University (homepage)
Connect with: Nabil Nasr, Associate Provost & Director, Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS)
Find out more: Rochester Institute of Technology established the Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS), which is comprised of both academic programmes and research centres, and consists of a multidisciplinary team of 118 dedicated faculty, staff researchers and funded students who collaborate with organisations locally, nationally, and internationally to create implementable solutions to complex sustainability problems. Their strategy is the development of graduate-level courses dedicated to circular economy for incorporation into GIS degree programmes, and partnership with industry, research institutions, and other universities to conduct remanufacturing policy and technology research.
The GIS education programs include a Ph.D. program in sustainability with a focus on sustainable production and a Masters program with three tracks: sustainable manufacturing, sustainable energy systems, and sustainable mobility. GIS also offers a Master of Architecture program which integrates sustainability and architecture in the built environment.
K.S. Winans - Co-creator and former co-director, UC Davis Industrial Ecology Program
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Founded in 1905 and located in California, UC Davis is one of the world's leading cross-disciplinary research and teaching institutions. It is recognised as a leader in the fields of Agriculture and Forestry, Energy, Transportation, and Policy.
1. The EDDEC institute's collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach is based upon the idea that the development and implementation of the circular economy will involve the contributions of almost all disciplines and stakeholders. EDDEC has already engaged with more than 150 researches and students at Universite de Montreal.
Connect with: Dr. Daniel Normandin - firstname.lastname@example.org, Sebastien Sauve - email@example.com and Melanie McDonald - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more: Institut EDDEC
Based at the Universite de Montreal, which with its affiliated schools (HEC Montreal, Polytechnique Montreal) hosts 66,000 students and 2600 professors, EDDEC aims to synergise the expertise of professors, researchers and students from all relevant disciplines to develop research, training, dialogue and action.
Dr. Jennifer Russell - email@example.com Assistant Professor, Department of Sustainable Biomaterials
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"Our innovative approach to circular economy education and research starts with an undergraduate curriculum and learning experiences that ground students and faculty in tackling real world sustainability and circular economy issues. We believe this approach is scalable across Virginia Tech colleges and to other campuses, and look forward to collaborating with other campuses and organisations working towards circular economy higher education strategies."
1. WPI's research connects with circular economy in a number of areas including biotechnology, fuel cells, nanotechnology and sustainable materials processing.
2. The concept of a regenerative circular economy is embedded across key elements of the curriculum in a number of undergraduate and graduate course at WPI.
Connect with: Professor Diran Apelian - firstname.lastname@example.org
WPI was founded in 1865 and continues to be a leading scientific institution in the US. It's research is internationally recognised in a number of key areas.
1. Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Development Technologies, where circular economy plays an important role.
2. Research programme explores socio-technical side of circular economy, while focusing specifically on renewable energy, natural capital restoration, waste reuse and recycling, and secure access to water and food.
Connect with: Lucas Becerra - email@example.com & Sebastian Carenzo - firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in 1989, the Institute for Science and Technologies Studies of the Universidad Nacional de Quilmes is a leading university in science and technology a regional and national level, as well as being referenced internationally.
1. Circular economy is an important theme at the university's Engineering School, where a management certificate, Strategies and methodologies for a circular economy, is offered. The school us committed to exposing its studenbts to the circular economy framework and the business case for the transition.
Connect with: Claudia Maclean - email@example.com
Founded in 1842, Universidad de Chile is the oldest institution of higher education owned by the State in Chile, with a national and public character, it is a research-orientated institution organised into 14 faculties.
As the major institution of higher education in Brazil, and as one of the most prestigious universities in Latin America, the University of Sao Paulo (USP) intends to lead the development of knowledge, education and research of the circular economy across South America.
The partnership between USP and Ellen MacArthur Foundation will aim to promote circular economy through research, education and extension activities within society. This partnership presents several fruitful projects, including:
Aside from working towards a more circular economy, the programme also addresses to support organisations and the government in embedding circular principles and tools to drive the transition to a circular economy. USP is proud to be a Pioneer University with the aim of becoming a global catalyst for the circular economy across the southern hemisphere.
Connect with: Professor Aldo Roberto Ometto, Circular Economy Programme Lead firstname.lastname@example.org
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“In creating a strong, multidisciplinary, highly motivated group of professors and researchers, we aim to transform linear thinking by introducing a more circular model. Integrating life cycle thinking and circular economy principles into everyday business processes such as; product development, supply chain management, business strategy, manufacturing and development, will encourage more closed loop practices throughout South America. To make this transition successful we are putting together the tools and principles required to transfer circular values into the wider economy."
1. Circular Economy Business Leaders' Forum - working with companies to integrate principles of design for circular economy facilitating and promoting the adoption of circular economy business models.
2. Academia-Municipal partnerships on circular economy - a joint programme with the Tel Aviv municipality to develop research and piloting projects for circular economy activities across three topics: energy, waste management and logistics.
Industrial Engineer, Cradle to Cradle certified catalyst
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Afeka Institute of Circular Engineering & Economy (AICEE)
Public college offering Bachelor and Masters of Science degrees in engineering, currently ranked among Israel's most outstanding academic technological institutions qualifying between 300-400 engineers annually.
1. UQ's Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) is active in research related to the circular economy and the mining/metals industries. SMI has a particular focus on opportunities to derive value from end-of-life products and industrial waste through projects such as the Wealth from Waste Cluster. The outcomes from this research will help increase the circular use of metals in the Australian economy.
2. The School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management also conduct related circular economy research across other industry sectors.
Connect with: Dr. Glen Corder - email@example.com
Find out more: University of Queensland Sustainable Minerals Institute
Located in Brisbane, Australia and founded in 1909, the University of Queensland currently hosts over 7000 staff and 50,000 students.
1. Part of the Wealth from Waste research cluster (including University of Queensland) aiming to re-valorise waste metals in Australia.
2. UTS Business School have placed circular economy at the core of their work examining the potential business models that could facilitate material flows in a circular economy.
Connect with: Dr. Melissa Edwards - Melissa.Edwards@uts.edu.au uk
Find out more: UTS Business School
With a total enrolment of over 40,000 students, UTS is one of Australia's largest universities. Based in central Sydney, this dynamic and innovative institution, formerly known as the New South Wales Institute of Technology, was founded in 1964.
Research and teaching at Skema Business School focuses on the dynamic configurations of business model innovation through the lens of functional and circular economy principles. In this chapter, Christophe Sempels outlines the primary goal of innovation, which is to decrease material resources engaged in productive processes, while simultaneously increasing the amount of immaterial resources in the process of value creation, distribution and capture.
Skema is a global business school with campuses in France, USA, China and Brazil. It develops a unique international strategy by training management leaders in the knowledge economy, its core aim is to bring together international academic and professional experience.
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