In the face of dwindling global resources, the idea of a circular economy has gained global attention. Policy makers, industry and scientists suggest organizing economic activity in closed loops to increase the value derived from existing products and materials. Inspired by natural cycles and ideas of industrial ecology, the circular economy promises greater resource productivity as well as waste and emissions reduction through a restorative and regenerative design. The specific socio-economic consequences of implementing this concept on a national or even international scale, however, remain largely unknown.
On this basis, the newly established research group Circulus: Opportunities and challenges of transition to a
sustainable circular bio-economy, aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of the
emergence and potential pathways of a circular economy in Europe and beyond. It takes on a constructivist systems perspective that connects political visions of a circular economy to current transformations in economic sectors and specific value chains across
different countries. We analyse societal discourses and governance pathways as well as a number of
industrial cases from bio-based sectors, collaborating with relevant industry
The aim of the project is to provide a sound scientific understanding of the nature of current transformations towards a circular economy across different industry sectors. Based on this understanding, the project will outline potential transformation pathways and specify their socio-economic consequences.
JProf. Dr. Sina Leipold
University of Freiburg
Chair of Societal Transition and Circular Economy
Tennenbacher Str. 4
D- 79106 Freiburg
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