Journal Circular Economy And Sustainability

The Circular Economy and Sustainability journal aims to bring a new approach of the key concepts of circular economy and sustainability, by combining the scientific disciplines of economy, management, engineering, technology, environment, and society.

As circular economy is necessary today to promote the goals of sustainable development, these scientific areas are not independent to each other, but their relations, interactions and synergies exist and should be further developed and studied. Interdisciplinary approaches and multiple connections between these scientific areas are required not only to reach the sustainability goals but also to solve diverse environmental problems, expand technological limits and overcome potential economic disturbances.

This approach is expressed with new policies (command and control, market-based instruments, and circular public procurement), technological suggestions (e.g. technical cycle solutions), environmental engineering technologies (e.g., waste management, 3r strategies, water recycle, wastewater treatment and reuse, renewable energy), circular business models, circular innovations, circular management solutions, consumers’ behavior in circular economy, new circular economy products labels and social acceptance in circular economy. These topics could be classified in three levels; the micro-level (firm-level engineering and managerial level), meso-level (industrial ecology, industrial symbiosis, eco-clusters, eco-industrial parks), and macro-level (general policies, plans, green and sustainable entrepreneurship).

All content in the journal will in 2020 and 2021 be freely accessible to everyone


Latest Results

The latest content available from Springer
  • Circular Economy and Sustainability
    10 July 2024
  • Economic Policy for  Sustainable Development: Role of Monetary Policy, Fiscal Policy and Regulatory Policy
    10 July 2024

    Abstract

    This study empirically examines the effect of economic policy on sustainable development using annual data for 22 countries from 2011 to 2018. The study also proffers some economic policy strategies for increasing the level of sustainable development. In the empirical analysis, a sustainable development index was constructed comprising of SDG proxy indicators: healthcare expenditures to GDP ratio (SDG3), percentage of people using safely managed drinking water services (SDG6) and the share of renewable energy to final total energy consumption (SDG7). The results show that the economic policy index has a significant positive effect on the sustainable development index particularly in non-European countries and in developing countries and a negative effect in European countries and developed countries. Changes in monetary policy, fiscal policy and regulatory policy have a significant impact on the level of sustainable development. Expansionary monetary policy via increase in broad money to GDP ratio increases the attainment of SDG6 while contractionary monetary policy via increase in central bank interest rate increases the attainment of SDG7. Expansionary fiscal policy via increase in consumer spending leads to the attainment of SDG3 and SDG7 but it adversely affects the attainment of SDG6. Effective regulatory policy via increase in institutional governance quality increases the attainment of SDG3 and SDG6. There is uni-directional causality between economic policy and sustainable development. Monetary policy and regulatory policy also have a uni-directional relationship with sustainable development, implying that changes in monetary and regulatory policies cause changes in the level of sustainable development. This study is the first to empirically examine the contribution of economic policy to sustainable development using composite indices.

  • Integrated supply chain plan under multiple distribution networks: an implementation of mixed integer linear programming
    02 July 2024

    Abstract

    The study aims to minimize the cost of operations, storage, penalties, and dispatch in one of the largest paper and board manufacturing industries in Asia. The real-world data is obtained for cases underneath mixed products' in integrated and non-integrated supply chains. The cost minimization problem is formulated by developing the mixed integer linear programming (MILP) model constraining the multiple origins and destination ports in Pakistan. The metaheuristic optimization technique, such as the multi-objective genetic algorithm (MOGA), is applied based on epsilon dominance. The study results demonstrate that the cost of an integrated supply chain is minimal under various circumstances compared to the non-integrated supply chain, which provides a difference of 37% in both. Further, this study integrates the supply of paper and board products with the intermodal and multimodal transportation networks to investigate the most feasible supply chain network in the South Asian region.

  • Sharing and Repairing at University: On Student Practices, and the Future of the Circular Campus
    02 July 2024

    Abstract

    For decades, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have added their names to multi-scale environmental declarations and programmes for action, such as UNESCO’s ‘Education for Sustainable Development’. More recently HEIs have incorporated key facets of the Circular Economy into their norms and practices. While such agendas often focus on waste management regimes and infrastructural issues, this paper argues that on-campus borrowing and repairing practices are pivotal to any ‘circular campus’ goals, particularly the practices of students. Yet, little is known about the current borrowing and repairing attitudes and behaviours of HEI attendees. In response, this paper discusses the results of a project at Cardiff University (Wales), which surveyed students about what they currently borrow and repair; what they would like to borrow and repair; and what stands in the way of them doing more. The results show that, despite popular discourse that young adults—in particular Generation Z—are the ‘sustainability generation’, results suggest their attitudes and practices align quite closely to the broader population trends as drawn from the extant literature, in terms of barriers to action and low engagement with formal sharing and repairing platforms and spaces. As such, this paper argues that forms of circular practices need to be incorporated into on-campus ‘activist learning’ to increase skills and confidence amongst students: and to work towards displacing the norms of high consumption lifestyles that students are starting to display.

  • Sustainable Living: Young Adults Prolonging the Material Life Cycle of Objects Through the Appreciation of Used Furniture, Interiors, and Building Design
    01 July 2024

    Abstract

    Young adults acquire furniture from retail stores, second-hand shops, flea markets, and online marketplaces; they also inherit items from family members. While scholars have focused on consumers who acquire second-hand objects and appreciate inherited furniture, limited attention has been paid to the meanings of second-hand and inherited objects as elements of sustainable home interior decoration. Based on qualitative data, we analyze how young adults living in three northern European cities value used interior-decoration objects and how this enhances sustainable ways of using goods. Our study shows that young people appreciate architectural structures and interior-design aesthetics as well as inherited and recycled items in their homemaking. The building and home-decor style of the era shape the way consumers acquire used interior-design materials and objects. Moreover, young adults engage with inherited and purchased second-hand furniture by incorporating narratives about social ties during their acquisition. The durability of materials is valued in both inherited and second-hand furniture. Thus, young adults prolong the life spans of home-decor items, and they contribute to a sustainable, low-speed circular economy linked to homemaking.

  • Strategy for Circularity Enhancement in Bioeconomy Sector: A Case Study from Biogas Sector of Nepal
    28 June 2024

    Abstract

    The circular bioeconomy (CBE) aims to enhance the value of renewable biowaste by recovering resources, and the biogas sector, in particular, is a promising area within CBE. Despite the availability of diverse waste types, developing countries have mainly focused on circulating domestic waste. This study aims to formulate a strategy to enhance Nepal’s biogas-based circular bioeconomy (BGCBE) using the widely employed PEST-SWOT methodology. The biogas sector was analyzed from political, economic, social, and technical (PEST) perspectives, drawing from relevant literature, primary and secondary data, and international practices observed within the BGCBE. Key drivers and barriers in terms of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) were identified to enhance circularity within the sector. Key drivers supporting the BGCBE include a state-sponsored regulatory body promoting the biogas sector through financial incentives, the availability of various waste resources, and the involvement of local elected bodies as facilitators for municipal solid waste (MSW)-based biogas plants. However, several barriers were identified, such as a lack of community awareness about the importance of waste segregation and the environmental benefits of BGCBE, limited technical skills among household biodigester (HBD) users, the unavailability of technically skilled manpower, and the underutilization of waste resources for valorization. Stakeholder perspectives were integrated to validate the SWOT analysis and develop comprehensive strategies. Key proposed strategies include incentivizing bio-based product competitiveness through premium pricing policies, extending carbon trading opportunities, and raising community awareness about the ecological benefits of waste-based products. Policy interventions such as mobilizing unused waste resources, strategically locating biogas plants, and fostering stakeholder collaboration are recommended to advance the BGCBE in Nepal.

  • Circular Economy Matrix Guiding Manufacturing Industry Companies towards Circularity—A Multiple Case Study Perspective
    28 June 2024

    Abstract

    Manufacturing companies struggle with overwhelming expectations, disruptions and trends sweeping over their business environment. The evident climate change, together with rising sustainable development goals, is forcing companies to discover their environmental impact, in addition to the more familiar economic one. The transformation from a linear economy to a circular economy (CE) reduces waste and improves resource efficiency through the deployed R-cycles, such as recycle, reuse and repair. This transformation is feasible for multinational enterprises because they can allocate sufficient resources for their strategic development goals. For small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), any additional investment must be carefully assessed and planned. Thus, SMEs need support and tools to select their next development investments. Generally, maturity models help companies find their status (compared to others) and identify the most important development areas and actions. This paper presents the CE maturity matrix, which comprises five maturity levels mapped with seven linear manufacturing value chain phases. The matrix was piloted with nine manufacturing industry companies, four of which were from Finland, one from Italy, one from Germany and three from Ireland. The CE matrix interview results showed that none of the interviewed manufacturing industry companies remained at the linearity level. The most common levels varied between systemic material management and CE thinking. In the interviews, over 40 CE actions were identified as the argument for a company reaching a CE maturity level. The transition towards sustainable manufacturing has already started but will require efforts to accelerate and to engage companies to proceed.

  • Clustering the Research at the Intersection of Industry 4.0 Technologies, Environmental Sustainability and Circular Economy: Evidence from Literature and Future Research Directions
    26 June 2024

    Abstract

    Digital technologies may enable the adoption of Circular Economy models in production and consumption processes, thereby promoting environmental sustainability. Literature on these topics has grown exponentially over the last decades, focusing on the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies and its implications for environmental sustainability or circularity. However, extant literature reviews failed to cover the vast amount of literature produced, since they either have a narrow scope or focus on a limited sample of articles. To fill this gap, a bibliometric literature review was carried out on a sample of 1002 scientific articles on Circular Economy, Industry 4.0 technologies, and environmental sustainability. Descriptive statistics are coupled with a cluster-based analysis to provide a comprehensive coverage of the broader subject matter. Eight research clusters have been identified, with two general clusters (linkages between Industry 4.0, Circular Economy, environmental sustainability) and six topic-specific clusters (Big Data analytics for supply chain circularity, circular and sustainable additive manufacturing, urban sustainability, sustainable circular and digital (re)manufacturing, blockchain and data integration for a sustainable Circular Economy, miscellaneous and sectorial applications). Clusters are discussed in terms of research themes, methodologies, technologies, and circular strategies. Finally, a research agenda is drafted, pointing out six cluster-specific and four more transversal research directions. Hence, this research offers a detailed and quantitative overview of the research landscape, helping researchers and managers in understanding past contributions, assessing current standings, and identifying future directions of the research at the intersection of Industry 4.0 technologies, environmental sustainability, and Circular Economy.

  • Circularity Reinforcement of Critical Raw Materials in Europe: A Case of Niobium
    22 June 2024

    Abstract

    Critical Raw Materials attract increasing attention due to their depleting reserves and low recyclability. Niobium, one of the most rare and vital elements, is primarily found in Brazil. This research explores the potential impact of Circular Economy (CE) strategies on mitigating niobium's criticality within Europe. First, a niobium supply chain is designed and analysed by Enterprise Input–Output modelling. Second, the supply risk is calculated based on the criticality matrix proposed by the European Commission under three scenarios associated with resources, technologies, and policies. The results show that urban mining is a potential solution to reduce niobium’s criticality and mitigate its environmental impacts. A higher recycling input rate and/or a mix of recycling and substitution strategies is necessary to offset niobium’s criticality. Aligned with the CE action plan, the research offers a scientific foundation to strategically prevent the risk of niobium supply shortages.

  • “Investigating Financial Literacy’s Influence on Self-Help Group-Bank Linkage Programme with Special Reference to the Indian state of Uttarakhand”
    21 June 2024

    Abstract

    Financial Literacy is recognized as the primary policy initiative towards all-inclusive growth. It amalgamates knowledge, behavior, and attitude towards financial inclusion, financial resilience, and financial well-being. This study's primary focus is on examining the impact of financial literacy on the bank linkage programme amongst self-help groups. Using primary data from 967 Self Help Group-Bank Linkage Programme (SBLP) members, this study assesses financial literacy and uses Artificial Neural Network analysis to create a workable model that illustrates how SBLP may empower financial literacy. The SBLP is the biggest microfinance initiative in the world. It has been effectively directing small savings and bank loans for low-income households, intending to foster community advancement for financial resilience—a crucial component in times of economic and financial volatility.These results highlight the critical need to increase SHGs' financial literacy to maximize the effectiveness of the Bank Linkage Programme.

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