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
    24 February 2024
  • Can Integrate a Sustainable Business Model and Global Value Chains Revive the Value Chain’s Sustainable Growth?
    24 February 2024

    Abstract

    Traditional value chains link factors of production and production to final consumption, adding economic value. To reduce the negative effects of the value chain on the environment and societies, the sustainable business model must be integrated into all parts of the global value chain. This necessitates responsible production and procurement, but all participants must recognise the importance of reusing resources, increasing the product life cycle, and minimising waste. However, this does not imply that all value chain participants in the value chain have equal responsibilities, as they have varying degrees of dominance, interests, and environmental and societal impact in their value chain-related activities. We claim that regional trade agreements are the key to balancing each other’s interests in an international value chain, assisting participants in reaching a consensus. On the other hand, existing regional trade agreements have flaws in how they distribute value. Furthermore, their standard-setting does not contribute to developing a sustainable global value chain because it ignores the impact of the sustainable business models of value chain participants on the global value chain. So, the article will focus on reconstructing global value chains by introducing a sustainable business model and using regulatory incentive systems to guide value chain participants in fulfilling corporate social and environmental responsibilities. As a result, this article discusses how a sustainable business model can aid in developing the global value chain in a sustainable direction, as well as how regulation can help.

  • Deconstructing Customer Value Propositions for the Circular Product-as-a-Service Business Model: A Case Study from the Textile Industry
    14 February 2024

    Abstract

    Offering products as a service is a way to implement circular economy principles in business models and promote sustainability. However, in many markets, the model is still in its infancy in terms of market maturity and lacks customer acceptance. More understanding is needed of how product-as-a-service companies can enhance and reconfigure their competitive position by proposing meaningful customer value. For this purpose, this study focuses on customer value propositions (CVPs) as a strategic management concept in the circular economy. The aim of the study is to outline a deconstruction framework for systematically identifying the strategically manageable components of CVPs in circular product-as-a-service business models. The framework establishes a link between the elements of circular product-as-a-service business models and competitive CVPs. The framework is developed and validated with seven product-as-a-service business cases in the textile and clothing industry context. The results of the study provide insights into how product-as-a-service companies in the textile field aim to differentiate, how they structure customer value by identifying customer benefits and sacrifices, and what kind of resources and capabilities are needed for competing in the circular economy context.

  • An Assessment on the Carbon Footprint of a Football Club—an Action Research from Theory to Practice
    12 February 2024

    Abstract

    There is a lack of academic literature that explores the evaluation of football club’s carbon footprints. To the best of the author’s knowledge, this study is the first study where the football’s club’s overall carbon footprints were assessed. This study’s main objectives were to measure the football club environmental impact and promote the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions for famous significant sports events such as the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) matches. The football club is a part of one of the biggest football clubs in Europe, which operates, manages, and maintains various facilities by assisting the football club in decision-making processes to identify the most relevant business engagement areas. The following research questions were considered: (a) What are the hotspots and the most significant contributors to GHG emissions of a football club? (b) How to improve emissions management within the stadium organization? (c) How to establish a carbon reduction and management plan? The researchers visited this stadium to collect data and interview managers of the football club. The GHG assessment results provide some relevant confirmation of the guidelines that emerged during the onsite visit. This study found that indirect emissions produced by a supporter’s transportation mode are equivalent to 38%, followed by energy consumption, accounting for 25% of the total GHG emissions. Specific future recommendations for sports organizations, such as (i) intermediate goal is to cut GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2030 and (ii) model scope 3 emissions and set scope 3 targets if scope 3 emissions account for 40% or more of their overall emissions, have emerged after this study.

  • Solid Waste Management in Higher Educational Institution: An Investigation Using the SWOT Analysis and the Circular Economy Principle Perspective
    08 February 2024

    Abstract

    Solid waste management is essential in every economy and one of the most important by-products of an urban lifestyle, which is growing even faster than the rate of urbanization. The composition of solid wastes varies with income; thus, the low-to-middle-income population generates mainly organic wastes. Solid waste management, which includes recycling, incineration, waste-to-energy conversion, composting, or landfilling, is imperative. The study’s main objective is to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the implementation program for the management of solid waste from the perspective of the cyclic flow of materials in an institution of higher education. Hence, waste characterization and comparison of circular and linear economy approaches to waste management were used. Using questionnaire responses from the staff of Takoradi Technical University and experts from waste management companies, this study assesses the strength, weakness, opportunities, and threat to examine the circularity of waste management of the University. The strength, weakness, opportunities, and threat and analytical hierarchy process analyses showed that the circular economy approach to managing the identified waste components is more sustainable and environmentally friendly than the linear economy approach. The findings showed that a solid waste management action plan is the best strength. Moreover, no segregation (sorting) of waste emerged as the weakness. Additionally, the economic value of solid waste in the world and the existence of domestic and international markets to buy and sell waste proved to be the best opportunity, whereas managing the high volumes of waste due to increasing waste generation represented the most significant threat. Recommendations and limitations are discussed.

  • Incorporating Circular Economy Principles into Olive Oil Industry Using ISO 14001: A Greek Company’s Case Study
    07 February 2024

    Abstract

    Over the past few years, the circular economy (CE) principles have been widely embraced as fundamental to all economic activities, including olive oil production. CE principles will likely be implemented more effectively if existing standardized management systems are utilized, due to the lack of specialized CE standards currently available. Based on a review of the global literature, this paper examines the possibilities of implementing CE practices using existing standards. Additionally, one of the main objectives of this study is to determine whether the ISO 14001 standard promotes the CE concept. An olive oil company in Greece that has implemented the ISO 14001 standard is also discussed, in order to demonstrate whether this standard can facilitate the transition of olive oil industry to CE. Standardizing the CE approach and activities of an organization is essential, as it facilitates the creation of uniform CE standards and enables the comparison of results among organizations.

  • Resource-Efficient Gigawatt Water Electrolysis in Germany—A Circular Economy Potential Analysis
    03 February 2024

    Abstract

    Green hydrogen will play a key role in the future energy system. For the production of green hydrogen, an installation of alkaline (AWE) and proton exchange membrane water electrolysis (PEMWE) of several gigawatts per year is projected in the upcoming decades. The development of the hydrogen economy is associated with a great demand for scarce and expensive resources. To reduce resource demand and avoid supply bottlenecks, actions toward a circular economy are required. In the present study, three circular economy actions (repair, reuse, and recycling) are analyzed with regard to AWE and PEMWE installation taking Germany as an example. It is found that, so far, only recycling is a viable strategy for a circular economy. For further analysis, a model is developed to assess the impact of recycling on resource demand for AWE and PEMWE scale-up. Mass flows from end-of-life recycling are intergrated into the model, and their economic value is estimated. The results imply that closed-loop recycling can reduce the cumulated primary resource demand by up to 50% in the long run. However, recycling will first be relevant after 2040, while water electrolysis capacities installed before still depend on primary materials. The outlook on the economic value of the recycling materials indicates a volume of up to 2.15 B € per decade for PEMWE and 0.98 B € per decade for AWE recycling. To realize the potential, a recycling industry specialized for those technolgies considering the whole value chain covering dismantling, collection, and recycling must be introduced.

  • Urbanization and Benefit of Integration Circular Economy into Waste Management in Indonesia: A Review
    03 February 2024

    Abstract

    Urbanization is a global problem but is more pronounced in developing countries. Population growth in developing countries is in line with population movement from rural to urban areas due to easy access to jobs, welfare, and the economy. Indirectly, urbanization will burden urban areas in various vital sectors and contribute directly to waste generation. Unscientific waste handling causes health hazards and urban environmental degradation. Solid Waste Management is a formidable task in Indonesia that will become more complicated with increasing urbanization, changing lifestyles, and increasing consumerism. Several current obstacles related to waste management have made the situation even worse. Current inappropriate waste disposal practices have created severe environmental and public health problems. The purpose of this paper is to critically review the impact of urbanization on waste generation, what is currently being done, and the benefit of integrating a circular economy into waste management to address the waste problem in Indonesia. This review provides an overview of urbanization trends, the projected increase in waste due to urbanization, solid waste status, and current waste management in Indonesia. An integration circular economy approach provides an overview of the benefits of implementing this approach in five crucial sectors in Indonesia. The circular economy approach is expected to be one of the future solutions to the problem of waste management in Indonesia.

  • Electronic Waste: 21st Century Scenario in Zimbabwe—A Review
    23 January 2024

    Abstract

    Electronic equipment and appliances are currently essential for Zimbabweans’ daily lives and had a vast influence on the country’s economy. Electronic waste increase is inevitable, hence need attention to understand aspects surrounding management of massive quantities of electronic waste. This review aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the electronic waste situation in Zimbabwe. In order to present an authoritative and credible overview of the topic, published and grey literature was utilised. Skyrocketing increase of electronic waste in Zimbabwe is attributed to technological advancement, globalisation, increase in consumption of electronic gadgets and appliances and importation of second-hand electronic products and high dependency on electrical gadgets in industries and institutions. Electronic waste is managed together with other types of waste from generation to disposal. Utilised disposal approaches include open pits, burning, incinerators, landfilling; however, electronic waste is discarded on illegal sites like street corners, open spaces and road verges. Recycling activities are carried out, but the sector is dominated by informal recyclers who work without adequate safety gear, hence exposed to occupational risks like injuries. Most of the disposal techniques applied are least prioritised by the waste management hierarchy, therefore causing air, soil, water and atmospheric contamination. Electronic waste disposal sites generate leachates, vectors and furans, dioxins, heavy metals and toxic gases from combustion that pose gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases. Electronic waste mismanagement is attributed to socio-economic and political challenges. Therefore, to reach sustainability, integrated approach should be supported by stringent legislation, policies, enough resources and programs to raise awareness of Zimbabweans.

  • Towards a Just Circular Economy Transition: the Case of European Plastic Waste Trade to Vietnam for Recycling
    18 January 2024

    Abstract

    Exporting waste for recycling to destinations without sound recycling capacity raises questions of fairness and sustainability. Due to insufficient recycling infrastructure in Europe to manage the growing generation of plastic waste, there has been an increase in waste trade for recycling in a complex global value chain, with the stated goal of achieving sound resource recovery. However, such trade poses increasing governance and sustainability challenges. The EU has implemented policies and systems for plastic waste management, including separate collection to prevent potential harm and promote resource reuse. Nevertheless, waste handling is often outsourced without transparency to countries with cheaper operating and labour costs, which can cause harm to individuals, societies, and the environment. Fifty per cent of the collected European plastic waste for recycling is shipped for recycling outside the EU without accountability. This Vietnamese case study of the EU plastic waste exports for recycling aims to increase our understanding of waste governance and its circularity, sustainability and justice implications. We adopt a multidisciplinary perspective to understand the challenges of the EU’s plastic waste export practices for the broader socio-ecological system. We propose a multidisciplinary framework as an ecocentric ethical guide for just and circular future waste shipment practices with strong consideration for the social and ecological dimensions. We hope that this research and its outcomes can provide insights for forthcoming policies, such as the United Nations treaty on plastic waste pollution.

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