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
    28 July 2021
  • Correction to: Advancing the Circular Economy in Public Sector Organisations: Employees’ Perspectives on Practices
    28 July 2021

    A Correction to this paper has been published:

  • Mapping the Circular Economy Concept and the Global South
    28 July 2021


    Circular Economy (CE) is a concept that stems from the need to address environmental degradation, social unrest and inequalities, institutional instability, resource scarcity, and economic challenges caused by the linear nature-society-nature systems that the large portion of society operates on. The dissemination of the concept and its implementation has been taking place in several nations and institutions globally, mainly in high-income countries, otherwise known as the Global North (GN). Nevertheless, it remains unclear how the role of CE can be materialized in the low-income contexts, also referred to as the Global South (GS), despite the region being the center of production and starting to experience an expansion towards driving global consumption. Some critical issues include the lack of data, analysis, surveys, discussions, and practical contributions of the CE in the GS. Moreover, compared with the GN and the People’s Republic of China specifically, little is known about the status of research conducted and case studies focusing on the GS. This study presents a bibliometric analysis to provide an overview of where and how scientists address the CE concept related to the GS. The findings clarify the most and least explored research themes, thus contributing to the current knowledge on the CE concept’s advances and presenting potential relevant research and practice avenues for future focus regarding the GS.

  • Water Circular Economy at the Kwinana Industrial Area, Western Australia—the Dimensions and Value of Industrial Symbiosis
    27 July 2021


    The major industrial companies located in the Kwinana Industrial Area (KIA) produce many industrial, agricultural and mining chemicals and refined materials, for national and international markets. With over 150 documented product and by-product exchanges, Kwinana is considered to be one of the best examples of industrial symbiosis (IS) in the world. A new model of IS comprised of four dimensions is under development, whereby whilst each dimension is unique, collectively, they interact to characterise an industrial estate, thus contributing to the evolutionary understanding of IS. We investigate the basis for this model through an analysis of two water circular economy examples as they relate to Western Australia’s premier industrial area, the KIA. Case studies will consider a managed aquifer recharge (MAR) project that failed and the process water interconnectedness of enterprises operating successfully as a sub-ecology within the industrial cluster. Apart from the traditional product and by-product dimension of IS, three additional dimensions seem to be playing a crucial role in the KIA, these being the skilled workforce, support industry and governance dimensions. We provide additional context for the water-related examples of the circular economy at Kwinana by exploring a new four-dimensional model for IS.

  • Algae-Based Biorefinery as a Sustainable Renewable Resource
    20 July 2021


    Algae are a large and diverse group of autotrophic organisms that are multicellular and single-celled and found in a variety of environments. Biofuel production and value-added chemicals produced through a sustainable process are represented by the biorefinery of algae. Algae are important because of the production of polysaccharides, lipids, pigments, proteins, and other compounds for pharmaceutical and nutritional applications. They can also be used as raw materials for biofuel production. Moreover, they are useful for wastewater treatment. All these factors have absorbed the attentions of researchers around the world. This review focuses specifically on the potentials, properties, and applications of algae as a sustainable renewable resource, which can be a good alternative to other sources due to their high biomass production, less land required for cultivation, and the production of valuable metabolites.

  • Stakeholder Influence on Adoption of Circular Economy Principles: Measuring Implications for Satisfaction and Green Legitimacy
    17 July 2021


    Stakeholder roles in the adoption of circular economy concepts and corresponding impacts on firms have been crucial for academics and practitioners. However, substantial research gaps exist in relation to the specific influence of organizational, regulatory and community stakeholder groups on the adoption of circular economy principles and how these affect internal and external stakeholder satisfactions and green legitimacy in the context of an emerging economy. Drawing on the stakeholder and institutional theories, stakeholder pressures, adoption of circular economy principles, stakeholder satisfaction and green legitimacy were explored. Using a quantitative approach, the findings showed that regulatory stakeholders have the most influence on adoption of circular economy principles, followed by organizational and community stakeholders. In particular, adoption of circular economy principles robustly influenced external stakeholder satisfaction and green legitimacy while moderately influencing internal stakeholder satisfaction. These findings serve as a guide for policy making, management decision making and future research.

  • Selective Recovery of Iron by Solvent Extraction from Ni-Laterite Leach Solutions, as Precursor for the Synthesis of High Added-Value Nanomaterials
    16 July 2021


    Iron is the major impurity in the pregnant leaching solutions (PLS) derived from heap and atmospheric acid leaching of low-grade laterite ores. The PLS can be considered as a secondary resource for the synthesis of high added-value iron nanomaterials, provided that the iron is selectively separated from the polymetallic PLS solution. In this study, the feasibility of selective iron separation was investigated by applying a solvent extraction technique based on the use of Di-2-ethylhexyl phosphoric acid (D2EHPA) and Tri-butyl phosphate (TBP) extractants. The effect of several parameters such as initial pH and PLS composition was studied to identify the conditions allowing the maximum possible separation of iron with the minimum co-extraction of other valuable metals. It was found that the best separation of Fe could be obtained when the initial pH of the aqueous phase was regulated close to 1.4. The recovery of iron from the loaded organic phase was studied using sulfuric acid as stripping reagent and elemental iron as solid reducing agent. It was found that 90% of Fe(III) could be stripped out by applying the metallic iron (galvanic) stripping.

  • Towards Circular Economy in Fashion: Review of Strategies, Barriers and Enablers
    16 July 2021


    Circular economy business models are based on the establishment of closed production systems where resources are kept on using for a longer period. Despite the strong desire and demand of the fashion industry to become circular, less is understood regarding the concepts and application of circular economy in the fashion business. This paper offers a holistic understanding about circular fashion, by synthesizing the literature to derive a comprehensive definition for circular fashion and providing a framework of strategies that facilitate the move from linear to circular fashion. Moreover, the barriers and enablers for the transition are discussed by consolidating different viewpoints. This analysis provides useful insights for the designers, researchers, businesses and innovators to support the transition towards circular economy in fashion.

  • Qualitative Risk Analysis for Contents of Dry Toilets Used to Produce Novel Recycling Fertilizers
    15 July 2021


    Human excreta are a sustainable, economical source of nutrients, and can be used to produce recycling fertilizer for horticulture by collecting and processing the contents of dry toilets. Herein, we discuss the key categories of risk associated with the main groups of materials commonly found in dry toilets. The study was part of the development of a German product standard for marketable and quality-assured recycling fertilizers from human excreta for use in horticulture. Particular attention is paid to ensuring that the fertilizer is epidemiologically and environmentally harmless and that the quality of the recycling fertilizer is adequate in terms of low pollution and nutrient availability. In sum, the risk of transmissible human pathogens lies within the human excreta, particularly feces; plant materials added during composting are of particular phytosanitary relevance; pharmaceutical residues in excrements and chemical additives are potential sources of pollutants; non-biodegradable contaminants can cause pollution and injury; and the horticultural risks involve mainly the ammonia emission potential and in some cases the salinity effects of urine. These risks can be reduced significantly (i) with education of users around proper operation of dry toilets and the consequences of adding inappropriate waste, (ii) with facilitation of proper use with general waste bins and clear instructions, and importantly (iii) by using modern sanitization and cleaning processes and testing for harmful substances under the guidance of local laws and regulations, ensuring safe and high-quality fertilizers. In conclusion, the benefits of using dry toilet contents to produce fertilizers for use in horticulture are unquestionable. Our analysis highlights the need to support recycling optimization and awareness for the purpose of a sustainable circular economy and to minimize the risk of harm to humans and the environment overall.

  • Vaccine Innovation for Pandemic Preparedness: Patent Landscape, Global Sustainability, and Circular Bioeconomy in Post-COVID-19 era
    15 July 2021


    In this article, we present breakthroughs and challenges in vaccine development for COVID-19 pandemic, discussing issues related to pandemic preparedness and their implications for circular bioeconomy and sustainability. Notwithstanding the unprecedented accelerated speed of COVID-19 vaccine development, just 9 months after the emergence of the pandemic in Wuhan, China, benefiting from previous developments in SARS and MERS vaccines, significant gaps persist in global vaccine preparedness. These gaps include issues related to immunity and protection, particularly to the limited vaccine protection against recent emergence of concerning new viral variants in the UK, South Africa, and Brazil and the consequent need for vaccine redesign. We examine these gaps and discuss the main issues that could impact on global vaccine availability in the current pandemic scenario: (1) breakthroughs and constraints in development and production of leading global COVID-19 vaccines; (2) innovation and technological development advances and gaps, providing information on global patent assignees for COVID-19, SARS, and MERS vaccine patents; (3) local capacity for development and production of COVID-19, SARS, and MERS vaccines in three emerging agro-based countries (India, Brazil, and South Africa); and (4) future scenarios, examining how these issues and vaccines redesign for new SARS-CoV-2 variants could impact on global access to vaccines and implications for circular bioeconomy and sustainability in the post-COVID era.

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Key objectives:

  • continue to refine the contemporary scientific theory and evidence base of circular economy in tandem with the research-education-business nexus;
  • provide a network to connect and convene higher education globally to stimulate new research and educational initiatives;
  • share significant findings through high quality research publications, conferences and mainstream media
  • promote educational offerings to business, government, academics and other stakeholders