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
    17 June 2022
  • Concepts, Principles, and Application of Biodynamic Farming: a Review
    17 June 2022

    Abstract

    Biodynamic farming is an old but new alternative agriculture for sustainable development. However, it is not well understood and practiced. It is similar to organic farming but incorporates metaphysical ideas in treating soil and crop growth. The objective of this paper is to review and give brief highlights about the concepts, principles, and applications of biodynamic farming. To review about biodynamic farming, different literatures, research works, and practical works have been reviewed. Different search engines were used in search of documents using keywords like biodynamic agriculture, organic farming, sustainable development, ecology, soil quality, and health. Biodynamic farming is regarded as “above and beyond organic.” It was the first systematic method of organic farming as an alternative to the rise of high-input industrial agriculture. Biodynamic farming is the concern and practice of more than 5500 farmers globally, and the farming method has a very good preference among consumers of organic product. The number of countries with Demeter-International certified biodynamic activity increased from 42 to 55 with Germany having the largest (1552) biodynamic farms. Some of the principles of biodynamic farming are restoring the soil through the incorporation of organic matter; treating soil as a living system; creating a system that brings all factors that maintain life into balance; encouraging the use and significance of green manure, crop rotation, and cover crops; and treating manure and compost in a biodynamic way. Biodynamic farming is more than just a set of techniques; it is also a conceptual philosophy that applies to the farm’s general structure. The foundation of biodynamics is the construction of a farm that functions holistically as an unbroken organism. Scientifically proofed, biodynamic farming has its own contribution to agriculture sustainability via effect on soil quality and improvement of quantity and nutritional quality of a produce and pest management. Hence, biodynamics is regarded as a promising road to tomorrow’s integrated and sustainable agriculture.

  • Consumer Behavior in the Use and Disposal of Personal Electronics: a Case Study of University Students in Sri Lanka
    17 June 2022

    Abstract

    Consumer behavior has a significant impact on determining the best approaches for achieving circular economy goals. In this study, young consumers’ behavior in personal electronic equipment usage and disposal was evaluated. In Sri Lanka, 96% of university students have laptop computers and 100% have mobile phones. Meanwhile, mobile phone availability is 1.37 per capita, which is a comparatively higher value according to global statistics. Average possession time, reasons for obsolescence of personal electronic equipment, and awareness of e-waste characteristics are in accordance with global trends. Consumers are aware of the hazardous nature of e-waste, but their awareness of e-waste management schemes available in the country is drastically low. Their participation in formal e-waste management is also low. Stockpiling of end of use personal electronics is common in Sri Lanka; 1.77 ± 1.88 mobile phones and 0.72 ± 0.97 laptop computers per capita are in hibernation, which is a higher value when compared to global levels. More than 75% of the sample declared that they store e-waste at home. Hence, the study emphasizes the importance of raising awareness of formal e-waste management routes among university students as well as the general public. However, it is noteworthy that consumers are concerned about the risk of information recovery from end-of-life personal electronics. As a result, if personal electronics recycling goals are to be met, data destruction must also be ensured.

  • Leaching Characteristics of Lanthanum from a Secondary Resource Using Inorganic and Organic Acids: Emphasizing the Citric Acid Kinetics
    11 June 2022

    Abstract

    Spent hydro-processing catalysts are classified as toxic and dangerous materials because they still contain heavy metals, such as lanthanum (La). Thus, these spent catalysts need to be processed so they do not pollute the environment. This study focused on studying the effect of several parameters in the lanthanum leaching process and continued studying the leaching process’ kinetics. A selective leaching process towards lanthanum was carried out using inorganic acids (1 M H2SO4, HCl, HNO3) and organic acids (1 M C6H8O7, CH3COOH). The effect of leaching temperature (30 °C, 50 °C, and 70 °C), pulp density (5% w/v, 10% w/v, 20% w/v, 30% w/v, 40% w/v, and 50% w/v), and different citric acid concentrations (0.01, 0.05, 0.5, and 1 M) were also studied to obtain the optimum conditions. From this study, citric acid was an effective reagent for leaching lanthanum. Up to 100% of lanthanum can be recovered at 1 M acid, a 20% pulp concentration, and a 70 °C leaching temperature. As a green leaching agent compared with H2SO4, HCl, and HNO3, citric acid could give a prospectus method to recover the lanthanum from the spent hydro-processing catalyst. Moreover, the kinetics of lanthanum leaching was studied to determine the controlling mechanism and the kinetics factors using the shrinking core model. The obtained values of Ea and Ao were 29.81 kJ/mol and 30.51 min−1, respectively. The application of citric acid in the lanthanum leaching process provides significant input in the scale-up production of lanthanum.

  • Biocircularity: a Framework to Define Sustainable, Circular Bioeconomy
    08 June 2022

    Abstract

    Bioeconomy is proposed as a solution to reduce reliance on fossil resources. However, bioeconomy is not always inherently circular and can mimic the conventional take, make, consume, dispose linear economic model. Agricultural systems will be relied on to provide food, materials, and energy, so unless action is taken, demand for land will inevitably exceed supply. Bioeconomy will have to embrace circularity to enable production of renewable feedstocks in terms of both biomass yield and maintaining essential natural capital. The concept of biocircularity is proposed as an integrated systems approach to the sustainable production of renewable biological materials focusing on extended use, maximum reuse, recycling, and design for degradation from polymers to monomers, while avoiding the “failure” of end of life and minimizing energy demand and waste. Challenges are discussed including sustainable production and consumption; quantifying externalities; decoupling economic growth from depletion; valuing natural ecosystems; design across scales; renewable energy provision; barriers to adoption; and integration with food systems. Biocircularity offers a theoretical basis and measures of success, for implementing sustainable circular bioeconomy.

  • Review Study of Energy Efficiency Measures in Favor of Reducing Carbon Footprint of Electricity and Power, Buildings, and Transportation
    07 June 2022

    Abstract

    Circular economy aspires to achieve environmental quality by minimizing resource input and waste, emissions, and energy leakage by which the environmental impact of any of these activities is equivalent to its carbon footprint production. To combat climate change, an immediate task that depends on the promise of a single alternative would be extremely dangerous. Instead, a variety of options are needed, including changing the composition of demand (using less energy), structural changes in the composition of the economy (dirty vs cleaner sectors and products, and different input mixes in production), low-carbon transportation, more energy-efficient technologies, and low-carbon (particularly renewable) energy sources. This study aims to address means of promoting energy efficiency implemented within socio-economic sectors: electricity and power, buildings, and logistics and transportation along with their carbon footprint impact. Starting from illustrating the notion of carbon footprint and ways of estimation, strategies for lowering carbon footprint are discussed. Moreover, this paper demonstrates three case studies of energy efficiency and reduction of carbon footprint. The first highlighted the effectiveness of employing geothermal renewable resources via analyzing the system to determine which of the cooling tower or shallow aquifer cooling is more efficient, to be implemented in the system. The second case examined and optimized a cogeneration system to achieve the optimum configuration as well as maximum energy efficiency. The third study investigated an option to decarbonize heavy-duty transport via fuel cell electric vehicles in Switzerland. Last but not least, to enhance economic development by enhancing energy efficiency and low-carbon approaches, carbon pricing should be on the top of climate policy makers’ objectives to promote and implement.

  • Towards Circular Economy and Local Economic Development in Ghana: Insights from the Coconut Waste Value Chain
    07 June 2022

    Abstract   

    Studies on Ghana’s solid waste value chain have focused on plastic waste and e-waste with little emphasis on the coconut waste value chain as a potential for sustainable growth. This paper, therefore, focused on exploring the coconut waste value chain in Ghana and its potential to contribute to achieving a circular economy and local economic development. Using both qualitative and qualitative research methods, the study seeks to understand the coconut waste value chain in Ghana and examine its potential to achieve a circular economy and local economic development. It was found that the coconut waste value chain in Ghana has the potential to contribute to achieving a circular economy and provide local economic development at various phases within the value chain despite existing challenges. The paper recommends the enforcement of regulatory frameworks for sustainable coconut waste collection and transportation. It advocates for a strong partnership between local authorities and private entities to promote investment, innovation, and technology for recycling coconut waste. This will ensure the development of a viable and effective coconut waste value chain towards a circular economy.

  • A Circular Model of Economic Growth and Waste Recycling
    06 June 2022

    Abstract

    In this paper, we are examining the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) in the context of a circular economy recycling model. Our model assumes that there are only two factors of production in the production of the final good, a recyclable and a polluting input. We also present two extensions of this basic model by adding technological progress in the production of the polluting input and a dynamic reduction of the influence of the same input respectively. Our results suggest the presence of an inverse-U curve for the EKC confirming the findings of most of the current literature as well as an increasing curve for the recycling output nexus.

  • Circular Economy and Sustainability: View from the International Sustainable Development Research Society 2020 Conference
    01 June 2022
  • Advancing the Circular Economy in Public Sector Organisations: Employees’ Perspectives on Practices
    01 June 2022

    Abstract

    Circular economy (CE) is a concept that is gaining attention as an approach to help accelerate the transition towards sustainability. Research has focused on the adoption of CE practices in the business sector while the adoption within public sector organisations has been relatively overlooked. Examining CE adoption in the public sector through the perceptive of employees is crucial because of their expertise in the organisation where they work. The main aim of this study is to identify what public employees perceive as suitable CE practices for their organisations and their critical role in implementation. As the adoption of CE practices is influenced by social and material configurations, this research has taken a case study approach, focused on the Portuguese Central Public Administration. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with public employees working on CE and sustainability issues, and a complementary analysis was undertaken of governmental reports and legislative documents. The results show that public employees view the existence and potential of CE practices mainly in the area of public procurement but also in resource efficiency and optimisation, dematerialisation and in practices related to the R-hierarchy including reduce and reuse. Both technical-oriented practices aimed to achieve traditional resource efficiency, and human-centred practices targeted at reducing consumption and sharing resources have been identified. This research provides insights into how a specific group of stakeholders envisions CE activities for their sector. Identification of practices for central public sector has the potential to assist decision-makers in the process of defining priorities for CE planning, implementation and monitoring. This study focusing on CE practices in central public sector organisations contributes to the calls for an inclusion of human/socially-based practices centred around consumption reduction, sharing and dematerialisation activities to enhance the transformative and innovative potential of CE.