EC/IB/ES 347 - Circular Economy in a Global and European Context
The world is now facing a severe environmental crisis. The rising consumption needs in advanced countries as well as in emerging and fast-growing economies, are harming the whole planet. The “take-make-dispose” model of production and consumption is no longer sustainable. Many natural resources are finite, and an environmentally and economically sustainable way of using them must be found. A global shift towards more sustainable production and consumption paradigms is urgently needed. This course focuses on the concept of the circular economy (CE) – which is defined as “an industrial economy that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design” (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2013, p.14) – and it is considered a possible path towards more sustainable consumption and production patterns. CE distinguishes itself from the traditional linear economy as it aims to narrow, slow, and close the resource loops. Further, it represents a systemic shift that builds long-term resilience, generates business and economic opportunities, and provides environmental and societal benefits. Starting from defining the concept of CE and framing it within the EU Circular Economy Package, the course will then focus on sustainable/circular entrepreneurship, on circular business models and then on five specific thematic areas (agriculture, food, textile, plastics, cities). This course is particularly valuable for students of entrepreneurship and environmental studies with an interest in start-ups and EU policy affairs and covers the following subjects: Entrepreneurship; Business; Management; EU Policies.