ES/EC/IB 343 - Circular Economy
In 2050, we live well, within the planet’s ecological limits. Our prosperity and healthy environment stem from an innovative, circular economy where nothing is wasted and where natural resources are managed sustainably, and biodiversity is protected, valued and restored in ways that enhance our society’s resilience. Our low-carbon growth has long been decoupled from resource use, setting the pace for a safe and sustainable global society. This unique course is centered around the concept of a circular economy that seeks to rebuild capital – whether this is financial, manufactured, human, social, or natural – and fully respects the resources and ecological limits of our planet. To ensure sustainable growth, resources must be used in a smarter, more sustainable way. Many natural resources are finite, an environmentally and economically sustainable way of using them must be found. No longer can we build our future on the linear “take-make-dispose” model. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular economy model builds economic, natural, and social capital on three principles: design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in the circle, and regenerate natural systems. Further, it represents a systemic shift that builds long-term resilience, generates business and economic opportunities, and provides environmental and societal benefits. This course will have a special focus on developments within the European Union, namely the 2018 Circular Economy Package and its underlying strategy and legislations.