Establishing a Circular Economy (to maximise the use made of resources and minimise waste generation) is a major policy area within the European Union and elsewhere. Explicitly seen as increasing economic competitiveness and laying a foundation for environmental employment, Circular Economy policies are designed to increase resource efficiency and decrease carbon dependency.
The many different fields of activity involved in developing a Circular Economy (e.g., re-use, recovery, recycling, design for the environment amongst others) have been shown to operate with varying degrees of effectiveness in different places and for different materials. Limited research has so far been undertaken that critically analyses these activities as interrelated social, technical, environmental and geographical phenomena.
CRESTING has recruited 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to train in cutting edge systematic analysis of CE-related activity and initiatives in a range of geographic and economic settings. The purpose of this is to translate critical assessment to lessons for managing the transformation to a CE.
The project asks the following questions:
- To what extent have CE-practices already occurring in public and private sector policy and practice?
- What are the environmental, social and economic implications of developing the CE, and how do these vary by scale (locally, nationally, and globally)?
- How can current CE practice be applied in different geographic/industry contexts?
- What methodologies of impact measurement and sustainability indicators can be developed for public and/or private sector organisations in the context of a CE?
- How can the CE in practice be understood beyond the policy and other aspirational definitions of the term?