University of Edinburgh Business School

Circular economy

The modern model of ‘take, make, dispose’ is no longer proving sustainable and the world cannot continuing indefinitely in this manner. The concept of circular economy challenges the detrimental approach and presents a long-term solution.

Climate change coupled with an ever-growing population and limited natural resources pose fundamental challenges to the way in which society is organised. An interdisciplinary effort from businesses, society and policy makers alike is needed to respond to these challenges.

The University of Edinburgh Business School is dedicated to exploring the opportunities that the circular economy presents from an interdisciplinary research perspectives. The role that businesses have as potential leaders to create a circular economy is at the centre of this endeavour and there is an opportunity to really question the underlying assumptions of current economic interaction.


Circular Economy at the University of Edinburgh

SBI is playing an integral part in taking the University of Edinburgh forward towards being a more “circular economy” university. Working with the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability (SRS) and funded by Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS), SBI led a feasibility study and subsequent report into how the University could progress towards this goal with regards to research, learning and teaching and operations.

Read the circular economy final report

During the University of Edinburgh’s 2016 Innovative Learning Week (ILW), SBI hosted a festival titled ‘There is no alternative! Or is there?’ During this festival there were two interdisciplinary circular economy events. One challenged participants to come up with circular economy solutions for Edinburgh City Council. The other was a guest lecture focussing on the fashion industry and the circular economy.

Read the ILW Challenge blog

Read ILW and Fashion blog


Circular Economy Research Network

SBI is delighted to host the Scottish Circular Economy Research Network. The network is a community of inter-disciplinary researchers which challenges its members to think about climate change, the economy and society’s prosperity in the context of businesses’ current and future decision-making. The network focuses on why and how businesses make decisions in the current economic system and in which way such decisions are linked to the socio-economic surroundings of businesses. The network delivers cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research on this timely issue through close collaboration with public and private sector organizations ranging from small businesses to larger corporations as well as local councils and community groups.

Further information on CERN