Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

2019 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Circular Economy and Sustainable Development

  • Ann CrabbéEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11352-0_309


A circular economy is an economic system that is aimed at using as few materials and resources as possible by maximizing reuse and minimizing value loss. A circular economy is more than “closing the circle” by means of recycling, because it focuses on using minimal resources in the designing phase and modular design aimed at easy disassembling in the end-of-life phase. A circular economy is an economy which is regenerative by design, with the aim to retain as much value as possible of products, parts, and materials. In a circular economy, the use and functionality of a product are more important than ownership.

Circular Economy in a Nutshell

A circular economy implies another, fundamentally different organization of the economy. In that sense, one can speak of a new paradigm. In the most fargoing forms of a circular economy, economic growth is no longer based on mass production (making big numbers of products that are low quality or need to be replaced soon because of...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Social Sciences, Research Group Environment and SocietyUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

Section editors and affiliations

  • Patrizia Lombardi
    • 1
  1. 1.Politecnico di TorinoTurinItaly