Funded by: Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei
January 2019 / December 2020

Circular Economy (CEc)

Current global trends are reshaping the demand for goods with repercussions on the production of primary materials, energy, carbon emissions and waste management. Decoupling economic growth from resource use and environmental impacts is now perceived as a desirable objective, to be achieved through a sensible reduction of the use of primary materials.

The circular economy is a holistic conceptualization of the economy grounding on the recirculation of materials and their more efficient use. Transitioning towards a circular approach is expected to reduce the carbon footprint and waste generation. Depicted as a desirable and sustainable model of production and consumption, its tangible impact is very context and sector-specific and still far from being assessed carefully also due to the lack of available data and information.

This project aims at deepening the knowledge about the state of the art and implementation of the circular economy approach in business models and policies in Europe. It combines the evidence from empirical analysis based on new data, case-study and best practices evidence collected through the participation in the Italian (and European) Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform.

Ongoing Activities

  • Circular economy: measuring it to achieve it
     Although different conceptualisations of Circular Economy have emerged over the past few years, a clear and unequivocal definition is still to be provided. CEc aims to shed light on this heterogeneity of approaches to derive a clear definition of Circular Economy, linking with parallel concepts like green economy, bioeconomy, sharing economy. Furthermore, CEc’s activities focus on various themes. In particular: (i) identifification of the drivers and the potential role for policies and institutions, current trends and future development prospects; (ii) investigation of the aspects related to the implementation of new business models and initiatives in Europe and Italy; (iii) analysis of the nexus that exists between circular economy and decarbonisation; (iv) innovation in firms’ business models. Finally, a particular focus will be dedicated at the observation of approaches and methodologies for the assessment and measurement of the degree of circularity of firms’ business strategies.

  • The Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ICESP)
    The objective of the ICESP is to create a network of actors willing to share initiatives, experiences, critical aspects and perspectives related to the implementation of circular approaches in business and economy in general. As a scientific partner with consolidated experience in bridging academic research and policy making, FEEM joins the platform. In order to capitalise on the collected experiences and information, combining it with scientific knowledge to result in clear-cut policy recommendations, FEEM participates in the Working Group 3 on indicators and chairs, within the Working Group 5 on cities, the food and the mobility sections. 
Watch the interviews to the speakers of the FEEM workshop on Circular Economy: How to connect Policy, Research and Business?
Project team

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