English   Danish

2020/2021  KAN-CCMVV4059U  Circular economies - towards a global shift? (Online course)

English Title
Circular economies - towards a global shift? (Online course)

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Second Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Jesper Clement - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Globalisation and international business
  • Sociology
Teaching methods
  • Online teaching
Last updated on 03-06-2020

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes:
  • Identify and critically discuss the strategic advantages for circular economy in comparison with the performance economy, the blue economy, the carbon economy, the sharing economy and de-growth models
  • Identify and critically discuss the enablers and metric evaluations of at least four different business models for circular economy
  • Assess and critically discuss product life-extension model vs. product as service business model
  • Understand and critically assess the differences between down-cycling and up-cycling of materials (metals, plastics, organic, etc.) in material flows of different scales
Circular economies - towards a global shift?:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Group exam
Please note the rules in the Programme Regulations about identification of individual contributions.
Number of people in the group 2
Size of written product Max. 25 pages
The student can choose to write an individual project of 15 pages max
Assignment type Essay
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter and Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
*If the student fails the ordinary exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have to hand in a revised product for the re- take or a new project.:
Description of the exam procedure

Essay. The essay must be handed in by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

In the linear economy, businesses extract materials, use them to manufacture products and then sell those to consumers, who most often dump these, when they no longer serve their purpose. Such a linear economy extracts resources at increasing rates – currently humanity uses resources that would require 1,5 Planet Earths to keep up each year – without consideration of the environment in which it operates. Of late, a new geological term has emerged to describe the environmental consequences of the linear economy: The Anthropocene. This term implies that in our time, humanity is the decisive factor in shaping the natural environment. A critical component of the Anthropocene is our current patterns of production and consumption, i.e. the Take-Make-Waste approach of the linear economy. Most agree that this cannot continue indefinitely and that business as usual is not an option any longer.


The concept of the circular economy promises a way out. Here products do not become waste. The circular economy promises to keep products and goods at their highest utility and value at all times and is restorative and regenerative by design. Services and goods are distributed and shared in new and innovative ways without compromising the functioning of the biosphere. The common point of departure for the many ideas clustered under the rubric of “circular economy” is to change the linear economy of “Take-Make-Waste”. The rationale is to lower resource use and waste and build smarter governance of natural capital. The key notion of circular economy builds on the idea of cycles in nature fueled by solar energy, where nothing is wasted and stuff circulates in loops.


Attracting increased attention from governments, businesses and civil society, the circular economy is an emerging field of study, where we will cover a range of critical questions from conceptual and practical perspectives: What is the relationship between the circular economy and growth? Who (business leaders, industrial designers, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, etc.) venture into the spaces of circular economy? What might their business models look like? How is environmental impact of production and consumption measured and assessed? And ultimately, does circular economy create value and prosperity for the current generation that is not at the expense of the opportunities for future generations?

Description of the teaching methods
The teaching is a mix of live online sessions with student preparations and discussions and podcasts. The assigned papers for the lectures and the literature will be highlighted through these online sessions.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback will be provided through online presentations of group works and discussions.
Student workload
Preparation 123 hours
Online activity 33 hours
Exam 50 hours
Expected literature


Last updated on 03-06-2020