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2022/2023  BA-BHAAI1104U  An Introduction to Circular Economy

English Title
An Introduction to Circular Economy

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration Summer
Start time of the course Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 100
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Martin Skrydstrup - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
  • Martin Skrydstrup - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
For academic questions related to the course, please contact course responsible Martin Skrydstrup (msk.msc@cbs.dk).
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Innovation
  • Organisation
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 16-11-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors.
  • 1) Map the different concepts of circularity and summarize the different strands and schools of thought of circular economy
  • 2) Exemplify how concepts of circularity relate and translate into sustainability strategies and vice versa
  • 3) Explain how impacts of circular initiatives are measured and assessed across scales
  • 4) Evaluate the risks and rewards of partnerships for circular strategies
Course prerequisites
No prerequisites required.
An Introduction to Circular Economy:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam on CBS' computers
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Assignment type Case based assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer, Course and exam timetable is/will be available on  https:/​/​www.cbs.dk/​uddannelse/​international-summer-university-programme-isup/​courses-and-exams
Aids Open book: all written and electronic aids, including internet access
Read more here about which exam aids the students are allowed to bring and will be given access to : Exam aids and IT application package
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
1st retake: 4 hours sit-in, new exam question.
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.

2nd retake: The second retake is always an online oral exam (20 minutes online oral exam with no preparation time) with one internal examiner and an internal co-examiner.
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

An Introduction to Circular Economy

Recycling seems easy to understand. Things are not thrown away, but reused in various ways to reduce our resource use and carbon footprint. Yet, recently news reported that a global brand opted to incinerate “lost love garments" collected for recycling, indicating that costs are high and margins low in the circular economy. However, for decision makers in our current global economic, political and business environments, achieving and delivering on circularity is a top priority. What drives this top priority is the imperative to shift from our unsustainablelinear economy, where things are produced from virgin materials and then thrown away, to a sustainablecirculareconomy. But what is the circular economy? How does it work and how sustainable is it? The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to these questions through a number of instructive teaching cases. 


You will learn the basic principles of the circular economy (the 3Rs of Reuse/Reduce/Recycle) and about the markets, strategies and governance arrangements, which enable their operation. The course is based on a number of iconic and less well-known cases from Pandora Brilliance to a maritime cluster in Reykjavik (Sjávarklasans) and from Copenhagen Cartel to BMW’s Circular Concept Car. The course aims to develop a broader holistic understanding of circularity across different industries and at the same time equip you with the specific tools to assess and measure circularity, design and craft circular strategies for various organizations and/or to provide you with entrepreneurial knowledge of circular business models to launch your own circular start-up.

Description of the teaching methods
This course features an integration of methods of instruction: Lectures, exercises and assignments, discussions, student presentations and peer feedback, guest lecturers, film screenings, possibly blended learning content and possibly an excursion (to be confirmed).

Through exercises, discussions, assignments and case presentations students can try various approaches to identify, assess, discuss and reflect on challenges in relation to implementing different strategies for circularity.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students will receive feedback in class on their circular case presentations.
Student workload
Preparation 148 hours
Lectures 38 hours
In class oral presentations 8 hours
Excursion 8 hours
Exam 4 hours
Further Information

Ordinary 6 weeks course


Preliminary assignment: The Nordic-9 pre-course is foundational for the summer university and identical for all bachelor courses. Students will receive an invitation with all details by the end of May. The assignment has two parts. 1.) online lectures and tutorials that student can access at their own time and 2.) one synchronous workshop which will be offered both online and in-person at several dates and times before the official start of the summer university courses. Sign-up is first come first serve. All students are expected to complete this assignment before classes begin.




We reserve the right to cancel the course if we do not get enough applications. This will be communicated on  https://www.cbs.dk/uddannelse/international-summer-university-programme-isup/courses-and-exams in start March.

Expected literature


Preliminary literature:


  1. Roberta De Angelis (2018) Business Models in the Circular Economy: Concepts, Examples and Theory. Palgrave.
  2. Mika Sillanpää & Chaker Ncibi (2019) The Circular Economy: Case Studies about the Transition from the Linear Economy. Academic Press, London.
  3. Catherine Weetman (2020) A Circular Economy Handbook for Business and Supply Chains
  4. Terry Tudor & Cleber Dutra (2020) The Routledge Handbook of Waste, Resources and the Circular Economy. Routledge, London.
  5. Brandao, Lazarevic & Finnverden (2020) Handbook of the Circular Economy. Edward Elgar Publishing. Cheltenham, UK.
  6. E. Worrell and Reuter Waltham editors (2014) Handbook of Recycling: State-of-the-art for practitioners, analysts, and scientists. MA, USA, Elsevier. Takes a very material-centric and product-centric approach to circularity, but is nevertheless a solid reference.
  7. Teaching cases drawn from Harvard Business Review and other journals
Last updated on 16-11-2022