Sustainable business development based on circular economic principles implemented in four phases: identification, assessment and evaluation, implementation, and monitoring sustainability. Therefore, this course is based on four main learning goals:
- Identify opportunities for business-making and value-recovery in line with circular economy principles
- Assess and evaluate the dynamic conditions influencing the decision-making and define managerial strategies for identified business opportunities in a real-life case
- Implement circular economic business in a real case based on the identification and assessment outcomes
- Monitor the sustainability of the implemented business over time based on the decisions made in the assessment phase
Transition from unsustainable linear economy to sustainable circular economy is a top priority of our society. Future business models will be shaped according to the circularity of our resources, which will provide employment to a wide range of engineers (industrial, mechanical, design, construction, biotechnology, chemical, etc.), business administrators, managers, and policy-makers. Do you want to be a well-equipped graduate for this transition phase to circular economy? Then, Circular Sustainable Business Development is the right course for you! This is a multi- and cross-disciplinary course open to all students of UT.
In the context of sustainable development, circular economy plays a key role for the transition to sustainable production and consumption. It is useful for students to learn the principles of circular economy in line with the triple-bottom-line of sustainable business development, as they are expected to be the future managers and decision-makers. Triple-bottom-line concerns three P’s of sustainability: people (social sustainability), planet (environmental sustainability) and profit (economic sustainability) and students are expected to gain knowledge and insight about corporate social responsibility with a mix of these three perspectives to sustainable business development.
The course starts with a general description of sustainable and circular economy and provides several case examples/success stories at world, national and regional level (Chapter 1). Following the first week, student groups start to work on their challenge-based essay assignment, where they provide solution concepts for a specific sustainability and/or circularity challenge (group assignment - 30% of the total grade). It follows with the in-depth analysis of sustainable production zones’ contribution to regional economy in the form of bottom-up implemented industrial symbiosis and top-down implemented eco-industrial parks (Chapter 2). The main line of lectures are supported with the techniques for measuring the sustainability (Chapter 3). An open Life Cycle Assessment assignment is provided to students (individual assignment - 10% of the total grade).
Next, the level of analysis is detailed into supply chain and company levels where students learn the drivers, dynamics, and benefits of sustainable business development (Chapter 4 and 5). Chapter 4 relates to the enterprise management model focusing on value-recovery from end-of-life products, co-products, wastes, and by-products. Chapter 5 deals with company behaviour and decision-making in the transition phase from linear business models to circular economic business models. A serious game play for real-life oriented practice supports this section (group assignment - 20% of the total grade).. Methodologically, the course is supported by the use of game theory for one-to-one decision-making and use of agent-based modelling for decision-making and business strategy development.
Each chapter of the course contains case studies from energy intensive, environmentally unfriendly sectors, particularly those ones located in process industry. Last week of the course is dedicated to blue-sky topics based on the interests of students, which might relate to a specific challenge of sustainability such as food waste, electric-electronic waste, sustainable evolution of eco-industrial parks, or effective use of different information systems techniques. In order to accelerate circular economy transition. The course concludes with the individual written exam (40% of the total grade).
Written exam: 40% (individual)
Serious online game: 20% (group) (played by a group of 4-6 students, with a short written game report)
Challenge-based short essay writing: 30% (group) (written by a group of 4-6 students)
Open Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)– a basic LCA development 10% (individual) (this is an assignment that relates to the use of an open LCA tool, a final screenshot is the deliverable)
Every assignment must be passed in order to pass the course