Circular Economy

The Circular Economy is about transitioning from a ‘take-make-dispose’ linear approach to resource use, to systems that encourage reuse and extraction of maximum value before returning resources to the biosphere.

Led by the Edinburgh Earth Initiative and The Edinburgh Climate Change Institute we are working with our partners to secure a resilient, just and climate neutral world. Within the University, our Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability is leading our efforts to become a net-zero institution by 2040.

Our expertise in the circular economy helps to create innovative solutions that enable businesses to thrive and to support the transition to a more regenerative, green economy.

Key areas of expertise


The UK Biochar Research Centre (UKBRC) is based in the School of GeoSciences at The University of Edinburgh, in collaboration with Newcastle University and Rothamsted Research. UKBRC leads multidisciplinary investigations of biochar regarding organic resource management, soil improvement and energy production.

Circular Economy Activity

We work closely with our partners across industry and the public sector to achieve transformational change in the circular economy by supporting the development and commercialisation of ideas through our end-to-end innovation support and exceptional networks.

The CloudEARTHi Project

A collaboration between the Arctic University of Norway, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Alicante (Spain), FH Burgenland (Austria), Varna University (Bulgaria) and business partner G-Force, based in Slovakia to improve institutional innovation and entrepreneurship practices around big data and sustainability. Aims to enable universities to lead the transition to a circular, net-zero economy.

Pioneering nature-based solutions for biodiversity and ecosystem services

We have re-framed environmental resource use leading to the emergence of the ecosystem services (ES) concept. This concept explicitly acknowledges our dependence on nature and the need to better protect and manage natural resources.

Synthetic and Systems Biology

Researchers at SynthSys – the Centre for Synthetic and Systems Biology, explore fundamental biological questions about living cells and systems and apply these insights – often in collaboration with industry – to create innovations for many markets including industrial biotechnology (including bioremediation and biofuels), agriculture, the environment, and medicine and healthcare.

Find out more

Lucy Stanfield-Jenner

Business Development Executive
Circular Economy