CIRCLES - Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Education in Circular Economy and Sustainability



Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Education in Circular Economy and Sustainability (CIRCLES) is an interdisciplinary research centre focusing on circular economy and sustainable development. It combines research across natural science, humanities, social science and technical sciences.


Roskilde University has a strategic aim to conduct research and offer educational programs contributing to fulfilling the seventeen global goals for sustainable development as initiated by the United Nations.

In order to fully commit to this strategic aim Roskilde University has intensified interdisciplinary collaboration through facilitating closer integration and synergy between natural science, humanities, social science and technology. The university holds a unique position by working across a broad spectrum of highly relevant research areas, educational aspects and having established collaboration with a range of external stakeholders like NGOs, private companies, universities and public institutions. CIRCLES demonstrates the strengths of interdisciplinarity and intersectoral collaboration on a local, national and international level.

The purpose of CIRCLES is to strengthen:

  • Interdisciplinary research and education
  • Communication and mobilization to challenge existing narratives
  • Innovation and implementation of new economic models and solutions for production starting from key concepts as circular economy and sustainable design
  • Further  external funding for research projects


CIRCLES focuses on circular economy and sustainable development by not only looking for solutions based on single technologies but on systemic change and innovation at different levels in society and across sectors.

Following the European Commission (2014)[1] CIRCLES understands the circular economy as an economic system with a closed-loop material cycle: “Circular economy systems keep the added value in products for as long as possible and eliminate waste. They keep resources within the economy when a product has reached the end of its life, so that they can be productively used again and again and hence create further value”.

The circular economy approach focuses on four main aspects:

  1. Material flows and environmental impacts associated with these flows through the economy
  2. The economy related to these flows and the economic implications on value chains and business models
  3. Governance perspectives at different levels including international, national, regional and local levels and across policy fields
  4. Collaboration with relevant stakeholders such as private companies, NGOs, public institutions at different levels and international research communities

The framework of the Sustainable Development Goals implies an ambitious need for interdisciplinary research in order to understand interrelated ecological, social, human and economic challenges and in moving towards a resolution of these challenges. CIRCLES aims to connect strong research across fields and disciplines in the application of transdisciplinary approaches to these challenges.

[1] European Commission. 2014. Towards the Circular Economy – A zero waste programme for Europe. Brussels 25.9.2014

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Publikationer 2012 2020

Den økologiske bæredygtigheds sociale fundering: Perspektiver på menneskelige levesteder

Egmose, J., 2020, (Afsendt) Social Bæredygtighed: Begreb, felt og kritik. Frydenlund Academic

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskningpeer review

Bæredygtig inklusion og FN´s udviklingsmål

Holm, J., aug. 2019, I : Kognition & Paedagogik. 113, 3, s. 40-51 12 s.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Chinese Tourism in the Arctic North – Opportunities beyond the Economic

Jørgensen, M. T. & Bertelsen, R. G., 2019.

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review

Projekter 2018 2023

Aktiviteter 2017 2019

European Journal of Social Work (Tidsskrift)

Christine Revsbech Jensen (Fagfællebedømmer)
jun. 2019

Aktivitet: Redaktionelt arbejde og fagfællebedømmelsePeer reviewer/fagfællebedømmer af manuskripterForskning

8th Nordic Geographers Meeting

Thomas Skou Grindsted (Deltager)
16 jun. 201919 jun. 2019

Aktivitet: Deltagelse i eller arrangering af en begivenhedOrganisation og deltagelse i konference

Ecosystem services provided by benthic habitats as viewed by benthic experts

Gary Thomas Banta (Oplægsholder), Paul Montagna (Andet), David Yoskowitz (Andet)
25 jan. 2019

Aktivitet: Tale eller præsentationForedrag og mundtlige bidrag


Interview om plastikforbrug

Thomas Budde Christensen


1 element af mediedækning


Udvidet pantordning på plastemballage

Thomas Budde Christensen


1 element af mediedækning



Institutlig anerkendelse

Christine Revsbech Jensen (Modtager), jul. 2019

Pris: Priser, stipendier, udnævnelser

Institutlig anerkendelse

Christine Revsbech Jensen (Modtager), jul. 2017

Pris: Priser, stipendier, udnævnelser

National ENERGY GLOBE Award Denmark 2018

Kristian Syberg (Modtager), Annemette Palmqvist (Modtager) & Thomas Budde Christensen (Modtager), 2018

Pris: Priser, stipendier, udnævnelser