Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Education in Circular Economy and Sustainability

Organization profile

Organisation profile

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

Publication network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2018 2018

Driverless, public e-mobility for future green transport systems in cities

Christensen, T. B., Villadsen, H. & Jespersen, P. H., 28 Nov 2018. 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch

Hollandske erfaringer med green deals og cirkulær økonomi

Christensen, T. B., 31 Jan 2018, 10 p.

Research output: Working paperResearch

Non-voting young people in conflict with the political system

Almlund, P., 2018, In : Journal of Political Power. 11, 2, p. 230-251 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Projects 2018 2021

Baltic Industrial Symbiosis

Christensen, T. B.


Project: Research

Circular economy in Region Zealand

Christensen, T. B.


Project: Research

Activities 2017 2019

  • 6 Lecture and oral contribution
  • 4 Organisation and participation in conference
  • 2 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
  • 2 Membership in review committee

Ecosystem services provided by benthic habitats as viewed by benthic experts

Gary Thomas Banta (Speaker), Paul Montagna (Other), David Yoskowitz (Other)
25 Jan 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationLecture and oral contribution

Workshop on Urban Transitions and Transformation

Jonas Egmose (Participant)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Sustainability in Contemporary Europe – a changing Agenda Definitions, assumptions and impact

Helene Dyrhauge (Participant)
16 Jul 201817 Jul 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Press / Media

Interview om affald

Thomas Budde Christensen


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Guide: Sådan bruger du mindre plastik i din hverdag

Thomas Budde Christensen


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media


Roskilde University Research Communication Prize 2018

Kristian Syberg (Recipient), Thomas Budde Christensen (Recipient), Annemette Palmqvist (Recipient) & Farhan Khan (Recipient), 18 Sep 2018

Prize: Prizes, scholarships, distinctions