PhD forsvar - Mariia Kravchenko

Circular economy proposes an innovative ‘circular’ model to counter the negative global effects as climate change and resource depletion, by offering the opportunity to manufacturing companies to explore how to capitalize on retaining the value embedded in the products and operations for longer. This environmental and economic ‘win-win’ scenario makes circular economy attractive for many businesses, who increasingly see the circular practices as means towards achieving greater sustainability benefits. While the academic studies provide heterogeneous findings, whether and to what extent circular economy brings positive economic and environmental gains, the missing link to the contribution to the social dimension is widely acknowledged. Despite a myriad of the proposed approaches and metrics within a circular economy context, there is lack of an approach that looks at circular economy through a sustainability lens. Considering the rapid uptake of circular economy by the manufacturing industry, it is imperative to support circular economy development by integrating sustainability perspective.

Within this context, this PhD research aimed at proposing a sustainability screening framework for circular economy for manufacturing industry. The framework acts as a decision support to enable integration of economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainability into early stages of circular economy development. The framework constitutes an approach to measuring sustainability performance using leading performance indicators and a trade-off navigation technique to support situations between conflicting sustainability indicators. The ultimate goal of the framework is to support the early development stages by enabling comparison of circular and non-circular initiatives, integration of improvements and further development of an initiative with the highest sustainability potential.

The PhD research relied on multiple research methods and strategies such as a systematic literature review, interviews, and case study research within the Nordic region. These led to the results that contribute to both literature and practice, including: i) a database of more than 270 leading performance indicators for economic, environmental and social perspective; ii) a procedure for indicator selection and a user guide to support sustainability screening for circular economy; iii) a structured approach to support decision analysis and trade-off navigation between conflicting sustainability measures. These results contributed to the framework and were documented in several peer-reviewed publications, four of which constitute the PhD thesis. Notwithstanding positive results, future work is needed to improve usability of the elements of the framework for easier uptake by industry. Additionally, more research is needed to test its applicability in manufacturing industry from both, technological sector and bio economy sector.

Principal supervisor: 
Prof. Tim C. McAloone
Co supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Daniela C.A. Pigosso

Assoc. Prof. Stig Irving Olsen, DTU Management, Denmark
Prof. Göran Broman, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden
Senior Lecturer Mariale Moreno, University of Exeter, UK
Chairperson at defence:
Assoc. Prof. Michael Deininger, DTU


fre 26 feb 21
13:00 - 16:30


DTU Mekanik


Tim C. McAloone or Daniela Pigosso