Sustainability, Circular Economy and Climate Change Agenda

Concerns about the environment and finite resources drove the World Commission on Environment and Development to initiate the seminal Brundtland report that still shapes the global agenda on sustainable development. It offered a positive compromise between the prevailing boundless economic growth philosophy and the environmental and social catastrophes forecasted by many proponents in this area. On the other hand, the construction sector represents one of the most significant sources of environmental degradation and waste generation in the World, with more five billion tonnes of construction and demolition waste annually. This sector also contributes a third of the annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Accordingly, construction represents one priority area for intervention. The pressure that the human species exerts on the natural environment through the extraction of materials and generation of wastes is widely recognised. Circular economy has emerged as a potential solution to make better use of resources. Positioned as a technology-focused concept that can generate economic gains while alleviating pressure on the environment, circular economy enjoys a positive reception by organisations in public, private and civic sectors and, increasingly, academia alike. However, concerns have been raised regarding some purported circular economy practices being promoted as ‘sustainable’ yet resulting in detrimental impacts on environment and society. We invite papers to this sub-theme from both circular economy and sustainable development fields that reflects upon the strengths, shortcomings and theoretical flaws within the values and principles that emerged from the evolving circular economy literature as well as strategies for a sustainable circular economy. We also encourage papers that contributes to sustainability from the whole system perspective of optimising social, environmental and economic values of materials and products in society.

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