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A Circular Economy Handbook - 2nd edition

Award-winning author Catherine Weetman explains the what, why and how of the circular economy. The book covers the main schools of thought and latest research, with over 300 examples from businesses of all shapes and sizes, around the world.

Published by Kogan Page in November 2020, the second edition of A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business is both easily digestible and comprehensive.

A Circular Economy Handbook by Catherine Weetman

Extensively researched, it will help you discover the circular approaches emerging in food, fashion, consumer technology, packaging and other sectors, and find out how these reduce risk, improve resilience and build profitable, future-fit organizations.

Praised by circular economy experts from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Technical University of Delft, UNIDO, the Circular Economy Club and many more, it is described as a “must-read for businesses, students and policymakers.”

The second edition includes extensive updates, builds on the latest research on circular business models, has a new chapter on packaging and over 100 new examples.

Focusing on the circular economy from a practical perspective, it avoids jargon and includes a glossary of circular economy terms. 

It covers the theory and fast-developing practice:  helping you get to grips with what it is, why it’s better, and how businesses are using it to be more competitive and resilient.

WINNER: 2018 Les Plumes des Achats & Supply Chain – The Committee Special Prize

The book features a wide range of examples of businesses large and small using circular approaches, to help you get ideas for your own project.  Specific chapters cover the current issues and emerging circular approaches for:

  • Food & agriculture
  • Fashion & textiles
  • Consumer electricals & electronics
  • Industrial manufacturing
  • Packaging & plastics


Available from Kogan Page or your favourite bookshop. Click the buttons above on the right to go straight to the book page   >>>

Please get in touch to ask Catherine about talks, webinars, coaching or running a workshop at your event.

Read on to find out more, including:

To help the reader generate ideas, A Circular Economy Handbook provides a simple framework for the design and supply chain and supporting business models.

Whilst growing global consumption presents fantastic business opportunities, our current linear systems (take some materials, make a product, use it and then throw it away) are not fit for purpose.

The circular economy unlocks this problem by decoupling resources from consumption. Engaged businesses are re-thinking product design, material choices, business models and supply chains. A Circular Economy Handbook is a must-read for anyone who wants to get to grips with the circular economy, today.

Online resources, available from the Kogan Page website, include PowerPoint slides of figures and tables from every chapter in the book.

Click here for the book structure and Table of Contents

ISBN 978-1-78966-531-4 published by Kogan Page in paperback and e-book format

As we learn more about the climate and biodiversity crisis, we are realising that how we make and consume things is a major part of the problem. Extraction and processing of materials, fuels and food makes up about half of global greenhouse gas emissions and over 90 per cent of biodiversity loss and water stress. Many modern businesses deplete resources, destroy ecosystems and dump waste and pollution at every stage – harming human health along the way.

Now in its second edition, A Circular Economy Handbook is a guided tour through the concepts and the practicalities. A unique framework systematically explores the range of circular interventions, including product and supply chain design, material choice and supporting business models.

How does it really work for business? What circular approaches are emerging in food, fashion, consumer technology, packaging and other sectors? How do these reduce risk, improve resilience and build profitable, future-fit organizations? With over 300 real examples from around the world, this is a must-read for businesses, students and policymakers.

This edition of the bestselling book is extensively revised to include the latest trends, thinking, research and solutions, with over 50 per cent new content, a new chapter on packaging and 30 new company snapshots.

Praise for the new edition

As the world adopts strategies to address the stress that the planet is under, more organizations are realizing that their knowledge and skills need updating and developing.  A key aspect of this new sustainable approach is understanding where stuff comes from, how a business uses it and what happens to stuff after its first life. This is where the circular economy comes in and this book provides a range of knowledge inputs, across a number of key sectors and uses business examples which allow any organization to develop new pathways forwards.

Dr. David Peck, Associate Professor, Circular Built Environment and Critical Materials, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), The Netherlands

“This is a book for everyone in business, or who wants to shape the future of business. The circular economy is the best toolkit we have for future sustainable business and this book leads you through what it is and why so many businesses and governments are getting on board.”

Tom Szaky, Founder & CEO, TerraCycle

“A very good guide, avoiding jargon and bringing concepts to life with clear explanations and concrete examples. It covers everything you need to know about ‘going circular’ but also goes further, reviewing criticisms and setting the bar higher.” 

Stephan Sicars, Managing Director, Directorate of Environment and Energy, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

Catherine provides rich insight into the business opportunity of the circular economy. The Circular Economy Handbook covers various company cases and frameworks which are of great practical value to those looking for inspiration. It is a great resource for organisations aiming to close the ‘idea-action gap’ to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy!  

Dr Nancy Bocken, Professor in Sustainable Business, Maastricht Sustainability Institute, School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University 

“When considering the change of gear from a linear to a circular economy, and the need to accelerate this transition, then this handbook delivers on all levels. A well-versed specialist, Catherine describes the themes, measurements and outcomes in a non-technical manner shining a light and giving practical guidance to implementing this change.”                

Steve Haskew, Strategic Sustainability Executive, Circular Computing

”Every business leader and University should include this book in their programme for the next generation of aspiring professionals. In this latest edition, Catherine provides even more case studies in the constantly evolving landscape of circular economy developments around the world. A clear and comprehensive ‘must-read’ for any seasoned or aspiring circular economy or supply chain professional. From electronics to food to fashion, Catherine has considered a wide range of how CE frameworks have been engaged across sectors so in whatever industry your organisation resides, there are key takeaways and learnings to help any business transition towards a more circular world. Highly recommended!”

Noreen Kam, Founder & CEO, LUP Global

“The circular economy is smart, strategic thinking for profitable and purpose-led business. This book presents a catalogue of practical frameworks and inspiring examples for organizations of all sizes and shapes, in every sector, around the world.”

Anna Tari, Founder, Circular Economy Club (CEC)

“Ensuring that the transition to a new economic model takes place under the best possible conditions is no easy task. Thanks to Catherine Weetman and her contributors, this book once again solidifies the foundations and reinforces the credibility of a circular economy helping us to move towards this paradigm shift that we all wish for. This is now your tool to change everything for the better. Use and reuse it, then pass on to others!”      

Alexandre Lemille, The Circular Humansphere

A perfect mix of theory and practical arguments to convince the reader that our future is circular. We must think differently, create new business rules, values and attitudes. With an outstanding compilation of cases, Catherine demonstrates how to find the right balance between growth, competitive advantage and value creation for all. Essential reading for political and businesses leaders, in countries like Brazil, that seek knowledge and inspiration to accelerate the transition.

Beatriz Luz, Founder of Exchange 4 Change Brasil, NEC and Visiting Professor at FIA

I truly believe that awakening a taste for change – and making it happen – requires a good understanding of the circular economy while being already immersed in its practicality. It is precisely what this unique handbook does, thanks to its collection of content, its structure, and its perspective. Indeed, it provides a wealth of information gathered in one place: a straightforward way to learn fast and get inspired for your circular initiatives. It demonstrates many existing cases and strategies you might apply. You can peruse it in one go, choose a piece of a chapter that applies to your case or read it back and forth. The icing on the cake for this second version? The added chapter about packaging gives an easy-to-follow overview of this complex problem! Expert without falling into jargon, Catherine Weetman makes the Circular Economy attractive to anyone!

Colienne Regout, CEO, Look4Loops, Canada

“Making the shift towards a circular economy model can be a huge challenge. Catherine’s book is useful to what’s needed most in this day and age: getting into action and shifting the existing paradigm. The book offers a range of insights and tools to help you make that shift, and deliver value along the way. Have fun, use it and join, please, our global community of change-makers.“

Harald Friedl, Global Advisor, Systems Change and Circular Economy

Some praise for the first edition

A confident, comprehensive text allowing access to all the major strands contributing to business opportunities in a circular economy. It is brimming with facts, case studies and references for further study. A very timely publication indeed!
Sector by sector, Catherine Weetman systemically unpicks why we need to build a circular economy and, crucially, complements this analysis to explain how we can do this.
This book has got it all and is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand and apply the circular economy today. The enablers, accelerators and drivers are illustrated with practical examples and applications. For an assessment of the challenges that lie ahead, read this book and learn from one of the best.

A Circular Economy Handbook – Structure & Contents

A Circular Economy Handbook by Catherine Weetman - book structure

Section 1: An overview of the circular economy

Chapter 1: The circular economy – What is it?

Chapter 2: The design and supply chain

Chapter 3: Circular economy business models

Chapter 4: Circular economy enablers and accelerators

Section 2: How are businesses adopting circular economy models?

Chapter 5: Drivers for change

Chapter 6: Food and agriculture

Chapter 7: Fashion and textiles

Chapter 8: Consumer electricals and electronics

Chapter 9: Industrial manufacturing

Chapter 10: Packaging and plastics

Section 3: What does this mean for supply chains?

Chapter 11: Supply chain strategy and planning

Chapter 12: Supply chain operations

Section 4: Implementation

Chapter 13: Making the business case and starting the journey