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Different Roads to the Same Destination?

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Sustainable Materials Management and Circular Economy are both frameworks for considering the way we interact with the world's resources. Different organizations and institutions across the world have adopted one philosophy or the other. To some, there seems to be little

Sustainable Materials Management and Circular Economy are both frameworks for considering the way we interact with the world's resources. Different organizations and institutions across the world have adopted one philosophy or the other. To some, there seems to be little overlap of the two, and to others, they are perceived as being interchangeable. This paper evaluates Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) and Circular Economy (CE) individually and in comparison to see how truly different these frameworks are from one another. This comparison is then extended into a theoretical walk-through of an SMM treatment of concrete pavement in contrast with a CE treatment. With concrete being a ubiquitous in the world's buildings and roads, as well as being a major constituent of Construction & Demolition waste generated, its analysis is applicable to a significant portion of the world's material flow. The ultimate test of differentiation between SMM and CE would ask: 1) If SMM principles guided action, would the outcomes be aligned with or at odds with CE principles? and conversely 2) If CE principles guided action, would the outcomes be aligned with or at odds with SMM principles? Using concrete pavement as an example, this paper seeks to determine whether or not Sustainable Materials Management and Circular Economy are simply different roads leading to the same destination.

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2017-05

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Advancing Circular Economies through Corporate Responsibility

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In the current age of global climate crisis, corporations must confront the rising pressure to mitigate their environmental impacts. The goal of this research paper is to provide corporations with a resource to manage waste through the implementation of a

In the current age of global climate crisis, corporations must confront the rising pressure to mitigate their environmental impacts. The goal of this research paper is to provide corporations with a resource to manage waste through the implementation of a circular economy and by increasing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Navigating this large and complex system required the use of various methodologies including: the investigation of the relationships between waste management systems and sustainable development across major companies; literature reviews of scholarly articles about CSR, circular economies, recycling, and releases of company reports on sustainable development and financials. Lastly, interviews and a survey were conducted to gain deeper insight into the problems that make circular economies so difficult to achieve at scale.

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2021-05

Circular Comfort: An Entrepreneurial Venture

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This honors thesis aims to outline and present a business plan for a start-up. Working with the Founders Lab, as part of the W. P. Carey Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, three students identified an issue in their community and

This honors thesis aims to outline and present a business plan for a start-up. Working with the Founders Lab, as part of the W. P. Carey Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, three students identified an issue in their community and brainstormed an idea to form a solution. The problem identified was in the textile industry where fabric waste created as a byproduct of production, harms the environment as it ends up in landfills, instead of being recycled. In an effort to create a circular economy, the start-up, Circular Comfort, came into fruition. The mission of this business is to reduce waste by repurposing fabric scraps into products that can be marketed and sold. The first product was created, a beach bag, out of fabric scraps gathered from a fashion incubator. The following will outline the formation of the start-up including research, business plan, market strategy, and the overall journey. By working with a thesis director, the team was able to prepare this pitch deck in hopes to combat an ongoing problem in our community.

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2020-05