Definition of Circular Economy


A uniform definition of Circular Economy is required because branding of the companies and initiatives involved need reliability and a communicative basis.

There are some approaches and definition attempts. Here are a few examples, afterwards we at nice have created a structured and summarized definition, feel free to send us comments and remarks.

The nice definition of Circular Economy

  1. Circular Economy is a system in which procurement and production minimize new resource use, waste generation, emissions and energy waste.
  2. This enables consumption that is in line with sustainability goals, because in the Circular Economy ecology and economy are no longer in competition with each other.
  3. Different uses of a material can follow each other during or after the product life cycle, such as reuse, upcycling or recycling.
  4. One use can be extended for a long time or distributed to as many users as possible. For example, in long-life constructions or take-back and resale models such as renting, sharing, refurbishment or second-hand.
    Combinations of these models can encourage material tracking and novel uses such as non-transfer of ownership.
  5. The use of toxic substances or those with known negative effects on living beings and the environment is excluded.
  6. Utilized energies must be as green as possible.
  7. Fairness and the avoidance of social injustice along the entire supply and disposal chains shall be kept in mind and included in metrics and labels accordingly.
  8. Natural systems that can bind CO2 or microplastics, for example in soils and plants, must be protected or regenerated.


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