The role of education in promoting circular economy

Maija Tiippana-Usvasalo*, Nani Pajunen, Maria Holuszko

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
97 Downloads (Pure)


The environmental problems caused by a linear economy system and the exploitation of natural resources have been known well over 50 years. Although a great deal has been done, there is a contradiction between increasing consumerism and the concrete actions that have been taken. A lot more needs to be done immediately to stop catastrophic global change and adopt circular economy mindset and system. The most profound way to promote this transformation is to involve all people through education. Starting in pre-school and continuing all the way to university, education is the best way to enable the transition from a linear economy to a circular economy. In this article, we describe how a project to implement circular economy teaching in the Finnish education system was carried out. We also show that the teaching development should be started from the bottom up with teachers, as opposed to top-level planning bodies. The first target in Finland´s circular economy education programme was to focus on today’s school pupils and university students. However, this is not enough. There is an increasing need to involve everyone in working life to increase their circular economy skills. The aim is that everyone is a circular economy expert.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-103
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Circular economy
  • education
  • sustainability
  • university student


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