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Circular Economy Strategies for Urban Resource Management and Sustainable Growth

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2025 | Viewed by 140

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
1. Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management, Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto ON M5B 2K3, Canada
2. Institute for Innovation and Technology Management, Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto ON M5B 2K3, Canada
Interests: IT-enabled sustainability and development; cloud computing; e-government strategies; big data analytics; blockchain; ethical and security perspectives; introduction and use of ICTs
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Goal 12 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aims to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns through specific policies and international agreements on the management of materials that are toxic to the environment. In addition, zero-waste management is a holistic concept that recognizes waste as a resource and a measure of the inefficiency of our modern society. While the traditional waste-management system considers waste an ‘end-of-life’ product of consumption, zero waste challenges this notion by recognizing the transformation of waste into new resources that generate value within the resource-consumption process, converting waste into resources and energy and building up an urban-based circular economy. In this context, the most critical aspect of creating a zero-waste city is shifting from a linear economic model to a circular economy [1]. To transform the linear economy into a sustainable circular economy, products in general and electronic products in particular must be manufactured robustly using clean technology and innovation so that consumers can reuse them [2,3]. Specifically, products with enhanced packaging solutions and services should be lighter and smaller. It is important to remember that many multinational corporations have pledged to eliminate wasteful components in their electronic supply chains.

In contrast, other companies are committing to building electronics free of poisonous materials. These commitments must be established throughout the sector [2]. By creating better electronic designs, these products will be dispersed over longer timeframes and have prolonged lifespans, leading to their reuse and refurbishment. According to the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and SMARTer2030, ICT can enable a 20% reduction in global CO2e emissions by 2030, maintaining emissions at 2015 levels. In this context, ICT innovation offers significant environmental benefits in addition to reducing carbon emissions [4,5]. As noted by the authors of [6], the IoT, AI, and machine learning applications are expected to improve many aspects of human life, from sustainable smart cities to enhanced business processes, sustainable consumption, and production. Also, there is a close relationship between ICT innovation and the circular economy in the sense that innovation can boost the transformation of economies towards a circular economy. 

As noted by Ali and Shirazi [1], there has been a greater inclination to embrace extended-producer-responsibility (EPR) models for the sustainable management of electronics and e-waste by encouraging governments and stakeholders to develop and implement take-back or return systems; for instance, urban mining is used to recover the valuable materials embedded within e-waste. Thus, producers of electronic products must capitalize on state-of-the-art technologies that will assist them in recovering these resources. For example, advanced mining and refining procedures in China have allowed the country to gain increased control over copper and cobalt, resulting in a recycling company mining more of those minerals from electronic waste.

This Special Issue investigates the relationship between urban resource management, sustainable growth, and circular economies. We invite researchers and practitioners in the field of environmental sustainability to submit their latest work, including but not limited to the following areas:

  • ICT innovation and circular economies;
  • Urban-mining process management;
  • Urban-mining resource management;
  • Sustainable-packaging management;
  • Life-cycle assessments;
  • IT-enabled circular models;
  • Governance and urban zero-waste management;
  • CO2 carbonation;
  • Circular economies and the extended-producer-responsibility scheme;
  • Case studies of urban mining and circular economies;
  • Challenges to circular economies in Developing Nations.

References

  1. Ali, S.; Shirazi, F. The Paradigm of Circular Economy and an Effective Electronic Waste Management. Sustainability 2023, 15, 1998, https://doi.org/10.3390/su15031998.
  2. World Economic Forum. A New Circular Vision for Electronics: Time for a Global Reboot. 2019. Available online: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_A_New_Circular_Vision_for_Electronics.pdf
  3. Kazancoglu, Y.; Ozkan-Ozen, Y.D.; Mangla, S.K.; Ram, M. Risk assessment for sustainability in e-waste recycling in circular economy. Clean Technol. Environ. Policy 2020, 24, 1145–1157, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10098-020-01901-3.
  4. GeSI (2015). SMARTer2030, ICT solutions for 21st century challenges. Executive Summary: ICT Solutions for 21st Century Challenges, 8.
  5. Añón Higon, D.; Gholami, R.; Shirazi, F. ICT and environmental sustainability: A global perspective. Inform. 2017, 34, 85–95, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2017.01.001.
  6. Shaaban-Nejad, S.; Shirazi, F. ICT and Environmental Sustainability: A Comparative Study. Sustainability 2022, 14, 8651. https:// doi.org/10.3390/su14148651

Prof. Dr. Farid Shirazi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • circular economy
  • urban mining
  • governance
  • case studies
  • zero waste
  • extended producer responsibility

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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