ecoCEO™ - A game on entrepreneurship for a circular economy

EcoCEO™ brings circular economy concepts and strategies to your classroom and makes students familiar with sustainable entrepreneurship, developments in the raw materials sector! Play, learn, and have fun!

The circular economy, why does it matter?

Our current economy is largely linear. We mine raw materials such as oil, minerals and metals. We use them to make products of that we throw away after use. This ‘take-make-dispose’ approach has brought us high living standards, wealth and comfort. But it come at a high cost. One that is paid for by our planet and the people living on it, without equal distribution of the pains and gains. The current linear model leads to social inequality, depletion of natural resources, environmental pollution and contributes to climate change. That is not sustainable. It’s time we change the way we think about materials, products and waste!

But we recycle, don't we?

Over the last decades a lot of effort has been put into reducing material losses and introducing materials back into new material loops. We are living in a recycling society. A lot of products are already made of recycled  materials. Most countries have a waste collection system put in place, and treatment facilities to convert waste streams into recycled materials. This way we are able to close the materials loop. At least in theory. Too often, recycled materials are of inferior quality and can only be used in lower-value applications. So, although the recycling society succeeds in keeping materials in the economy, it cannot prevent material and value losses.

The circular economy, what does it mean?

The concept of a circular economy has gained attention as an alternative system that can meet our needs, while remaining within planetary boundaries. It rethinks all aspects of the ‘take-make-dispose’ idea: how to manage resources, how to make and use products, and what to do with them at the end-of-life.

In a circular economy, products, components and materials are kept at their maximum value and functionality. Numerous strategies can be applied to achieve this goal. Products are designed for long(er) use and reuse. They are well maintained and repaired, have a high second-hand value, can be expanded or upgraded, and can easily be taken apart and turned into new products. They are made of recycled or bio-based materials and are recyclable or biodegradable at end-of-life, reducing material losses through landfill and incineration.

In this way, product lives are extended and material cycles are closed, minimizing the need for new materials and energy. At the same time, environmental pressures linked to resource extraction, emissions and waste are reduced.

How do we realize a circular economy?

The transition from the current linear economy to a more circular one requires drastic changes in the way we look at materials and products. ecoCEO™ wants to contribute to this transition by offering a fun and engaging way to build insights into circular strategies and sustainable entrepreneurship!

Saskia Manshoven

Researcher Sustainable Materials

Developed in collaboration with these partners

Logo Wuppertal
Logo Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche

With the support of

VITO circular economy games