Circular Economy: Principles and Applied Methods

School of Engineering

Circular Economy: Principles and Applied Methods


Time Commitment
72 Hours
Course Dates
25 March 2024 – 23 June 2024
Enrolment Period
07 February 2024 – 24 March 2024


Information Session

February 23rd , 2024
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm (PST)


About this Course


Learners can receive 20% off if they register before February 29th, 2024—details at checkout.

This micro-credential course (MCC), jointly hosted by UBC’s Materials and Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI) and School of Engineering (SOE), aims to establish a world-class educational and applied research model, for advancing the circular economy in Canada and beyond. Learners will be introduced to the fundamentals of the circular economy including business models and associated value propositions, as well as tools and methods to investigate and design circularization strategies applied to their own workplace.

This MCC is highly differentiated from other offerings by virtue of the long-term support structures and value provided to learners and their respective organizations. Beyond the skills, tools, and other value offered through the MCC itself, collaborative problem-solving spaces, R&D concierge services, and more are available to course alumni. This will be carried through via a Project Outcome document that all learners will produce by applying course tools and methods to a real workplace challenge for downstream development and collaboration.

For more information about the long-term vision and value proposition, see the MMRI webpage here.

Designed for

Any working professional with the ability to enable change within their organization towards circularizing value chains. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • C-suite executives
  • Operations managers
  • Engineers
  • Accountants
  • Supply chain managers
  • Procurement staff

Course Structure and Delivery

The Circular Economy: Principles and Applied Methods micro-credential program consists of four modules, each focusing on a distinct aspect of business transformation. Each module spans 3-weeks, with 6 hours of facilitated instruction and workshop sessions and 12 hours of offline coursework, for a total course duration of 72 hours. Throughout the modules, learners will (in parallel) learn the skills and tools through direct instruction, assigned readings and worked problems, while also applying it to a selected case study from their workplace in a Project Outcome document. This document is intended to be a vehicle to apply the course content to the workplace case study, carried forward into the post-course Problem-Solving Spaces for further development and triage in collaboration with MMRI.


Learners are first introduced to the basic principles of the Circular Economy, as well as an overview of different business models and value chain arrangements exemplifying it. This content is delivered with a contextual focus of practicing ‘systems thinking’ and ‘collective intelligence’ to solve business problems within a supportive community. Whether you are a product or service business, this module positions the content such that it aligns your system processes with the physics of ecosystem processes (i.e., circular economy).

Learning outcomes embody clarifying what’s at stake and the ripple effects of your business activities in our ecosystem to:

1) Attain goals alignment
2) Mitigate risks
3) Build a resilient strategy

Having established the vision and frameworks for implementing circular economy practices, there remains many barriers towards implementation. This module moves into stakeholder management practices to lower risks and maximize value creation across the value chain. The major thrust is to form collaborative strategies for turning your organization’s goals into tangible solutions that drive improved business profitability, resiliency, and regenerative capacity, leveraging case studies.

Learning outcomes include redefining and engaging with your key (internal and external) stakeholders to:

1) Break silos
2) Find the right partners to support your circular shift(s)
3) Identify potential win-win synergies

With the underlying motivations and value chain stakeholders identified next, it is necessary to formulate targeted strategies for implementation in the context of your business and operations. Tools and methods, including triple-bottom-line analysis, will be used to build the underlying justifications for these strategies. This is enabled by the use proven techniques to minimize and/or detach business performance from natural land area, primary resource consumption, and pollution.

Learning outcomes cover catalyzing your decision-making processes to:

1) Identify potential solution pathways fitting your core business needs
2) Activate the most impactful levers available to you
3) Ensure smart solutions

In the final module, learners will shift their focus towards identifying gaps and required information, skills, and resources to enact the formed strategic plans. This culminates in the delivery of the Project Outcome document, encapsulating and describing the selected case study from each learner’s workplace, results of the analyses applied through prior modules and ending with a gap analysis to chart the path forward after course completion.

Learning outcomes include quantifying and iterating solution pathways to narrow a range of options (one or two) that:

1) Assess its viability, feasibility, desirability, and circularity
2) Reinforce your business mission
3) Clarify what would be necessary for the kick-starting steps

Course Schedule


Module 0: Intro

Pre-reading for learners to prepare for the Module 1 content.

Date: March 25, 2024 – March 31, 2024
Format: Self-directed readings

Module 1: Why

The REASON(S) for making REGENERATION part of your MISSION

Physical, Chemical, and Biological Basis of The Lifecycles:

Understand the natural, interdependent, non-linear, and open-system thermodynamic flows of ‘material’ resources that underpin life and their relation to linear and circular economics. Learn to quantify the current business impacts and risks of working against the flow of ‘materials’ (i.e., linear economics) and the opportunities that arise from working with it (i.e., circular economics), as well as to estimate future impacts, risks, and opportunities of potential solution pathways.

Date: April 2, 2024 – April 7, 2024
Format: Instruction

Date: April 8, 2024 – April 14, 2024
Format: Instruction

Date: April 15, 2024 – April 21, 2024
Format: Workshop

Module 2: Who(m)

The STAKEHOLDERS who enable you to activate your “Why”.

Individual, Community, and Civilizational Basis of Value-Creation:

Understand the ‘stakeholders’ (i.e., humans, organizations, and institutions) in and/or around the value chain and their relation to your business’ impacts and economics, as well as the risks/opportunities that arise from working against/with ‘stakeholders’ and the levers available to influence them.

Date: May 13, 2024 – May 19, 2024
Format: Instruction

Date: May 20, 2024 – May 26, 2024
Format: Instruction

Date: May 27, 2024 – June 2, 2024
Format: Workshop

Module 3: How

The PROCESSES to achieve the “Why”

Skill, Tool, and Structural Basis of Value-Creation:

Understand the ‘technology’ (i.e., skills, tools, and structures that underpin product/service delivery) in and/or around the value chain and their relation to your business’ impacts and economics, as well as the risks/opportunities that arise from working against/with ‘technology’ and the support available to navigate it.

Date: April 22, 2024 – April 28, 2024
Format: Instruction

Date: April 29, 2024 – May 5, 2024
Format: Instruction

Date: May 6, 2024 – May 12, 2024
Format: Workshop

Module 4: What

The SOLUTION you are working towards to achieve the desired result (always aligned with the “Why” identified).

Assessment of Product/Service Lifecycle Challenges and Opportunities:

Complete a life-cycle analysis (LCA) for your current (i.e., baseline) business model (i.e., materials, technology, people), as well as investigate, shape, and refine circular business models for the previously identified solution pathways.

Date: June 3, 2024 – June 9, 2024
Format: Instruction

Date: June 10, 2024 – June 16, 2024
Format: Workshop

Date: June 17, 2024 – June 23, 2024
Format: Workshop

Credential Awarded

Learners who successfully complete the Circular Economy: Principles and Applied Methods course will receive:

  • a UBC Okanagan Non-credit Letter of Proficiency



  • This non-credit learning opportunity has no prerequisites
  • This learning opportunity is designed for adult learners; participants must be 18 years or older
  • Topics will be presented with no expectation of prior knowledge.


  • Access to a computer with a modern operating system and web browser
  • Installed browser (e.g., Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome) for accessing online resources via:
    • Adobe PDF viewer
    • Google Docs and Google Sheets
  • Enough hard drive space to install Zoom
  • High-speed internet connection
  • Access to an email client


Course Fee

Standard Fee | $3,425 (GST INCLUDED)

All instructional content required to complete the course is available through the course website. There are no additional fees for textbooks.

Early Bird Special:

Register by February 29 and use promotion code CIRCECON24 at checkout for a 20% discount.

Bulk Purchases:

A bulk purchase of 3 or more seats grants your organization/employer access to the Tier 2 Problem-Solving Space (PSS). For more details on the PSS and how to access it, please click here.

Refunds and Cancellations

Learners who wish to initiate a refund or cancellation must do so a minimum of four weeks before the course starts.

Last updated: 2024-02-22 08:55

Back to CPE Courses & Programs