Professor Peter Hopkinson
Professor in Circular Economy and Co-Director Exeter Centre for the Circular Economy
+44 (0) 1326 214394
B046-021, Stella Turk Building
University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, TR10 9FE
I joined the Business School in 2017 where I am co-director of the Exeter Centre for Circular Economy. Prior to this I was based at the Bradford Management School where I has two primary roles. Firstly, Director of the University Ecoversity initiative, a whole institutional programme to embed sustainability into the research, teaching and operational performance of the University. This involved the design and build of a new £5M BREEAM outstanding Centre as a home for Ecoversity and circular economy activity. Secondly, since 2009, I led the UniversIty’s strategic partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) as a Global Pioneer for Circular Economy. In 2014 I established the world’s first MBA in Circular economy. In parallel I created a Global on-line Masterclass – An introduction to Circular Economy for the Ellen MaCarthur Foundation CE100 and Global Partners which ran for 5 years and attracted over 1000 participants. During this time I worked closely with the EMF to translate the principles of circular economy into multiple research and educational contexts including EPSRC and Innovate UK grants, policy and industrial sector application and c-suite, postgraduate, undergraduate and civic society courses and workshops.
- Advancement of the theory and practice of Circular Economy
- Bring world leaders in academia and industry to the Exeter Centre (ECCE) for Circular Economy to share in co-creation of new research, educational initiatives and dedicated projects for our corporate partners;
- Disseminate innovative and important research findings through high quality research publications, conferences and via educational offerings to business, government, academics and other stakeholders;
- Establish networks that bring business, government and civil society leaders together with circular economy academics and students globally
- Building the evidence base and business case for Circular Economy at a variety of scales
- Developing frameworks, indicators and metrics for system level circular economy design and evaluation
The wider academic approval of Circular Economy rests on the applied research projects that seek to validate, build models, test empirically and advance understanding of key issues in the field of the Circular Economy. Value creation, capture and circulation via a Circular Economy is a core focus: Specifically, I am concerned with how the Circular Economy disrupts and impacts on business models, modes of production, systemic innovation, product and service design as well as reverse logistics. To deliver impact I am focussed on understanding how organisations can manage the transition from linear to regenerative circular configurations providing practical insights and support to take advantage of the strategic and operational advantage of the emerging Circular Economy.
A foundation of government and industrially funded research projects underpin the theoretical and practice based contribution of my work and ECCE based around to three major themes,
- Firstly CE transformation of stocks of legacy materials and material assets from the linear economy into flows of high value products for circular economy products and infrastructure (EPSRC REBUILD Novel techniques to deconstruct and recover high value structural products from end of life buildings, high value re-manufacture of products for future circular construction systems)
- Secondly CE-innovation and design of future systems to create and capture higher value from selected material flows by intent at all stages of new and existing value chains (EPSRC EXeMPLaR): System design for high value plastic material cycles; biomaterials as alternatives to fossil fuel plastics; safer by design future plastics based on scientific evidence of health impacts of different plastics in weathered environments;
- Thirdly, critical enablers, esp. the role of digital technologies to support digital driven circular economy business models
2019-2020: EPSRC Exeter Centre for Multi-Disciplinary Plastics Research (EXeMPlaR) (PI: P.Hopkinson) EPSRC EXeMPLaR: System design for high value plastic material cycles; biomaterials as alternatives to fossil fuel plastics; safer by design future plastics based on scientific evidence of health impacts of different plastics in weathered environments;
2019-2020: BBSRC Assessing the value and challenges of using citizen-science to understand plastic pollution in the marine environment (Co-I)
2019-2020: Google: Critical materials in the minerals value chain. (PI: P. Hopkinson) Transparency, provenance, risk and value sharing across global minerals supply chains
2018-2020: Climate-KIC. Buildings as a Service: Circular Economy Business models (Exeter Pi) An evaluation and validation of a real-wolrd circular economy building as a service concept
2017-2021: EPSRC REgenerative BUILDings and construction systems for a circular economy (REBUILD) (PI: P. Hopkinson) Novel techniques to deconstruct and recover high value structural products from end of life buildings, high value re-manufacture of products for future circular construction systems
Publications by category
Publications by year
Awards and Honours
- National teaching fellow (2010)
My teaching interests are focussed on inspiring anyone interested in circular economy as a positive alternative to the linear take-make-dispose growth model. Starting with the basic theory, principles and concepts my teaching is designed to support systems thinking and the way we can actively re-design economic systems of interest to create higher economic, social and environmental value through continuous flows of high quality resources.
Recently my teaching has been focussed on the design of on-line courses to executives and practitioners wanting to develop their knowledge, leadership and capability to translate circular economy into effective practise. My andragogy is largely based around peer to peer learning models where I curate learning resources to stimulate and facilitate learning outcomes in partnership with course participants. My teaching addresses the need for system innovation to create circular systems involving the interplay between many skills and tools including design, business models, logistics, policy, finance and technology.