Circular Economy

10 books on the Circular Economy you can’t miss

What 10 books on the Circular Economy should you definitely add to your collection? A look at the most interesting titles with which you can start to build an understanding of the Circular Economy

10 libri economia circolare libreria sfridoo


  1. What is the Circular Economy
  2. Circular Economy. From Waste to Resource – P. Lacy, J. Rutqvist e B. Lamonica, Ed. Egea
  3. A world without Trash? A trip through the Circular Economy? – A. Massarutto, Ed. il Mulino
  4. The Donut Economy – K. Raworth, Ed. Ambiente
  5. Fresh Materials in the Circular Economy- A. Pellizzari, E. Genovesi, Ed. Ambiente
  6. Blue Economy 2.0 – G. Pauli, Ed. Ambiente
  7. Designing for the Circular Economy – M. Charter, Routledge
  8. Circular Economics for everybody – W. R. Stahel, Ed. Ambiente
  9. Green Branding: Tools, Advice and strategies for Eco-sustainable Communication – L. Garosi, Dario Flaccovio Editore
  10. Renewable Materials – Ed. Ambiente

Introduction to books on the Circular Economy

Often, after events, presentations or pitches people will ask me for recommendations on which books to read to build an understanding of the Circular Economy. I have to admit: it’s not easy to break into a field that is as hotly debated and analyzed as this one. A fresh topic like the Circular Economy doesn’t have the blessing of a large or diverse library, though the Web is full of free PDFs with all sorts of interesting perspectives and ideas (One of the many reports made by Confindustria here).

But in the last two years, the subject found it’s feet. Publishing books that summaries and give the reader a good understanding of the entire concept of the Circular Economy, a concept that is at the heart of the battle against: Climate change.

In this article I’ll go over 10 books that explain the Circular Economy in the simplest yet extensive way possible: from a in depth explanation of one part of the Circular Economy to broader more holistic  explanations.


1. What is the Circular Economy

che cosa è l'economia circolare sfridoo

The first book on this list is by Emanuele Bompan, journalist, public speaker, and manager of the incredible magazine renewable materials (If you don’t know it definitely take a look, but will get to that later…).So why is this book at the top o the list? I haven’t organized this list in any particular order but I think that this book is the perfect place to start. It’s where I started my journey through the Circular Economy and it’s the book I read over and over again whilst looking for ideas or whilst I was looking for examples of sustainable businesses.

I’ve met Emanuele whilst I was at Ecomondo this year and it was super interesting getting to compare our ideas. Emanuele is without a doubt an expert on the Circular Economy and their are many important titles with his signature on them. It would be an understatement to say that the pages of the book race by: it is an absolute goldmine of information explained in a streamlined and simple way but that still manages to go into great depth. So go grab it!

With this book you can access a world that I don’t doubt will leave your mouth on the floor and you can get it on Amazon here


2. The Circular Economy. From Waste to Resource – Peter Lacy, Jakob Rutqvist e Beatrice Lamonica

circular economy dallo spreco al valore sfridoo

The second book that I want to bring your attention to is the milestone from which many great discussions have stemmed. The book written by Peter Lacy, Rutqvist e Lamonica is extremely detailed and is full of good examples of the benefits of the Circular Economy.

The book was highly recommended by Accenture, an important consulting company for strategic management technology and outsourcing, and the home of the three authors. The book defines the 5 famous principles that characterize a business that is a part of the Circular Economy. It has numerous in depth examples that help understand the competitive benefits of the Circular Economy. Without a doubt a book that shouldn’t be missed.

P.S. Pay attention to the subtext of the book and then check Sfridoo’s claim…now you know.

you can find it on Amazon here


3. A world without trash? A trip through the Circular Economy – A. Massarutto

Un mondo senza rifiuti massarutto sfridoo

I’ll admit I only just read this book a few weeks ago, but I think it it really is an interesting read. The research Antonio Massarutto, economist, and professor at the University of Bocconi, explains throughout the book is masterful. It goes into great detail especially on the subject of trash, where the author criticizes our current waste collection and disposal system as well as rethinking the whole thing.

Massarutto, like other important authors, he concentrates on what happens to things at the end of their life-cycle, shining a light on what many are starting to realize is a serious problem: Trash. A concept that doesn’t exist in nature where “nothing is made and nothing is destroyed”: A closed loop for both materials and energy.

I recommend this to anyone who is interested in the problem trash provides and the solution a Circular Economy would provide.

You can find this on Amazon as well here


4. The Donut Economy – K.Raworth

This book covers the concept of thinking outside the box. It suggests a new XXIst century approach to economics that inspires change, by removing any preconceived notions about how the economy should work and building it again from the ground up. We can’t keep using old systems like the GDP – Gross Domestic Product and Raworth challenges governments and organizations to: balance human rights and the protection of the planet we live on. And this all brings us back to the Donut a way to grow without just concentrating on the GDP. Without concentrating purely on profit like the capitalist system which moves forward endlessly without ever thinking of the consequences.

Raworth proposes seven steps to begin thinking:

  • changing perspective;
  • looking at everything from a distance;
  • cultivating human nature;
  • thinking systematically;
  • redefine what what growth means;
  • creating without destroying;
  • getting past the need for growth and GDP.

Can this book inspire you too?

buy it here on Amazon to find out


5. Fresh materials in the Circular Economy – A. Pellizzari, E. Genovesi

This entry is more than just one book, this is a whole series of fantastic books. The photo above is just the first of the monumental books on the Circular Economy and the environment published by Ed. Ambiente (The most active Italian publisher currently on the market with a whole portfolio of interesting reads that is growing every day). Besides “New materials” there is also “Fashion”, “Automotive” and “Packaging”.

Every book covers a specific theme and tells the story of one industry and how to innovate on production and design of products currently in use. Which leads to discussion about bio-based products, which use natural materials that work in the natural environmental cycle or that can be efficiently recycled (End-of-waste).

The volume I chose as an example  shows how important the sustainable movement is by using a number of case studies which aren’t necessarily the solution to the problems that many businesses have but they show the obvious advantages of adopting a circular approach for the production of products and services.

It all starts with the use of different materials and the prevention of waste. Innovation starts here. Good Luck!

here is the first volume on Amazon. here is the volume on fashion, here is the one on the Automotive industry and here is the one on Packaging.


6. Blue Economy 2.0 – G. Pauli

For anyone that doesn’t know Gunter Pauli: this book is the fundamental text on environmentalism from a scientific viewpoint available in more than 30 languages. Pauli is an economist who has dedicated his life to sustainability. He is at the forefront of different groups fighting for Green Jobs: environmental economists, are becoming quite sought after by businesses who need them to calculate the risk of various business practices for the environment from both an economic and a financial point of view.

Pauli confronts the complex problem presented by the Economic, Environmental and Social crisis covering a multitude of potential solutions that can create jobs, culture and help the environment. The book contains a series of examples and fresh ideas for having a competition based economy which uses resources efficiently and has low carbon emissions. The writer manages to make a convincing argument for; biomimicry and a zero waste system without glorifying it or blowing it out of proportion.

An invaluable read if you want to understand the different ideas that led to the creation of the concept of a Circular Economy.

You can find it here on Amazon


7. Designing for the Circular Economy – M. Charter

The first book that puts design and Circular Economy together. Applied Eco-design, as told by prof. Martin Charter, director of the center for sustainable design at the University for Creative Arts (UCA) in England. Dealing with the up-stream of Circular Economics.

Professor Charter covers the topics of design and creativity, in the context of sustainability by using multiple concrete references. Using design and production as a form of prevention to eliminate the problem of disposal is the pioneering strategy in this sector of the Circular Economy (remember the regulations on Eco-design in Europe).

A book that manages to speak to industries, businesses and students that wish to learn more about the topic, and it is for this reason that I recommend you read this book whether as a student or a professional. Because Circular Economics is creativity it is design and above all it is thinking outside the box.

you can find it here on Amazon


8. Circular Economics for everyone – W. R. Stahel

I can confirm: anyone can read this book. I recommend this book because it shows perfectly the moment the concept of Circular Economics came into existence. like many researchers or public figures might say: The circular Economy is at the beginning of it’s life and so it still needs to find the space it occupies and the concepts it embodies because it is much much more than just recycling which is what most of the general public associate it with.

Stahel works to make each of the fundamental parts of the Circular Economy as simple to understand as possible, making it a very easy to read the whole book, and it was made for just this reason. The author was the man in the seventies to imagine an economy where a products life-cycle is a closed loop, and he analyzes the impact it would have on competition on the environment and on society. In the book Stahel, architect and visiting professor of the faculty of engineering and science at the Università of Surrey, in the UK. It explains the steps you have to take to go from small isolated communities of the Circular Economy to a global scale. The revolution therefor has to tackle new problems and create Social and Financial value as well as Environmental value.

After his first book “Jobs for Tomorrow: The Potential for Substituting Manpower for Energy” (1976) that Stahel wrote with Geneviève Reday-Mulvey. Stahel returns to talk about his experiences on the topic to help spread theideas of the Circular Economy

You can find it here on Amazon



9. Green Branding: Tools, Advice and Strategies for Eco-sustainable Communication – L. Garosi

Don’t you see the link between marketing and the Circular Economy?
That’s why the penultimate book I’m recommending is the perfect guide for a new kind of job: The Green Marketer. The guy that takes care of sustainable projects and how to market them. The book is a literal tutorial, as is the tradition of Daccovio the publishers. A guide to what a Green Marketer should and shouldn’t do and why the position of Green Marketer should exist.

Garosi manages to paint a perfect picture of the Green Jobs situation, as well as explore each of the different arguments, thanks to specialists from each of the green industries. From events, to management of social media the book covers everything that anybody who wishes to become a Green manager needs.

Even you want to take a look the book is available on Amazon here



10. Renewable materials – Ed. Ambiente

Your right it isn’t a book, but this last recommendation is a real gem I promise.
Renewable Materials is the first and (I think) only magazine that covers each of the different pieces of the Circular Economy individually and in great depth. With monthly issues Ed. Ambiente’s magazine goes beyond the national level and conducts research, and innovates on an international level.

As well as the interesting ideas of showcased in “Renewable Materials”: their are in depth analyses on each of the fundamentals of the Circular Economy. Written by important authors or researchers as well as the manager Emanuele Bompan who also wrote the first book on this list: “Che cosa è l’Economia Circolare“.

Ill leave the link to Renewable Materials site here which publishes a paper copy as well as a digital one!



I hope to have provided you all with ample reading material to help you take the first step towards the Circular Economy. Obviously this list isn’t perfect and so I’d love to hear about what books you have read and which ones you think would make a good addition to this list.

The Circular Economy is constantly evolving and even since the beginning of 2019 many noteworthy books have come out and I don’t doubt that with time even more interesting and useful reading material on the topic of the Environmental and Social revolution will appear. Therefore this post will constantly be updated depending on what I find or what you recommend to me.

But this isn’t the end. Just below is a list of books I plan to read. Do you have books you want to recommend I read write to me here at


Books I can’t wait to read

The Future of Packaging: From Linear to Circular, di Tom Szaky – The book by the founder of Terracycle which launched Loop during The World Economic Forum in Davos: A service that takes the old concept of the milkman where the container gets collected after it’s used and then refilled and reused. I’ve spoken some about them here: Loop, la piattaforma di vendita al dettaglio basata su packaging riutilizzabile

Fresh Materials in the Circular Economy: Building – Amazon says that the newest volume of the Fresh materials series is coming out and it’s all about construction.  The industry which all of Sfridoo’s founders came from. I can’t wait to add this volume to my library as well.

If you liked this article or you found it useful, Share it with anyone you think might be interested. In the meantime I want to remind you that if you want to receive Sfridoo’s monthly articles you can subscribe to our newsletter on the side here to enter the network of the Circular Economy

Until Next Time!

Article updated on 14/10/2019