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Circular Business Models for Sustainable Urban Food Systems

Discover how circular business models transform urban food systems to tackle grand challenges through innovative solutions.

6,453 enrolled on this course

An image of a circular business model overlaid on a field of clover

Circular Business Models for Sustainable Urban Food Systems

6,453 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Accreditation available

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

The CPD Certification Service

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles. Find out more.

Explore how circular economy can foster sustainable urban food systems

Please note this course runs without facilitation. A Spanish version of the course can be found here.

In a scenario where the world’s population will reach 9 billion people in 2050, with almost 70% of them concentrated in urban areas and requiring three times more resources than we currently use, the traditional ‘linear economy’ is no longer suitable.

On this course, you’ll discover how to design and build circular food systems for resilient, smart and sustainable cities.

You’ll explore the catalytic role of cities to foster healthy and inclusive food policies, adopting systems thinking, institutional innovation, and participatory approaches in order to fulfill the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second It’s estimated that by 2050, there will be approximately 9 billion people living on Earth, with almost 70% of them projected to live in urban areas. As this population increases, we will need three times more resources to feed them and this is a problem because a third of food produced globally for human consumption is lost or wasted along the value chain. All of this highlights the need for a circular alternative to the linear take, make, and dispose model of production. However, only 8.6% of the world can currently be defined as circular. This online course investigates how we can design and build circular food systems that foster the transition towards sustainable cities.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds We will explore novel circular business models and new tools to foster circularity of food in cities. We will investigate the catalytic role of cities and communities and how they can seize new opportunities to drive the sustainability of urban food systems. Join us on circular business models for sustainable urban food systems.


  • Week 1

    Thinking and Acting Circular in the context of SDGs: why and for whom?

    • Welcome

      Introduction to the course and the concept of Circular Economy

    • Thinking Circular in the context of SDGs: Definitions, Origins and Concepts

      Thinking Circular in the context of Sustainable Development Goals

    • Implementing inter-connected Circular Economy thinking at micro, meso and macro level

      Acting Circular: why and how?

    • Circular Economy Roadblocks and Enablers

      How Circular Economy can be enhanced and what are the barriers for this transition?

    • Review and Reflect on Week 1

      Review and Reflect

  • Week 2

    Designing Circular Food Systems: Challenges and Opportunities

    • Welcome to Week 2

      Introduction to Circular Food System

    • Circular Food Systems: Tools and Measurement

      How Circular Food Systems can be measured?

    • Urban and Local Food Policies

      Exploring Urban and Local Food Systems, as well as the related food strategies and policies

    • Drivers and Barriers for Food Systems Circularity

      How the Circularity of Food Systems can be enabled and what barriers it confronts?

    • Review and Reflect on Week 2

      Review and Reflect

  • Week 3

    Unlocking Value Creation through Circular Business Models

    • Welcome to Week 3

      Welcome back

    • From Business Model Innovation to Circular Business Models

      The evolution of business models

    • Best Practices of Circular Business Models in Urban Food Systems

      Business Cases and Best Practices of Circular Business Models in Urban Food Systems

    • Circular Business Model Design approaches

      Circular Business Model Design approaches

    • Review and Reflect on Week 3

      Review and Reflect

  • Week 4

    Engaging Food System Stakeholders Effectively

    • Welcome to Week 4

      Welcome to the week

    • Unlocking the potential of CE through Systems Thinking

      Unlocking the potential of CE through Systems Thinking

    • Educating on Circularity

      Educating on Circularity

    • Communicating Circularity: Sustainability Reporting & Public Engagement

      Communicating Circularity: Sustainability Reporting & Public Engagement

    • Review and Reflect on Week 4

      Review and Reflect

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the Circular Economy principles and concepts in the context of SDGs
  • Identify the tools and measurements used to measure Circular Food Systems.
  • Evaluate how Urban Food Policies can support urban-rural linkages and guide the transition to Sustainable Urban Food Systems
  • Assess challenges and opportunities when designing Circular Food Systems
  • Reflect on Circular Business Models and their role in creating product-service combinations to achieve Food Circularity
  • Develop skills and practical tools to disseminate awareness and educate third parties on Urban Food Circularity to foster Sustainable Food Systems

Who is the course for?

This course is primarily designed for policymakers, public institutions, intermediaries, and educators. It would also appeal to anyone with an interest in issues of sustainability and urban food systems.

If you’re looking to expand your knowledge on this topic, you might also find of interest the following EIT Food courses on sustainable food production and circular economy principles:

What do people say about this course?

I enjoyed this course.

"In a field such as sustainability, which encompasses everything, continuous learning is key to continuous improvement on the journey to drive sustainable transformations. I enjoyed this course."

Who will you learn with?

I am a Professor of Circular Economy and Climate Change Management at the University of Turin, Dept of Management. My research is focused on entrepreneurship and sustainable business model innovation.

I am a Professor of Food Economics & Business Management at the Department of Economics & Management, University of Helsinki. My research focuses on organizational sustainability in food systems.

I am a researcher in the Department of Management at the University of Turin, in the fields of Circular Economy and Innovation. I believe in the power of experiential learning to drive change.

I work as a research assistant at the Department of Economics and Management, University of Helsinki. I am a Master of Food Sciences, focusing on food economics.

Who developed the course?

EIT Food

EIT Food is Europe’s leading food initiative, working to make the food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted.

University of Turin

The University of Turin is one of the largest and most prestigious Italian universities, with about 70,000 students, 4,000 employees, and 1,800 research fellows, encompassing all academic sectors.

University of Helsinki

The University of Helsinki is an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. Through science, the University has contributed to society, education and welfare since 1640

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Develop skills to further your career

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  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 15 May 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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