Course code Ekon5156

Credit points 3

Sustainable Development and the Circular Economy

Total Hours in Course81

Number of hours for lectures12

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes12

Independent study hours57

Date of course confirmation19.01.2022

Responsible UnitInstitute of Economics and Finance

Course developer

author prof.

Modrīte Pelše

Dr. oec.

Course abstract

The course provides an understanding of the international relevance of sustainable development and relevant policies aimed at dealing with the problems. The aim of the course is to examine the regularities of sustainable development for the transition to application of circular economy models in business. The course focuses on potential solutions to achieving sustainable development goals in the business environment, the change of the linear economy model in the transition to a circular economy. Students acquire knowledge of transforming business models for the circular economy, the application of which provides new sustainable solutions to creating values.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Students will be able to demonstrate:
1) a structured knowledge of topical issues relating to sustainable development and of relevant regularities and policies - discussion, a test.
2) an in-depth knowledge of circular economy models, the practical application of the models in the business environment in the context of sustainable development - an exam.
3) the knowledge of waste management systems, opportunities for waste use - study tour, discussions, group work.
Professional skills to
1) reasonably explain the matters of sustainable development - practical assignments, discussions, a test.
2) independently analyse and assess the transformation of business models for the circular economy - an exam, a presentation.
Soft skills to
1) responsibly plan their own time and resources for the completion of the assignments given - practical assignments.
2) Engage in and assume responsibility for group work and make an individual contribution to it - group work, discussions.
1) independently identify and critically analyse the regularities of sustainable development - practical assignments, discussions, a test, an exam.
2) substantiate their own conclusions and proposals for solving problems – a presentation, discussions, an exam.

Course Content(Calendar)

Detailed content of the programme (12 hours)
1. Concepts of sustainable development and circular economics.
2. Social growth and development.
3. International measures to ensure sustainable development. (2 hours)
4. UN Sustainable Development Goals. The EU Green Course.
5. Environmental governance system.
6. Pollution and waste.
7. Linear and circular economies.
8. Transformation of the circular economy. (2 hours)
9. Sustainable business model within the circular economy.
10. Impacts of globalization on sustainable development and the circular economy.

List of practicals (12 hours)
1. Importance of and factors in sustainable development. (2 hours)
2. Economy, environment and prosperity: the dimensions of sustainable development. (2 hours)
3. Waste management system and uses for waste in Latvia. Study tour (3 hours)
4. Developments in environmental and climate change. (2 hours)
5. On the way towards business model innovations for the circular economy. (3 hours)

Requirements for awarding credit points

The student must take a test on the international Sustainable Development Goals and the measures to achieve them (30% of the final mark). The student must participate in group work, discussions on current topical issues relating to sustainable development, environmental and climate change, pollution and waste as well as in a study tour (30%). The student must also take an exam, do a practical study on one of the circular economy transformation models in business, which needs to be presented (40%).

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

The student must independently prepare for a test and learn about current issues relating to policies on sustainable development. To participate in discussions in practical classes, the student must obtain additional information and interpret it according to the topic discussed. Finally, the student must do a practical study on a circular economy model for a particular company and perform calculations of implementing the model. The total amount of independent work is 56 hours.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

The final mark consists of the test weighted 30%, group work, discussions on environmental and climate change, pollution and waste weighted 20%, activity during practicals throughout the semester weighted 10% and the examination weighted 40%.

Compulsory reading

1. Vide un ekonomika: monogrāfija. Dz.Atstāja, Dž.Dimante, I.Brīvers u.c. Rīga: LU, 2011. 256 lpp.
2. Klimats un ilgtspējīga attīstība. M.Kļaviņa un J. Zaļoksna redakcijā. Rīga: LU Akadēmiskais apgāds, 2016. 384 lpp. E-grāmata (PDF). Pieejams:ējīga-attīstība.pdf
3. Kopnina H., Poldner K. Circular Economy: Challenges and Opportunities for Ethical and Sustainable Business. Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge, 2022. pp. 226.
4. Roorda N. Fundamentals of Sustainable Development. Second edition. New York: Routledge, 2017. 382 p.
5. Modak P. Practicing Circular Economy. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2021. 365 p.

Further reading

1. Brebbia C.A., Miralles i Garcia J.L. Environmental and Economic Impact on Sustainable Development. UK: WIT Press, 2017. 250 lpp.
2. Iedvesmojoši ekociematu stāsti: eko tehnoloģiju un prakses piemēri. Redaktori: A.Palojärvi, J.Pyysiäinen un M.Saloranta. Viļņa: BMK Leidykla, 2013. 118 lpp. .
3. Lebedev Y., Anufriev V., Lebedeva T., Kaminov A., Yachmenyova A. 2015 Professional training of future green economy specialist and strategic priorities for sustainable subsurface management. Procedia – Social and Behavioural Sciences, No. 2014, pp.660 vol. 214, 5 Dec. 2015, p. 657-666.
Pieejams ScienceDirect journals datubāzē
4. Ospanova A., Popovychenko I., Chuprina E. Green Economy – Vector of Sustainable Development. In: Problemy ekorozwoju – Problems of sustainable development, 2022, Vol.17(1), pp.171-181. [skatīts 28.01.2022.] Pieejams:
5. Vide un ilgtspējīga attīstība. M. Kļaviņa un J. Zaļoksna red. Rīga: LU Akadēmiskais apgāds, 2010. 334 lpp. Ir LLU FB 26 eks.
LLU ESAF Studiju un zinātnes informācijas centrs -

Periodicals and other sources

1. Dienas Bizness: nedēļas laikraksts: Latvijas biznesa avīze. Rīga: Diena: Dagens Industri, 2005-. ISSN 1407-2041.
2. Vides Vēstis: Vides aizsardzības kluba žurnāls. Rīga: Vides aizsardzības klubs. ISSN 1407-2939.
3. Journal of Sustainable Development: Canadian Center of Science and Education. ISSN (Online): 1913-9071 Pieejams:
4. Journal the Circular Economy and Sustainability: Pieejams:


Compulsory course for the ESAF professional master programme Business Administration.