1st Edition

Innovating for The Circular Economy Driving Sustainable Transformation

Edited By Rachna Arora, Dieter Mutz, Pavithra Mohanraj Copyright 2023
    168 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Systemic change is required to move to a circular economy (CE) model which can meet the demands of a growing population in a manner that is decoupled from resource use and waste generation. This book takes a deep dive into the innovation aspect of the circular economy (CE), with a specific focus on India as a geography, where the transformation to a circular economy is underway.

    How a developing country like India is tackling the complexities of the transformation and creating innovative solutions is showcased in this book through many practical examples and inspirational case studies. The book lays out the foundations for mainstreaming resource efficiency (RE)/CE in India, and covers innovation led by businesses and start-ups, along with the innovative policies, financing, and collaborative models required to spur and accelerate circular economy approaches, while also providing linkages to the international context.


    • Provides insight into the role of innovation in the circular economy transition
    • Helps to develop and facilitate adoption of resource-efficiency policy and strategy with particular focus on key resource sectors and waste streams
    • Treats the circular economy as a holistic approach across the entire lifecycle, and places emphasis on upstream interventions and systems change
    • Examines the current context of COVID-19 and its impact on circular economy models and practices
    • Touches upon how the EU-based approach was adapted and contextualised significantly to work in the unique Indian landscape

    This book is aimed at students, researchers, and professionals engaged in the domains of circular economy, sustainability, business innovation, environmental studies, natural resources management, and environmental and resource conservation policy.

    1 Enabling Framework for Circular Economy Transition and Policy Innovation: An Indian and Global Perspective

    Ashish Chaturvedi, Dieter Mutz, Katharina Paterok, and Rachna Arora

    2 Complexities and Challenges of the Circular Economy Transition

    Patrick Schröder and Manisha Anantharaman

    3 Financing for a Circular Economy

    Mayuri Wijayasundara, Srikanth Prakash, and Pavithra Mohanraj

    4 Social Innovation for the Circular Economy: An Example of Informal Waste Recycling

    Swati Singh Sambyal

    5 Private Sector Experiences in Circular Economy Business Innovation: A Case Study on Mahindra

    Anirban Ghosh, Shreya Sankaranarayanan, Rachna Arora, and Pavithra Mohanraj

    6 Start-ups and Digitalisation for Circular Economy in India and Europe

    Reva Prakash, Abhijit Banerjee, and Stefan Šipka

    7 Models of Collaboration for Circular Economy Innovation

    Narendra Prasad Kolary and Pavithra Mohanraj

    8 Emerging Trends in Circularity in India and the Impact of COVID-19

    Pavithra Mohanraj, Narendra Prasad Kolary, and Mayuri Wijayasundara


    Rachna Arora is working as a team leader in the EU-Resource Efficiency project of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Bonn, Germany, and as a team leader on the GIZ Circular Economy solutions preventing Marine litter project. She has been working with GIZ for the last 14 years with relevant ministries and government departments towards environmental policy formulation and its implementation. She is a TEDx speaker on the circular economy.

    She holds a doctorate degree in environmental chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India. She was a member of the interdepartmental committee set up by NITI Aayog (policy Think Tank, GoI) on Resource Efficiency strategy, NITI Aayog’s committee set up by the Ministry of Information Technology and Communication (MeitY), the GoI Circular Economy Action plan on e-waste, MNRE’s Committee on Solar Panel Recycling, and the Ministry of Steel committee on scrap recycling. She is also a working group member of the FICCI Circular Economy Committee, supporting industry research and dialogues on the circular economy.

    Dieter Mutz’s professional background is in sanitary engineering, and he has more than 30 years of work experience with bi- and multilateral development organisations (GTZ, KfW, SECO, DEZA, UNIDO, the World Bank, IDB) with assignments in Latin America, the Middle East, and South Asian regions. His professional expertise lies in eco-efficient resource management and integrated solid waste and wastewater management.

    His international experiences with resource efficiency and circular economy derive from his assignment as team leader for the EU-financed project called ‘Resource Efficiency Initiative for India’ (January 2017–December 2020) and as Director of the Indo-German Environment Partnership Programme (IGEP), jointly implemented by the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC) and GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit), financed by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (August 2010–September 2015). This programme had a focus on sustainable urban and industrial development, land and resource management, as well as environmental protection and climate change mitigation.

    In addition, since January 2016, Dieter holds a position as lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences, Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), an academic and research organisation he had already been affiliated with from 1999 until 2010. His academic focus lies on integrated waste and resource management in Europe and countries in transition.

    Dieter holds a doctorate from the University of Karlsruhe where he studied Sanitary Engineering. He has had long-term assignments in Thailand, Nepal, and Ecuador as well as India.

    Pavithra Mohanraj is the co-founder of Infinitive, a young advisory firm working to accelerate the adoption of the circular economy in India through communications, capacity building, business advisory, and ecosystem development projects. Infinitive has played a key role in shifting mindsets and shaping the evolving conversation around the circular economy in India.

    Pavithra graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Science (with Merit). She has over a decade of experience leading projects in sustainability and Circular Economy across Singapore and India, and has worked with industry, as well as bilateral and multilateral agencies. Most recently, Pavithra has also completed a year-long stint at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as a Consultant supporting projects under the Sustainable and Circular Textiles portfolio of the UNEP India Office.