Circular Economy and Industrial Sustainability


CEIS (Circular Economy and Industrial Sustainability) is a dynamic research group that works closely with industries, business associations and public organisations of the Basque Country, Spain and Europe to facilitate a sustainable energy transition and circular economy deployment.

The main goal of the CEIS research group is to help industries to increase resource efficiency, reduce environmental impacts and improve the economic and social performance. We believe that generating net positive impacts is the only way to deploy truly circular and sustainable industrial systems. For this reason, we integrate life cycle thinking and multidisciplinary perspectives into our research projects to ensure we are addressing sustainability challenges from a system-level approach.

Accordingly, the research group integrates experts from the fields of industrial product design, industrial organisation and production, environmental engineering, corporate social responsibility, and innovation and business management. Thus, we can address the whole innovation cycle of the industrial projects, from the product and technology ideation and/or conceptualization, to the experimentation, piloting, and upscaling, including the development of new industrial business models and value chains. Always from a circular and a sustainable perspective to drive positive change towards more resource efficient, low-carbon and, ultimately, sustainable production and consumption systems.

More specifically, the research group works on four major lines of research and innovation:


Major Lines of action

1. Circular and Sustainable Design of Products and Technologies:

  • Development of eco-design and eco-innovation techniques, strategies, solutions and guides for the development of resource efficient and low environmental impact materials, products, technologies and services.


2. Circular and Sustainable Industrial Manufacturing:

  • Development of cleaner production tools, strategies and guides
  • Analysis and optimisation of remanufacturing industrial processes
  • Evaluation of novel techniques and technologies to extend the lifespan of industrial technologies and equipment (reuse, disassembly, repurposing, recycling, recovery)


3. Technology-enabled Circular and Sustainable Business Models and Value Chains:

  • Technology innovation to develop circular and sustainable business models to narrow, slow, close and regenerate resource flows
  • Innovation for the configuration and management of circular and sustainable value chain, including the assessment of the interactions between business models


4. Circularity and Sustainability Assessment Methodologies, Tools, and Indicators:

  • Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) = Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA)
  • Definition and calculation of micro-, meso- and macro-level circularity and sustainability indicators
  • Development and application of assessment tools for product eco-design, cleaner production and end-of-life management
  • Development and application of analytical tools to support circular and sustainable business and value chain innovations
  • Training and industrial support in the development of circular economy and industrial sustainability projects



Circular economy, concept, evolution and trends

Practical tools for implementing the circular economy in business



 EoLO: Analysis of the circularity and sustainability of wind blade life cycle management, including design alternatives, dismantling processes, thermal recycling (pyrolysis) and chemical recycling (solvolysis) as well as innovative industrial business models.


 CISTE: Circularity and sustainability life cycle analysis of wind technologies and industrial business models.


 NETcircular+: Innovation toolbox (digital and physical tools) to develop circular and sustainable technological-industrial models. Funded by: Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa.


 CircularTRANS: Digital platform to guide the transition of industrial organizations towards a circular economy model. Funded by: Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa.


 SiC4GRID: Ecodesign, circularity and life cycle environmental analysis of power converters based on advanced SIC technologies to improve renewable energy grid integration.


 Circu-City: Evaluation model to promote the design of more circular and sustainable cities. Funded by: EIT Raw Materials.
BIDERATU (ELKARTEK tipo I): Integrated energy-economic-environmental modeling system to support strategic decision making in the industrial sector and public administrations.


 SUPS (industrially-funded), Sustainable Project Selection: Methodology and tool to determine the circularity (efficiency in the use of resources) and environmental sustainability (reduction of impacts) of technological innovation projects developed by industrial automotive companies.


MUCS (university-funded), Mondragon Unibertsitatea campus Circular y Sostenible: Methodology and tool to identify, evaluate, prioritize, deploy and monitor circular economy strategies for the sustainable management of resources (energy, water, materials) of the different campuses of Mondragon Unibertsitatea and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.


 INMOIN: Indicator model to integrate the circular economy in the areas or departments of the organization: management, commercial department, marketing, product/service development and/or R&D, production, purchasing and procurement, TSS, ICT, general services.


RAMANEX y REMACOMPIND: Development of a guide to excellence for remanufacturing companies and techniques for the remanufacturing of industrial components. Funded by: IHOBE.


Offers of employment and doctorate

Discover the job and thesis offers at Mondragon Unibertsitatea, we can have a position of interest for you.