UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources



CircMet aims to accelerate the transition from the current take-make-waste linear economy to full metal circulation, aiming to make the UK the first place to realise full mental circulation.

Green circle with a white box outline inside surrounded by small green dots. Circular Metal is written next to this image

10 June 2021


The CircularMetal project focusses on circularity of steel and aluminium and is one of five centres funded as part of the UKRI's National Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Research (NICER) centre.

The specific objectives of the CircularMetal programme include:

  1. To be the national leader of circular economy research and innovation for metallic materials.
  2. To understand metal flow in the global economy and its impact on economy, environment, and society.
  3. To develop circular pricing principles, actionable solutions, and practical policies to facilitate the transition to full metal circulation.
  4. To develop circular business models by optimising the metallic materials supply chain in the context of full metal circulation to maximise resource productivity.
  5. To develop circular product design principles to facilitate full metal circulation.
  6. To develop high performance circular alloys and circular processing technologies to enable full metal circulation.
  7. To understand consumer behaviour in a circular economy to realise the full potential of full metal circulation.
  8. To deliver the widest impact of full metal circulation by engaging users and wider stakeholders through a comprehensive outreach programme.

At UCL we are specifically involved in:

  1. CE principles and circular policies based on a pricing approach that better understands the barriers beyond negative externalities. Addressing the research space between resource and environmental/ecological economics, behavioural and institutional economics as well as innovation research.
  2. Advances in global economic modelling of the circular economy. The ENGAGE-materials model is the most advanced global CGE model for policy assessment for steel under a circular economy context. We will include a state-of-the-art circular economy component for aluminium. 
  3. Increased public CE awareness and improved consumer behaviour. We will become public champions for circular metals through maintaining a strong media and online presence, as well as having an educational and policy outlook.
  • Nechifor, V., Calzadilla, A., Bleischwitz, R., Winning, M., Tian, X. and Usubiaga, A., 2020. Steel in a circular economy: Global implications of a green shift in China. World Development, 127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.104775