The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Circular economy, Education for Sustainable Development and Green skills: T(h)REE elements for a better future

Carlotta Maria Crippa, VšĮ “eMundus” (Lithuania)

Vida Drąsutė, Kaunas University of Technology (Lithuania)


Climate change, global warming and the increasing pollution level of water, land and air are sending us a clear signal: our linear economic model, which consists of taking raw materials, consuming them, and throwing them away, has become unsustainable for Earth and for human beings [1]. That is why, over time, people around the world have started to look for economic models that are more sustainable from the social, environmental, and economic point of view. In this context, the European Union, together with many other international and national organizations, is promoting an alternative economic system designed to regenerate itself, called Circular Economy (CE). The CE can help our society to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and change the way we produce and consume goods [2]. This shift toward a more sustainable economic model is having an impact also on the job market, as new activities and jobs linked with the CE are starting to appear, and on the education system [3], as the importance of the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and of the green skills is rising. All these topics will be addressed within this article. In fact, at first the article clarify what CE and sustainability are, providing the reader with an overview of the green skills and how all these elements can affect the job market. Secondly, the results of the transnational research carried out by the partners of the Erasmus+ project TREE [4] are presented. The research was carried out from January to April 2022 through questionnaires and interviews in Lithuania, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and Estonia. The research aimed at collecting information from Vocational Education and Training teachers, green companies, and NGOs active in the environment protection field about the CE, the green skills and their importance for the job market. In conclusion, the article reasserts the importance of CE and the future perspectives for VET schools.

Keywords: Circular economy, Sustainability, VET Educaion, Green Skills


[1] Bear I., Edgerton B., Hirsch P., Kraanen F., Plomp R., Ramkumar S., Walrecht A. (2018), Linear Risks, Circle Economy, PGGM, KPMG, WBCSD and EBRD.

[2] Ellen Macarthur Foundation (n.d.), What is circular economy? Ellen Macarthur Foundation website Overview.

[3] The European Commission (2019), The European Green Deal, COM(2019) 640 final.

[4] Micro- and project-based learning programme for Teaching ciRcular Economy and Ecological awareness in VET- TREE Project, KA220-VET - Cooperation partnerships in vocational education and training.

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