Circular Economy and Sustainability

The emergence of the circular economy, and the development of circular societies, can create economic, environmental and social value. A professional stressed that there are a range of benefits to society as a more circular economy reduces the overall burden on planetary ecosystems. Someone also introduced the ideas of the inherent value of an enriched and modernised ‘circular society’. It is important for all of us to remember that our society both impacts, and is impacted by the natural systems on our planet. And that underlying everything, it is how we think, act and behave, that determines how our economy functions.

The simultaneous pursuit of economic, environmental, and social sustainability is rapidly becoming part of the established rhetoric for many enterprises across sectors and geographic regions. The concept of sustainability, and the related notion of sustainable development, has also become part of the common vocabulary in the debates within and across several social sciences such as economics, political science, sociology, and (more recently) in management research and practice. In general, scholars refer to the core concept as “. . . the specification of a set of actions to be taken by present persons that will not diminish the prospects of future persons to enjoy levels of consumption, wealth, utility, or welfare comparable to those enjoyed by present persons” (Bromley, 2008).

In management science, the notion of sustainability has been applied to business organizations as social systems that are embedded in larger social and ecological systems with which they share the availability of inputs and the impacts of outputs. In this framing, it has taken on specific meanings related to the capacity of the business organization to serve purposes that include not only economic but also environmental and social criteria (Bansal, 2005; Berry & Rondinelli, 1998; Crane & Matten, 2010; Freeman, Harrison, Wicks, Parmar, & de Colle, 2010).

Here you can find most of the Societal need, which we all have to deal with. Reduce burden on planetary ecosystems (protect our fragile environment) and stimulate and support modern societies (foster socio-economic development within an evolving economy)

The circular economy is viewed as a promising approach to help reduce global sustainability pressures.

Reducing or Preventing loss of valuable materials (resources) – their extraction, concentration and refining has potential to burden the planet for example – via pollution, via ecosystem disturbance, via the emissions of the energy production systems to create them;

Reduce the danger that their disposal or dissipation as waste has with regard to damaging our environmental systems – land, sea and atmosphere – and their ecosystems + biodiversity;

Help maintain and increase the resilience, and ability of our environment to provide us with ecological services by reducing pressures and demands upon it;

Circular economies also promise to generate value to society directly via stimulation of employment, economic growth and flow-on social benefits associated with:

Boosting of the recovery, recycling and upgrading of valuable materials;

Creating new business models, and eco-design systems that facilitate circularity;

Further developing clean and sustainable raw materials extraction and upgrading processes required to underpin the systems.

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